Thursday 10 September 2020

LISTEN: MF Tomlinson - 'Everything is Cancelled'

It was a delight to find this in my inbox last week - MF Tomlinson is back with the soundtrack for our times - Everything is Cancelled. The lyrically clever and amusing track pokes some much needed fun at the situation, and is *very* relatable. The first track from the (equally-poignantly-named) EP Strange Time, due on 2nd October, this is the first of a string of releases that he is sharing on Bandcamp Fridays, from which the proceeds will be donated to people and industries affected by the virus. For now, funds are going to London's superb independent music venue The Lexington - download the track here.

Over to MF Tomlinson... "I was unable to let go of the pace of life before the lockdown and threw myself into frantically documenting the situation [...] Writing songs gives me purpose - my other therapy at that point was learning the saxophone. I did manage to do a bit of saxophone practice but that was quickly (and justifiably) veto’d. I decided I was going to go folk - that just made sense. [...] This song is full of jokes, trying to put on a brave face in a time where things seemed scary. [...] It’s also touching on the hope that as a society we might learn from the mistakes that contributed to this crisis and try do things differently, which at this stage isn’t looking likely."

On the process behind the track, he explains that "I reached out to all of my collaborators, we would normally work on stuff together in the studio. Instead I sent the skeleton of a song out and a rough demo of the part, they as usual sent back pure gold. Alistair Welsh did the amazing horn arrangement you hear on this song - he’s on the trombone, and that’s Ben Manning on the double bass. I love that this is a big band in isolation - the tuba, clarinet etc all in separate people's bedrooms! Arie van der Poel took these bedroom recordings and mixed and moulded them into something amazing. He flew out to New Zealand just before the lockdown so we’d talk nights and early mornings. He’s amazing and his contribution here can’t be understated. I’m especially grateful to artist Chiara Baima Poma who sent this beautiful painting from her home in the Canary Islands. I strongly feel that music is better when it’s made together. One of the best things about the project was making contact with all the contributors, catching up on how they were. When I was stuck at home and after returning to work, it got me through the stress and made me feel connected."

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