Without Apology / Noisy Daughters Vinyl Compilation

 

Girl From Winter Jargon – Without Apology

Without Apology - Girl From Winter Jargon

Without Apology – Girl From Winter Jargon

Back in July 2018 I was asked by Tracks; Darlington to contribute a song for the Noisy Daughters Vinyl Compilation Album (Released by Butterfly Effect Records )
Here’s a little background information on both entities…

Noisy Daughters is an initiative which aims to both promote and encourage equality and female representation in music for the North East of England (and in general) with all profits made from the sale of the vinyl to go towards funding the local music scene and future Noisy Daughters Projects.
Butterfly Effect Records – The Noisy Daughters Vinyl Release is actually the label’s second Compilation Vinyl release to date; their first offering included the likes of Velvoir, Twist Helix, Avalanche Party and The Black Sheep Frederick Dickens and was also the first vinyl release to ever feature bands and artists exclusively from the North East of England. With the Noisy Daughters Vinyl Compilation, the project – as co-curated by Rianne Thompson of BBC Tees & Amazing Radio alongside Tracks: Darlington Music Collective and Butterfly Effect Records aimed to make North East female identifying acts the main focus; the compilation therefore includes artists such as Martha Hill, GGAllan PartridgeJennifer Walton and BBC 6 favourite, Zarahruth. ‘Without Apology’ is also my First, Official Girl From Winter Jargon Release which has made the whole thing special for me. Leading up to the release I was invited to perform ‘Without Apology’ along with two other songs, “On Hospital Beds” and “We are not the stars” as part of a live session with Bob Fischer on BBC Radio Tees. Without Apology has also received airplay on local, North East Radio Stations – Bishop FM (The Indie Show), Zetland FM (Transmission Radio)  and BBC Tees with Bob Fischer respectively.


Without Apology…  A Bit About The Song…

The song was recorded at my home, on a budget, with borrowed equipment. I used my mattress (amongst other things) to get rid of sound reflections and to make my room more suitable for recording. I slept on an airbed, then spent a number of weeks getting everything right. Documentation of the song from conception to completion can be found on Instagram under #iamanoisydaughter.

 

I decided to go with a song idea that was fresh, new and ‘of the moment’. I often post rough, sketchy, minute-long videos on Instagram of guitar riffs, loops, piano stuff and other music ideas (for my own reference more than anything else) and the one that this song came to be built around was what I would describe as a fairly ‘involved’ guitar riff;  consequently, the song was a fun challenge for me to write and I can earnestly say I worked very hard and put my all into it.

The song was mixed and mastered by Rob Irish. I think Rob did an excellent job and I thank him for being super-patient and supportive in guiding me through the process.
Rob Irish is a local music engineer and producer (his website is here) who has previously worked with ZarahruthJames Gray Robson & The Lovely Burn, Eve ConwayHayley McKay and also composes/performs as one half of The Black Sheep Frederick Dickens.


Without Apology…   Musically…?

The truth is, where subjectivity and musical preferences are concerned, I’m as much in favour of the passionate 3 chord punk aesthetic as I am for more complex, technical music. On this occasion though, given the (female focused) cause of the Noisy Daughters Vinyl Compilation Album – I felt it was important to try to contribute something as ‘decent’ as I could muster; to push and challenge myself, musically speaking. Do I think musicians that happen to be female have anything to prove to anyone? No. And yet…

Without Apology - Girl From Winter Jargon

Without Apology – Girl From Winter Jargon

because of the mentality and stigma that still continues to exist around female musicians, even locally and in recent times – (See – https://www.nme.com/news/music/middlesbrough-pub-bans-female-fronted-bands-cant-sing-rock-2169750) – the Noisy Daughter’s ‘mission statement’ is important; this will be the first vinyl compilation release in history featuring songs exclusively written by female musicians from the North East of England.

Things you can expect to hear in ‘Without Apology’ by Girl From Winter Jargon:

  • A fair amount of intricate, ornamental guitar noodling.
  • A second verse with some slap bass thrown in.   Honestly, I didn’t know I had it in me.
  • Some guitar loops.
  • A cheek pop. (It’s there. Find it’s location and I will send you a lollipop.)
  • A mysterious, unexpectedly sexy, brooding jazz chord which I may never be able to replicate. Listen out for it just before the end. Maybe it’s just me?   It’s probably just me.
  • Some Clarinets. Because it’s my first, proper Girl From Winter Jargon release and I’ve still an ancient, hilarious score to settle with my former school teachers.
  • A little bit of experimentation. I tried to make a clarinet sound a bit like a violin, which involves shaking the instrument while you play for a vibrato-type effect.
  • No Drums.   Because I’m not quite ready for drums yet and besides which – trying to write a percussion-free song that is simultaneously sparse and upbeat** is a weird/fun challenge.
  • Vocal ticks and enunciation – I did a number of takes. The lines which amused me the most were the one’s I kept in.

** I say upbeat. I mean upbeat for me. As upbeat as a song can be at 75 beats per minute with a line like
“If you walked off a cliff, it would certainly make life easier for me.”


Without Apology…    Lyrically…?

Note: Lyrics for “Without Apology can be found on the website, here:
Often, when I first start to write a song, it can mean one thing at the very beginning and something entirely different by the end.
This was definitely the case here; at the beginning it all began with a basic statement – something I felt the need to get off my chest. Later, it became something akin to inner conflict.
So many things can influence me during the song writing process; sometimes, I feel as though it’s my duty as songwriter to gather and absorb external information. I’ll find myself making connections and patterns will all kinds of random, seemingly unconnected things; mental health, the 3 little pigs fable, Jesus and the sounder of swine, good vs evil, the amazing and enviable unapologetic-ness of the late, great Nina Simone.
I absorb, then re-translate all of these connections and ideas into a musical form in my brain then send them back out into the world.
It might sound ridiculous but that’s my personal take on the song writing process.


Without Apology… What is the song about? 


I can personally put a few different slants on the song, so I suppose it depends whether you’re hearing it in first / second / third person perspective. For me, it covers a lot of ground.

It’s about inner conflict.
It’s about indecision, uncertainty and fear.
It’s about the struggle of trying to be a decent person when there’s a red mist underneath.
It’s about not wanting to compromise yourself in the face of external pressures (real or perceived)
It’s about striving to be tolerant of others, while allowing for the possibility of acknowledgement and change.
It’s about feeling frustrated when expectations aren’t met.
It’s about purging ourselves of unwanted personality traits.
I tried to deliver the song with hints of ‘gallows humour’ and self deprecation in good measure.
Not everyone picks up on the subtle humour in my songs but I assure you – it is there.
I’ve always used music and song writing as a way of dealing with emotions but often find myself apologetic – in fear of saying what I really think.
That “fear” is precisely what I wanted to address in this song.
I’m willing myself to be brave.


I’m always open to, and actually fascinated with how each individual can receive and interpret music differently.
And an excellent example of this can be seen by Dominique Sherter – Daughter of French Concert Pianist – Annie Marchand Sherter (1935-2015) – who actually wrote a very interesting review of Without Apology which can be found here:  –  Without Apology – A Review by Dominique Sherter