I’m in the lounge at Alex’s studio in Brooklyn. Tonight is our last night here, and we’re mixing the last song (of 13) for the album. I’m pretty knackered right now, and I’m sure that Alex is feeling a lot more drained, given that the work has been mostly his for the last week or so, since we finished recording vocals. It’s shaping up to be a long night, but it’ll be a relief to get everything finished. From here I fly back to London tomorrow, and we hit the mastering suite next week to finish the album completely. It now looks like it’ll be released internationally on September 7th (although that’s not 100% just yet).
It’s almost impossible to look objectively at a large body of work for which you are largely or wholly responsible, even with the benefit of a few years’ hindsight (first Million Dead album being a case in point – I’ve been listening recently given the imminent re-release and still can’t make my mind up). Given that this record isn’t even technically finished yet, it’s massively hubristic of me to start pontificating about it right now. I’m way too close. But here goes nothing, fuck it. I had a moment the other day of wondering whether I’ve headed in the right direction after “Love Ire & Song”, of thinking that I should have been more radical, or maybe less, or whatever. Sometimes the new stuff doesn’t sound good enough to me, but then I remember I’ve been listening to it non-stop for 2 months now, in various stages of completion. And then every now and again I’m blessed with a moment of distance, a moment of being able to hear things afresh, and then I feel pretty good. You can only ever try your best, at the end of the day, and this record like all the others is just that – the best I can do right now.
When things go well for you, it’s easy to lose some perspective – whether it’s deciding that you’re great because you have songs on the radio, or deciding that you suck for the exact same reasons. All that said, I’m feeling pretty confident, as I sit hot and sweating in a windowless room, going a little stir crazy, exhausted and still a little jetlagged, and hungry (mm, I should get some food after this), and I think I can say it’s a good album, and I hope I can say it’s my best yet – because that, after all, is my aim here. The countdown starts here for the day when everyone can hear it and judge for themselves. Fingers crossed.
In other news: I am officially hotter than Alisha Dixon, The Saturdays and NDubz now, apparently. I’m sorry to say I’m not 100% sure who they are (is NDubz the guy with the woolly hat?), but hey, I still win. HA!