For those who may appreciate some background detail, I offer below my workings.
#4 Yesterday’s Already Light Years Away
(No demo exists. Approximately 1997)
One from the analogue years, there was no demo recorded of this song at the time, or after.
From around 1996 until 1999, the band rented a rehearsal room in the Maryhill Burgh Halls. From the studio next door, we inherited an unwieldy electric piano (affectionately christened “The Coffin” by Craig) and on which I stumbled across the song’s tinkly melody. My bus home from rehearsals crossed Jamaica Bridge, over the Clyde and out to the occasionally sunlit uplands of Glasgow’s Southside. Gazing out of the top deck window, I used to see blankets tidied away neatly underneath one of the bridge arches and wonder who slept there. The lyrics began with that thought.
I remember clunkily playing through the song a couple of times in band rehearsals. When I looked around the room afterwards, all band members’ faces seemed to communicate the same reaction, namely, “Whit are we meant to dae wi that?”. A fair question. Some songs are not suited to the rough and tumble of the rehearsal room. Too much bang and crash. In this case, a slide rule and calculator may have been more useful.
There’s a bit of an unusual structure to this one and I can hear echoes of my obsession (still current and ongoing) with Prefab Sprout’s “Steve McQueen” album. As stated above, there was no demo recorded at the time, but the song hung around awkwardly for a while, like a wallflower at a dance, before quietly slipping away into the shadows, lost down the lesser travelled corridors of my mind. Once in a while I would catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye but when I turned around it was gone again.
After 25 years of rattling around in my head and without even a demo to its name, “Yesterday” can stake a fair claim as the unlikeliest character on this unlikeliest of records. A shy one, strange and a little awkward, this song may well be no one’s idea of the belle of the ball and, I would say, it is all the better for that. It is one of my favourites on the record. Some songs, and people, are not easy to know but, given the chance, will dance a dance all of their own.
(image, Sonnia Kaur)