A bottle without a label: Song of the Day #3 ‘Prelude’+ ‘My Love & I’

Telling the creation story behind each song in the Jem Kid Catalogue

Written: February 2017 (words), Berlin; October 2017 (prelude + arrangement), Oxford.
EP: Nearly Live, Jem Kid & Company.
Best line: ‘My love and I / Break the very same bread / We weave our lies / With the very same thread’
Influences: J.R.R Tolkien, Thomas Hardy, English traditional song

This song’s birth and all of its formative moments all came out of some of the lowest points of my 2017. In February I had just moved to Berlin knowing nobody at all. Once again, my guitar stepped up as a lifeline in those long, lonely days indoors.

‘My Love & I’ was the first song I wrote in Berlin. For a long time I couldn’t face up to the emotions that it had captured, a bottle without a label. I would talk about it as a break-up song, which is what the lyrics are on the surface.

All of that passion was let out much later, during the first and second terms back at Oxford, a time when my perseverance and energy came under a double attack from the pressure of work and the insidious negligence of my flatmate.

Apart from improvised sections, all of the trumpet solos were composed on one Sunday afternoon in late Spring 2018. Memories of that afternoon are very clear in my mind’s eye. It was the very lowest of the low. So many times that year my guitar kept me going: ‘I will love her till I’m dead’.

JK

As an independent artist in the time we’re in, Jem Kid depends on people deciding that his music worth paying for, even though it’s available for free. You can buy this track and many others on his Bandcamp page: https://thatjemkid.bandcamp.com/album/nearly-live

A sinister song for a sinister time: Song of the Day #2 ‘Audrey, Audrey’

Telling the creation story behind each song in the Jem Kid Catalogue

Written: October 2016, Ghisonaccia, Corsica.
EP: Nearly Live, Jem Kid & Company.
Best line: ‘Leaning on the olive branch / Weeping at the cross’
Influences: Baroque classical music, The Oompa Loompa Song from the original Charlie & the Chocolate factory.

This is a pretty wacky song at first impression. That’s because it’s relatively old, dating to 2016 which was the year I started writing music. Typically of this phase, the lyrics don’t exactly shove it under your nose – but listen closely and you’ll find they’re quite sinister. A sinister song for a sinister time.

Ghisonaccia in Corsica was the first stop on my Wwoofing trip, part of my year abroad. I was there to learn French, work the soil and play my brand new pink guitar which I’d just found in the charity shop for £15. (To be fair, it sounded like £20.)

Audrey (not her real name) was my first host, and I stayed at her farm for almost a month. Her farm was a sort of impromptu refuge for the overlooked, populated by a dozen stray dogs, a dozen cats, a dozen sheep, a few horses, two goats, an elderly mother, an alcoholic partner a schizophrenic friend.

Her heart for this motley crew and for any passing wwoofer was big; her ability to care for us, questionable. If you want the full tale, clear out half an hour of your day and call me. Suffice it to say that it was a prime example of what my grandmother calls a C.F.E – a ‘character-forming experience’.

As with any of my songs, I’d encourage you to listen closely and let the lyrics suggest their own version of events. This is a rare case in which the allusions made in the song are less exciting than the true story of the ‘dancing girl boss‘.

JK

As an independent artist in the time we’re in, Jem Kid depends on people deciding that his music worth paying for, even though it’s available for free. You can buy this track and many others on his Bandcamp page: https://thatjemkid.bandcamp.com/track/audrey-audrey