We've had quite a week at Racket - on Monday we all sat down as a group to listen through to the whole double-album as it stands now, and are nearly there with a final running order.
Happiness is the Road
Not only that, we have decided on an album cover! We've been debating several possibilities for the last month or so, but have all finally agreed that the glowing red 'Asylum Satellite 1' really fits the bill.
And speaking of Asylum Satellite - we've also just launched a new podcast of sound clips for the album in their nearly-finished state.
First, Asylum Satellite 1 - this is taken from the middle of the song where the orchestral crescendo of what most bands would call a "middle 8" leads into the beginning of an extended guitar workout by Mr. Rothery.
Next, Happiness is the Road - as you can hear, this has a slight nod to Jamaica but soon launches into a chorus that you won't be able to stop singing after a few listens. Catchy, but not a single as it clocks in at around 9 minutes.
Finally, Whatever is Wrong With You? - there's nothing wrong with us. We may be old but we can still rock!
RSS Podcast Feed - http://www.marillion.com/marillion-pod.rss
Direct Link to Video - http://www.marillion.com/media/podcast/20080627.mp4
If you have iTunes software already installed, go to the 'Advanced' menu, and select 'Subscribe to Podcast...'. Then just enter: http://www.marillion.com/marillion-pod.rss This will subscribe you to the Marillion Online Podcast, and automatically download the audio track (the 'Marillion Online Podcast' also appears in the iTunes Podcast directory). If you DON'T have iTunes software installed, you can get it for free: head over to www.apple.com and click 'Downloads' - then just follow the instructions.
Other important facts to know: you don't need an iPod to download the Podcast, and you don't even need iTunes to get it. Many other media players and free downloads will allow you to subscribe to Podcast RSS feeds - we'll leave it up to you to choose which one is right for you. You can also link directly to the MP3 file without subscribing to the Podcast - just visit www.marillion.com/news and click the 'journal & archive' link - all Podcasts will be archived here and direct file links will always be provided via our website.
Please note that the Marillion Online Podacst may contain strong language from the start which some listeners may find offensive.
More from the Studio
Spent last night at the studio working on a song called "Wrapped In Time" with producer Mike Hunter. This one involved a free approach with me making up the melodies and some of the lyrics on the spot. We're both looking for happy accidents during this process. It can be a bit frustrating driving home afterwards and wondering what might have been created. I'll find out tonight when we have a listen.
Tonight I'm singing on another brand new creation called "Dreamy Street". This isn't exactly a song - more of a few lines of words working against Mark's grand piano themes which lead on to the next full song. CD1 "Essence" is going to fit together like a musical stream of consciousness, and we're still not sure how exactly this will happen, but all these decisions need to be made any day now so it's a time when the album really starts to define itself as an album rather than a bunch of songs.
Between playing around with music software and regularly checking my emails, I've been working on some backing vocal ideas and a strange little synth melody I sent to Mark that might fit in the "Half Empty Jam" idea.
The relatively new track called "Dreamy Street" has also had our album artist Antonio Seijas and designer Carl Glover in a bit of a spin; more new images have now come back to us from Antonio for the album artwork.
Finally, a set list needs to be discussed and decided on for the festivals we are playing over the summer. We start rehearsing on Monday - well, I expect we'll be setting up the equipment and running a few songs to start with!
Bye for now - I'm off to put a bet on Spain!