Taken From His New LP The Alphabet of Hurricanes Out March 16th On Cooking Vinyl
Announces UK Winter Tour, US Tour To Follow
“…boasts erudite songs yet avoids the usual singer-songwriter manner of “interesting” lyrics or streaming confession.” Rolling Stone
“…a deep well of hidden wisdom” Drowned In Sound
“…McRae seeks solace in plucking out the pain, leaving old wounds to heal without much care, but molding his soul into something more rough-edged and knowledgeable.” All Music Guide
Still love you
“like a wolf on a black new moon, a shadow boxer at high noon, I’m acting lost and so confused”
Says it all really, in between states of life are interesting for me, not knowing where you’ll be living next week, quite what you’ll be doing. I’ll take confusion over certainty every time. It’s not called dead certain for nothing.
“I know I’m born with a prophet’s curse, never see the good only see the worst”
I wanted a Klezmer or New Orleans feel to this song, something a bit waltzy and musically at odds with the unpleasant lyric. I’d like to be getting less angry as I get older, it just doesn’t seem to happen. My pessimism seems boundless. But at least I’m aware of it – and that’s stage one of my 12 step plan of how to get hopeful. To be honest, I don’t think it’s going to work.
Summer Of John Wayne
“the winding down of days, and the speeding up of time won’t change”….
I’m a big western fan… I bought a box set of John Wayne movies and watched him age in the space of a few days during one hot summer in New York. It was a reminder that we don’t have much time to celebrate or mourn each passing day, so in a city of personal ghosts it’s best to make peace with your past and move on.
Fifteen Miles Downriver
“It’s time I realised a man can’t fight the tide, and the moon has more influence than me”
You have to have at least one river song if you’re a singer-songwriter. It’s the law. On this record there are two, so I’m getting them out of the way now. I like the possibility of a different life being just around the river bend, it could get better, or there could be a waterfall. Either way you’re going to find out.
Told My Troubles To The River
“I told my troubles to the river, but the river brings them back to me”
Anyone who’s had even half a life carries a few regrets and a few ghosts with them. They come back to you when you least expect it. I wanted to put that sensation in a percussive song, something driving and repetitive, like someone trying to outrun the advancing tide.
“I’ve burned all colour and flame from this hot ambition that once held me.”
Melancholy isn’t fatal, it seems to only be the English that can’t allow themselves to revel in it as a counterpoint to the total blandness of unmediated happiness. What the hell ever came out of being happy? Happy people make me nervous.
“Give you sun, you give me shade, and seven years of hurricanes, but now my love I’m sundialling my days away.”
The pop song on the record, I even doubled the vocals – I can spot coolness from a distance, but can’t lay claim to having any of my own. I think the tupperware stood in for drums quite nicely.
Me & Stetson
“blood to the bruise like wisdom to the long-lived fool, finally the shame brings understanding.”
This is another travelogue song. If you go seeking a revelatory drug experience in the desert, you have to be prepared to wake up with a lot of sand in your pants. It’s a good motto for life.
Can’t Find You
“But I’ll keep playing Atlas baby, though my shoulders ache, and I’ll spin this old world around, trying to see your face.”
Singer-songwriter carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, world could care less. But the best love is always unrequited.
“Singing with no shame in this broken choir, songs to save you from the fire, home before the liquor and echoes fade, sleeping in the shadow of the Empire State.”
Even an atheist can have fun singing carols and being drunk at midnight mass. At least me and the priest had that much in common. This might be the happiest song I’ve ever written, which makes a change.
UK TOUR DATES
Feb 22nd – Newcastle – Academy 2
Feb 23rd – Leeds – Brudenell Club
Feb 24th & 25th – Glasgow – King Tut’s
Feb 27th – Manchester – Club Academy
Feb 28th – Liverpool – Academy 2
March 1st – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms
March 2nd – Birmingham – Glee Club
March 4th – Cambridge – Junction
March 5th – Oxford – Academy
March 6th – Brighton – Concorde
March 7th – Portsmouth – Wedgewood Rooms
March 14th – Belfast – Spring & Airbrake
March 16th – Bristol – Academy 2
March 17th – London – Scala