Tuesday 6 April 2021

EP NEWS: John Revelle - 'It Was Always Too Late'

Folk fans, rejoice. One of my absolute favourite things to do with the blog is to share debut tracks. It's a privilege to be one of the first people to listen to a project before it gets sent out into the world. Particularly special this time, as the project is from Bear's Den founding member Joey Haynes, releasing solo music for the first time under the name John Revelle

It's no secret how much Bear's Den mean to me, and I know lots of people who will be very keen to hear more from John! It was a lovely surprise to find first track This Bird Has Flown in my inbox last week from John himself, and I'm excited to share a little more info about the track and the upcoming EP It Was Always Too Late, due May 1st. John is releasing all of this independently so any support, including following on social media to see news of upcoming releases and shows (links at the bottom of this post) will be really helpful! Over to John...

The song originally had a different melody and chords and was in a major key, but it just didn't sit quite right with the lyrics. I was trying to convey the helpless desperation of being stuck at a stage in the grieving process after a breakup, and it just felt too gentle and mellow in its original form. I tried to channel that feeling of frustration of living a life suspended, unable to move past the heartbreak. The arrangement and production is a fairly obvious (to me, anyway) nod to Harvest-era Neil Young, and I even got to dust off the banjo which I hadn't been playing much since I left Bear's Den.
The song was recorded and produced by my good friend and notarised legend James Wyatt, a real renaissance man who plays with everyone from Lianne La Havas to George Ezra. He plays, engineers, and produces like it's nobody's business, and I absolutely would not and could not have made this record without him. We met randomly at a mutual friend's New Year's Eve shindig in Mexico in 2018, and bonded over a shared love of tequila and James Taylor. We both lived in London, but only met for the first time halfway across the world. When we got back to the UK, we started recording, mainly in his home studio, with a couple of days booked in bigger studios to record horns and the rhythm section. Wyatt's a very busy man, so the sessions were spaced out and often shoehorned in between his numerous other musical engagements. Looking back, that was probably for the best, as this was a real learning process for the both of us. It definitely gave me time to work on my singing (much needed, and still very much a work in progress), and also allowed for the songs to grow into themselves sonically.

The original plan was to release the songs about a year ago, but yeah, Covid happened, and everything was put on hold. After months of holding out in the hopes that the pandemic subside sufficiently to make it possible to play gigs and festivals to support the release, I finally decided to pull the plug. I still plan to tour and play the songs live once the world opens up again. There's a real DIY ethos permeating the making of this EP, and it's completely self-funded and independently released, and I'm very happy with the result and look forward to sharing it with everyone.
Follow John Revelle - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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