We've lost count of the records The Wave Pictures have released since they stepped into the British indie-pop arena guided by their mentor, former Hefner leader Darren Hayman, who was the one to introduce them to music lovers. But that doesn't mean we don't want another record by the band led by the ever energetic, hard working and inspired Dave Tattersall. On 2nd May “Beer In The Breakers” will be released, a new album that will feature the logo of Moshi Moshi on the CD and that of Madrid label Acuarela on the vinyl (with download code included). But before that, you can listen to it here on PlayGround. We have a stream of the complete album, so that you can memorise the tunes by the start of The Wave Pictures' European tour. Dave Tattersall explains them to us one by one.
1. Blue Harbour
Named after Franic Rozycki's favourite brand of clothing, this song describes a trip to Coney Island, New York, and the start of a love affair. People often want to know if our songs are made-up or autobiographical. The truth is usually that they are a mixture: a little bit of a real life and a lot of fiction. But this is one case where I can say that this song is completely true, that every word of it really happened.
01 Blue Harbour
2. Now Your Smile Comes Over In Your Voice
This is my idea of a quintessential Wave Pictures song in E minor. When I wrote the lyrics I was thinking about a very dear friend of mine, and the way a person lights up when they tell a funny story from the past. Franic Rozycki's bassline really makes the song, made even better because he pulled it out of thin blue air for this take. I'd rather hear some mistakes and improvisation on a record, just to make it sound lively. Too many bands sound completely dead to me, in a polished way. We wanted to do something in the exact opposite way from all those modern records we don't like were made.
02 Now Your Smile Comes Over In Your Voice
3. Little Surprise
I wrote these lyrics in a bar in Munich, hungover, first thing in the morning. The lyrics describe a scene involving two people who work there having some kind of squabble. It's terribly mysterious. One of them has “a little surprise up his sleeve”, but we never find out what it is. I know, of course, but I'm not telling. Musically, “Little Surprise” is quite at odds with its dark lyrics. I often quite enjoy putting dark or sad lyrics with happy, upbeat music. There is something rich about happy/sad songs.
03 Little Surprise
4. Blick Back A Tear
This is Stanley Brinks' favourite Wave Pictures song, and one of my favourite too. It is a minor key blues song in the style of Otis Rush, whose “Original Cobra Recordings” is one of The Wave Pictures' all time favourite albums.
04 Blink Back A Tear
5. Walk The Back Stairs Quiet
In this song a girlfriend urges her boyfriend to sneak out of the house when she hears her insomniac parents beginning to argue in the kitchen downstairs. This is without question my personal favourite recording on the album. It was originally recorded with our acoustic side-project Dan of Green Gables, but The Wave Pictures version is quite different.
05 Walk The Back Stairs Quiet
6. China Whale Brand
This is a very old song, reprised here at the behest of Jonny Helm, as a kind of public gift to our good friend Hugh Noble, who used to play drums in The Wave Picture, and remains a massive influence on us. At the end of song, when the whole band chants “give me back my China Whale Brand”, The Wave Pictures manage to somehow sound a bit like The Fall.
06 China Whale Brand
7. Pale Thin Lips
Like “Little Surprise” this one was written in German, and contains reference to some places there. It has nice soul-y chords and pretty thrilling guitar solo. We were very keen to put more solos on this album than on previous albums. Ever since the band started playing live in London, the guitar solos seem to split opinion more than anything else about the band. I discovered, to my surprise that they are not very fashionable, and that people consider them self-indulgent.
07 Pale Thin Lips
8. In Her Kitchen
This is the album's other old song. When you hear “Beer In The Breakers”, you get to hear me covering myself when I was 17, that's how old I was when I wrote “In Her Kitchen”.
08 In Her Kitchen
9. Two Lemons, One Lime
I play an acoustic guitar instead of an electric guitar on this song. There's something very melancholy about this one. It's set in a bar in Aberystwyth on a rainy day.
09 Two Lemons, One Lime
10. Beer In The Breakers
This is the title track of our album because it seemed to represent what we were trying to do the most clearly. It's dark and slow, and again a quintessential type of Wave Pictures song. I love the story in this song, it's happened to me but I don't remember where. I found a small camp that someone had set up on a very grim stretch of beach. There were beer cans and a long-gone-out fire. It didn't feel like anyone would have a party there, it felt like a very lonely soul had somehow ended up in that situation alone for a few nights. The feeling always stuck with me, and this song, like many of our songs, is a kind of hazy-memory song. It is, of course, in E minor.
10 Beer In The Breakers
11. Rain Down
A Velvet Underground-y chugging two chord song, every album should have one. Especially Lou Reed albums. He doesn't always remember to do it. I don't know why. He invented it, after all.
11 Rain Down
12. Epping Forest
This song is a kind of companion song to “I Saw Your Hair Between The Tress”, a song which was on both “Dan Of Green Gables” and my solo album “Happy For A While”. “Epping Forest” fills out a story that started there.
12 Epping Forest
British band The Wave Pictures have their new album, “Beer In The Breakers” ready. At the start of their European tour and a month before the release of the album, you can listen to it on PlayGround complete with comments on each track by Dave Tattersall.
“Beer In The Breakers”