Track By Track: Dappled Cities
Dual frontmen DAVE RENNICK and TIM DERRICOURT dissect their respective songs – and many splinter versions – from Dappled Cities’ fourth album ‘Lake Air’.
‘Run With The Wind’
Dave: This song was spawned out of a fevered desire to jam and noodle; to not think or labour, rather just to play like a bunch of madmen. That's why the result is an endless riff, a looping chord progression, some falsetto wailing and a street beat. This was the first song I wrote for this record and the sheer joy of playing it all together gave us the gusto to write more.
Tim: I hope we release the demos of this album one day because they are pretty damn funny and wild. ‘The Leopard’ has a couple of versions and I really still can't decide which I like more. It's always been the same chords and lyrics, but for some reason I felt that it didn't really matter what the band did, ’cause it all sounded pretty good in any way. So you've got a three-four version, a weird psych version with loads of effects on everything and this one – I guess you'd call it the 'pop' version. It's a cracker live, that's for sure.
Tim: This is your classic "Can I write a song in five minutes?" song. It really just fell out of the air into my hands and I put down a demo real quick and it was real love. The version of the song you hear now is truly almost identical to what was put down in 10 minutes a year before – which makes me happy, since it's just honest, clear and simple. Dave says this is the “coolest” song I've ever written. I beg to differ, since I am the composer behind such classics as ‘Holy Chord’, ‘Vision Bell’ and ‘Feeling Arabia’. But maybe he's right. It's got a very cool drumbeat.
‘Work In The Mould’
Dave: This song is old Dappled meets new Dappled. Only old Dappled would think it a good idea to plonk such a soaring outro on an otherwise pleasant song, whereas new Dappled would make sure it only went for a couple of rounds and then bowed out. And old Dappled would never have let such a white-boy-funk bass line (as featured in the chorus) slip through the cracks. New Dappled are OK with this.
Dave: I wrote this song about family or, more specifically, parenthood. A little-known (and very un-rock-star) fact about me is how much I'm looking forward to being a father. Seems like I might have to wait a little while longer and I guess that could be what the song is about. But yep, life is actually easy.
‘Born at the Right Time’
Tim: I ssssssstttttruggggled with this one. As with ‘Real Love’, the original song came out very fast. But then no one liked it as much as ‘Real Love’, so I toyed around with it, tried different beats, chords, everything. We must have played about 10 different versions of this one. Looking through my music collection, I see ‘Born’ demos with names like “fast,” “slow,” "strong," "rough," "African," "uppers" and "acoustic." Nothing's ever that easy, I guess. But the video clip for this song was honestly the funnest clip we have ever done. Can't wait for everyone to see it.
Tim: This song came out on my favourite keyboard, the Casiotone 401 with vintage wood finish. I think I should do a cover version of Lake Air just on that keyboard. The other voice on the end of that song is Des Miller, who was luckily around at the right moment to put down some lovely crooning on the fadeout. We wanted to make most songs fade out on this record, but then we liked the ends of the tracks so much that we couldn't bring ourselves to do it. So extended outros it is!
Dave: ‘Icecubes’ existed for a long time without its chorus. And the chorus in there now came from a song that existed for a long time without a verse. Enter ... Frankenbaby. We've never done this before, nor would have ever admitted to it, but this makes sense, feels good and has turned out to be one of the wackiest Dappled songs out there.
Dave: A super devoted Dappled fan may have heard this song kicking around for years. There are various live recordings of it. We'd also tried to record it proper many times, including in the Zounds sessions, but never nailed it. Every time I was personally very disappointed, because it's one of the compositions I'm most proud of since its conception. [Producer] Jarrad [Kritzstein] and Tim held hands and came up with the idea of just stripping it down to its bare bones for this album – to the real song, effortless – and it worked. Zing. The rest is history.
Tim: This song came out in the same London session that we pieced ‘Run With the Wind’ together in. When we started to write the new material, we decided that to challenge ourselves this time, every song would have to be two guitars and one keyboard constantly soloing. But then we got tired and it was very difficult, so you only hear that dream on three songs. Lyrically this song is about me really feeling like we were over and we had nowhere else to go, but then figuring that there's never any reason for a band to give up the ghost. I mean unless you hate each other, which we don't. So yeah, it looks like you're stuck with us forever.
Listen to 'Lake Air':