Tuesday, January 31, 2023

I Don't Hear a Single

Aside from having one of the best blog (and blogger) names out there, Don Valentine is the cool bloke and astute writer behind the "I Don't Hear A Single" site.
With a dizzying array of indie music reviews, it's obvious that he loves the music he writes about, and feels a kinship with us struggling artists out there who persist in this whole music-making lark.
Obviously, releasing albums with a view to making money is a bit of a fool's errand, so speaking for myself, it's all a bit of a labour of love. I simply want to create records that I can be proud of; let the chips fall where they may. The reality is that it can be a lonely and frustrating endeavour out there putting these things together on miniscule budgets and struggling to promote them (ask anyone with "Independent Musician" in their bio!), so having someone who values what we bring to the table and takes the time to shine a little light on it, is really encouraging and much appreciated.
Have a look around his site and see for yourself, and while you're there have a look at his kind words about Shadow Play

Friday, January 06, 2023

Life On A Trampoline

The Robinson sisters (Steve and Emma) on background vocals; XTC's Dave Gregory on his trusty SG; Ed Woltil on loads of stuff, including his beloved Looney Tunes timpani drum. (Don't ask)
It's a scream...it's Life On a Trampoline!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Read Listen Watch

Robinson & Woltil Shadow Play review

A heartfelt thank you to Andres Kabel, for his rather eloquent review of Shadow Play. It's the first one out of the gate and it's a beaut. Thank you sir!


Friday, October 07, 2022

What we did on our Covid holidays...


Cycle, the last Steve Robinson & Ed Woltil release back in 2015 holds a special place in my heart. A fair amount of blood, sweat, tears and grinding of teeth went into it. As I remember, we originally envisioned it as a bloated double album set; almost a willful attempt to be as unbearably pretentious as possible. Ultimately, common sense prevailed as we jettissoned several songs and a rather pompous instrumental segue section, ending up with a rather more sensible 12-track album (13 tracks, if you count the opening 20-second prelude that somehow eluded the editing scissors.)

Shadow Play proved to be an altogether smoother affair. Songs came together quite quickly and it seemed like we zoomed from exchanging early sketched song ideas to hashing out final mixdown decisions in the blink of an eye. I really can't take much credit for this; much of it was down to Ed's alarming work ethic and otherworldy musical focus. His instincts are such, that instrumental touches he adds to our songs almost always seem to hit the mark. He does it so quickly too. I mean, I'm really quite happy with my musical contributions to a slew of the songs we've worked on together, but I also know they're usually a result of considerable trial and error. I'll add and replace guitar and vocal parts over a few weeks until I feel I've landed on the right approach. Ed, on the other hand, will receive a song of mine via email, and the next day he'll toss it back painted with instrumental colours that I didn't even realise I wanted. Mental.

Now, I don't know if this album is better than Cycle (whatever that might mean) but for me, I think that making this one might have been even more enjoyable, in a way. Whether it's due to getting older and more sappy, limping through the jarring stops and starts of the pandemic/lockdown, or simply the realization of just how special it is to have a musical foil like Ed to work with, I'm really not sure. I do feel like our hearts are in it though, and I just treasure it. 

The album will soon be available at the usual streaming sites (iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music etc) and hard copies in a swanky gatefold CD wallet with lovely artwork courtesy of Ed will also be available at Bandcamp. Speaking of which, we’re set up for pre-orders of Shadow Play at the Bandcamp site. You get 2 tracks now (a power-pop nugget called Kickstart and a rather bouncy, Beatlesque gem called Life On a Trampoline, which features XTC’s Dave Gregory on guitar duty), plus the complete album the moment it’s released. Have a listen here:  Shadow Play

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Highly recommended, apparently...


"With The Headlights connection, it will probably be labelled Folk Pop, but Swallowing The Sun is more Pastoral Pop. It is a beautifully arranged album, gentle, magnificently moody, whilst still being melodic. Plenty of hooks, but far more it is about a vibe." - Don Valentine, I Don't Hear a Single

Really kind words from Mr Valentine, for sure. Don't know if he hears a single or not, but I'll take it anyway...


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Wild God

When I was a kid, religious people were towering figures, rather than cowering ones. Being a good Christian was hard; it was a lofty goal that took a lot of work, commitment and, well…goodness. For starters, you were expected to look after your fellow man without lusting after his wife, tend to the poor and infirm, forgive those who would do you harm, and be able to drop all manner of biblical verses into casual conversation. When asked for your favorite bible quote, answering, “5 Corinthians walked into a bar...” probably means you're not up to the task. 

Now, despite my smart-arse attitude and assorted moral failings, I always respected those who called themselves Christians and did their best to live up to the ideals of their faith. I still do, despite the preponderance of loudly hypocritical bible thumpers in the political realm who wield their holy book as weapons of a culture war of their own creation. 

Those who attend church and quietly follow the teachings of Jesus Christ with kindness and love in their hearts are inspiring; fetid prosperity-gospel charlatans fleecing the vulnerable, and dog-whistling politicos spouting out random bible verses to justify their hideous deeds and rampant cowardice is just nauseating. It’s so far away from what I was taught about the Christian faith, that I can’t help but think that if Jesus were to return (and assuming he could get through immigration), he would kick their sorry arses.

Wild God (lyrics)

Heading south with butter melting in your mouth 
It’s drawn and quartered messenger for tea 
Egos grazed and voices raised and there’s no doubt 
You exhale and I’ll forget to breathe 

Deva fly on broken wing 
Church of rage and idiot king 
Sing again 
Eat your words and spew your junk 
Fill your boots till you’re all sunk 
Drunk on wild god 

Silk pajama dramas by the kitchen sink 
You kill all conversation with your thumbs 
There’s no shame, there's no taboo, just doublethink 
Gift the kool aid knowing they’ll succumb 

Deva fly on broken wing 
Church of rage and idiot king 
Sing again and again 
Eat your words and spew your junk 
Fill your boots till you’re all sunk 
Drunk on wild god 
Drunk on wild, wild god 

Look who’s crawling out from underneath his stone 
Loosey-goosey stepping as he goes 
There’s no rest for the wicked or the innocent 
in sad saluting, empty suited rows 

Deva fly on broken wing 
Church of rage and idiot king 
Sings again and again 
Eat your words and spew your junk 
Fill your boots till you’re all sunk 
Drunk on wild god 
Drunk on wild, wild god

Monday, June 07, 2021

Living in the moment?


Another silly one from Swallowing The Sun; one totally deserving of a little silly visual accompaniment.

Emptying your head in order to become fully immersed in the moment sounds simple enough, but it's a royal struggle isn't it? I think it might be a little easier to do in a song than in everyday life. That is, until your dog barges into your studio during a vocal take. As you can hear, I left in Finley's contribution at the close of the song. It seemed like the zen thing to do. Or something.

Can you dig it?

"Robinson’s regal melodies offer the essence of a timeless treasure, with each track as absolutely effusive as the next. This Sun shines brightly indeed." - Lee Zimmerman

As befitting a self-confessed music nerd, I've perused many a copy of Goldmine Magazine over the years, so I was more than a little chuffed to see that Lee Zimmerman had written a few kind words for the publication in question: https://www.goldminemag.com/columns/indie-spotlight-steve-robinson-brian-dolzani-evvan-and-others