Our Frail Hearts

by Charley Bickers

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about

I just want to clarify that this is my debut album and it is not the record that has been produced by Nick McCabe or that features Nick and Fyfe. That will be my third album and will be released later on this year.

‘Our Frail Hearts’ is an album that has taken five years to complete yet many of the songs were written and recorded in the space of a few hours. The fact that it has taken so long certainly isn’t as a result of years spent racking up extravagant studio costs whilst obsessing over the sonic minutia. It’s more that for a long period of time I had lost the motivation to do anything with my own music. I had previously spent a long time travelling up and down the country in the token transit, gracing the stages of the most salubrious toilet tour venues whilst being tentatively courted by the a&r of the time, each waiting for ‘the big radio song’ and I was slowly growing tired of it.

It was the evening before our major industry showcase, when my good friend and drummer died. It was to be the first of three deaths within a short period of time. One of whom had been my first love and partner of nearly seven years; all were young and all were lost in tragic circumstances. I decided to take a break, other interests developed and gradually life began to get in the way. Over the coming years I found myself with my own record label and music publishing company, releasing a handful of great bands from all over the world, the most recent being ‘Saint Saviour’ and administering the publishing for labels such as ‘Fierce Panda’.

Throughout this period I was still writing and recording but it was simply for my own enjoyment and a cathartic need as opposed to any burning ambition. Many of the songs were recorded as they were written here in my bedroom and the intention had always been to re-record them in a proper studio. By this point I had begun to work on a record with Nick McCabe and I can credit him for being the one to help me realise that there is a certain inexplicable beauty to be found at the moment of creation. If you are lucky enough to have captured it then it is something that can never be re-created, even in the most state of the art studio. As it turned out I had been lucky enough to catch it a few times and he was right, I would sacrifice a shiny, polished finish for that moment now every time. I’m really excited for you to hear the work we did together and will be releasing that album later on this year.

During the course of making ‘Our Frail Hearts’ I have lived in nine different homes in three different cities. From narrowboats on the river Avon to flats in London and finally down here by the sea in Brighton. I have travelled to fifteen different countries, ridden the length of Vietnam, written two books, released records by twelve different bands and been in three different relationships. So to me ‘Our Frail Hearts’ is a musical diary, each track brings with it its own cluster of memories and takes me back to some of the hardest and happiest times of my life. Like any diary it feels a little disconcerting to share but I think this is the way it should be listened to. It is only in this context that it makes any real sense. It is an incredibly personal album in so far as I have done all the artwork, the videos, produced much of it myself, I will be releasing it through my own record label and publishing it myself. It is as untouched in that respect as I could make it but also incredibly collaborative in that it could never have been made without the help of many people both directly and indirectly along the way. I have been fortunate to play with some incredible musicians and great friends. Rob’s drumming can still be heard on the tracks ‘Switch on the Radio’ and ‘Burning Bridges’. It is an honest record of the years and events that bring us to the present day.

I will be releasing ‘Our Frail Hearts’ on January 28th through Bandcamp in order to give people the option of having it as a free download or paying what they feel it is worth. Finally I would like to dedicate this album in loving memory of Lisa, Rob and Vicky.

Charley

credits

released 28 January 2013

The many musicians and producers who made such important contributions to this record. In no particular order:

Rob, Jimmer, Big Dave, Chris Chislett, Beth Porter, Denby, Noel Drew, Jonny Scafidi,Sophie Annett, Paul Corkett, Si Jones, Raj, Patrick Bird, Mel Draisey, Chris Bell

And my family for their inexhaustible love and support.

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Track Name: Sleep Well
Sleep well, friends and lovers and my family
and don't think bad of me.
Please treasure your memories as i'll treasure mine
and in time we'll meet again.
But I need you here with me.
We need you here with us.
I'm trying to believe,
I'm trying to forgive you.

Words fail me when I need them most
but there's only one thing that I ask.
Please forgive me for this tragedy
I never meant to break your hearts

We're footprints in the sand,
The fish that made the land.
When it's time to leave
the first thing that you'll see
will be me
smiling back at you.