Lost and Later Songs #1 – Swirly

“Kite high and I don’t care about a thing

Time, fly to what tomorrow may bring”

It’s swirly, man.

“Swirly” is the first song to be released from A New International’s forthcoming album “Lost and Later Songs”, a collection of new and never before seen songs recorded under the pandemic-era lockdown conditions of 2020 (please see previous post “Lost and Later Songs” for more information).

“Swirly” was written in 2009 (the original demo file was created on 04/03/2009, at 1653h to be precise, just in time for tea). Around this time, I was beginning to collaborate with my friend Ally Kerr on his songs, working towards his album “Viva Melodia”. I’d say it was a productive time for both Ally and myself and I was enthused by Ally’s maverick, can-do attitude. I remember, in the spirit of creating a language out of whatever is inspiring us at the time, singing placeholder lyrics for the chorus of Swirly which went – “Ally’s good, Ally’s fine, Ally’s hot to let you know”.

Unfortunately, there was a snag. Come the moment of truth in the rehearsal room, we, the band, couldn’t play “Swirly” very well. We tried a few times but it didn’t half plod where it should have swirled. It quickly became another of our songs to be shelved and filed under “Too much like hard work”.

Some songs are contrary: you have to learn how to record them before you learn how to play them, odd as that may sound. To this day, we have never played “Swirly” live. Instead, it was jigsaw-pieced together according to a wish list sent to our producer Colin Elliot consisting of –

“a three-minute rush of reverb-laden dreampop with three-part harmonies, fuzzy guitars and fizzy synthesisers in a chiming burst of frazzled melody”.

Yes please, that sounds lovely. Can we have that?

It may be some time before any of us see a dancefloor again so we invite you to put “Swirly” on the turntable and have a reel around the front room on us. Perhaps, by the time we can gather together for a show again, we’ll be able to play it for you. And make it swirl.


P.S. I leave the grubby topic of filthy lucre to the end. “Swirly” will be available to stream for free in all the familiar places from its official release on Tuesday. Downloads available today from Bandcamp will be priced at the princely sum of £2. If you enjoy the song and can spare £2, it would be much appreciated and will help us on our journey, thank you.


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