One For The Road

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01 – Black Water

I like the idea that you can blaze your own trail with little or no external guidance. The old “I know best” egotistical view – however with a firm eye fixed to the horizon to keep you grounded. Takes a certain amount of faith to do it, in whatever amount.

You’re out that far that the water is so deep around you is that it’s black, no longer blue. You’re isolated and you have to make your own way. It then gives you a unique take / perspective on life – “have you ever found the ocean hiding in a little raindrop”?. All the ingredients are there, it’s a matter of scale – raindrop to ocean. The end is sometimes the true beginning. It’s pure leap of faith stuff. Sometimes it can even be a reinvention.

02 – Dark Angel

Mental health is more important now than it ever has been, especially with the COVID 19 pandemic. This song explores the possibility giving depression a face, an identity, a form, a being so it may be possible to physically avoid it – to find your way back “home”. You’re aware of it and possibly can take evasive action to avoid it – at any cost.

The clouds rolling in to keeping it way from your door, the pain and anguish of yelling at the moon to get answers to a question you don’t know how to ask, or indeed if there is even a question in the first place.

03 – So Far From Home

Being both lost and knowing where you are is possible. You can feel lost but know where you are physically. Reminds me of the saying that even in a room full of people you can feel like you’re the only one there. It’s about taking a chance. Gambling but not in the betting sense, but every decision made either conscious or not changes the course of life, like it or not, until the final roll the dice.

04 – Until Darkness

If you’ve ever had a job which has taken every ounce of strength to get out of bed every day to do, a job which also made you feel trapped with no direction to turn, and all of a sudden you’re forced out on your own, through no fault of your own, you may well have some connection to this one.

Until Darkness explores the feeling of being trapped in a toxic environment and a downward spiral with no way out until that day where you’re out on your forced to fight back and realise there’s a world out there which has been waiting for you to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and prove to yourself you’re actually stronger for the whole horrible experience.

05 – Tiny Tiger (Instrumental)

A song dedicated to a beloved and much-loved pet who we lost toward the start of 2021. Zeus was a tiny tiger in every aspect of her time with us. Not only strong and nurturing, but also full of love and affection.

She left a void which will remain for many years to come.

06 – Iron Heart

The unbreakable yet invisible wall we put up to stop ourselves being hurt over and over again through necessity or just damage limitation. Possibly both. A name from the past can conjure up feelings which aren’t always happy ones.

The ones which make our hearts harden to be made from iron. You’re so completely done with the games of friendships, or relationships and that key is reserved for you and you alone to open yourself back up – but with a vast amount of caution, and you’re willing to go to any lengths to keep that intact for as long as possible.

07 – One For The Road

Many years ago, my job took me all over Europe. I also spent a lot of time running software training sessions in London. Because of that, the only thing to do instead of holing up in the hotel room was to sit at the bar after eating. I’d end up talking to various people in similar positions to myself, and invariably talking to the bar staff. I’d always finish off the night with a whiskey to help me sleep.

The idea of being able to speak so much easier to complete strangers about what was on my mind rather than friends or family made it bearable. Had I told people close to me the things I told to “strangers” would have meant that it would have become a thing and not throwaway or trivial, which it was talking to strangers.

It was cathartic. It helped a great deal with the whole home / airport / hotel / conference / hotel / airport / home merry go round which was part of who I was for so many years. Just “One More For The Road”.

08 – Silver Tree

When you’ve invested in something (or someone) and you have that final straw moment. The two way street narrows sharply to a one way. You’ve given your best and you’ve given your final damn. A song about moving on. A song about moving up. Knowing when to say you know what? I’m worth more than I’m getting in return.

No matter how dark the night can be, tomorrow is always a new day and new possibilities. It’s about hope, but walking that tightrope that if anything changes, you’re back at square one. Life’s mobius strip.

The Silver Tree in the song (an actual tree in the town I grew up in – and still there) was one which over the years has given me shelter at various points. It was a safe space. It helped partly nurture resilience in many ways.

09 – Dirt Between My Toes

Inspired by Rome and the life of a nondescript General who came and sacrificed all he had for the good of others and the City. A look back on a life that once was. Not that long ago, but long ago enough to feel a lifetime or even another world away.

10 – After The Rain (Instrumental)

The final track on the album is almost a release of pressure. A grateful exhale. Something to bookend the album with. A closing statement, which I felt did not require lyrics.