Nearly five years since the release of his last album, Darling Darkness, Beerjacket returns with his most ambitious project to date, releasing Silver Cords on 23rd November 2018 via Scottish Fiction Records. Accompanying the twelve songs are a collection of twelve short stories; intertwined with the music, intended for consumption alongside it. It is more than just an album, it is also more than just a book.
Peter Kelly aka Beerjacket spoke to The Fountain about the new album, as well as working with Neil Wilson of Scottish Fiction.
TF: A new single, how exciting, what can we expect?
That’s an interesting question in a time when just about any song can be streamed instantly. Is expectation still a real thing? If you read this before listening, expect that you’ll hear a song I let happen honestly without trying to interfere with it. Something I love about this song is that it is so bare at the beginning before the swell of the pump organ.
Whilst I definitely don’t like to fill in the gaps for listeners by saying too much about the meaning of songs, I’ll say Nervous is about dreams and the limitless world of our imagination in sleep.
TF: And this is the second release from a new album, how would you describe this record?
Silver Cords is a record about dreams and the connections between people. It’s a very elaborate album in terms of the writing but with really spare arrangements. Any additional instrumentation beyond guitar and vocal had to be essential if it was going to be given a place. Stuart MacLeod, who recorded the previous two Beerjacket studio albums, has great intuition about these things and has always given me invaluable guidance in this respect. The recording took place in sessions spread over two years and coincided with me writing a book of short stories, every one linking with a song on the album. Julia Doogan sings on the record and also designed the book, although she insisted that I drew all the illustrations. As a result, Silver Cords has ended up being a really personal and ambitious project for me. I’m really very proud of it and it’s amazing to be finally able to let people hear and read it.
TF: And how has it been working with Scottish Fiction Records to release this new LP?
Frankly, without Scottish Fiction none of this could have happened. Neil Wilson offered to put out a vinyl album and I fully expected that saying I wanted to release the record as a book would end his interest. Luckily, entirely the opposite happened and he has thrown so much behind the project, meaning that the idea could become a real thing that now exists in the world.
Throughout the time planning this release, working with Scottish Fiction has been tremendous fun as well as being really exciting. Absolutely everything we have hoped for has come true and I think I can speak for everyone involved when I say it’s been a total joy.
TF: And will we have the pleasure of seeing you performing anytime soon?
Lots of things are coming up and bookings are in the diary well into 2019. You’ll definitely have lots of chances to see me.
TF: What has been your favourite gig to date?
I’ve played a lot of gigs by this point, so that’s not an easy question to answer. Playing in any room with people who want to listen, maybe those who can sing every word or perhaps with people who’ve never heard you before… it doesn’t matter, it’s all music. As long as there are people with their ears open, any gig can become a favourite. It’s people communicating with each other in a room that makes any gig special.