The new EP from Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard is a lot of fun. Clocking in at an extravagant ten songs over a far more restrained 31 minutes, 'The Non-Stop EP' is a rollicking, pomp-infused walk through tunes inspired by an all-too-common early-20s crisis, a rock'n'roll road sign, and a miserable trip to Costa, among other everyday adventures. To celebrate its release (today, Friday 10th July, 'FYI') the band's frontman and guitarist Tom Rees talks us through the record, track by track.
Double Denim Hop
Quite embarrassingly, I wrote this song after I had made an Instagram post while visiting a friend on Scotland entitled 'do that double denim hop'. On my trip to Scotland, I was trialling the double denim look after having what can only be described as a melodramatic post-university crisis, symptomatic of many early-twenty-somethings who have been told that contributing to the economy is a breeze, you just walk into being a bioscientist, right?
Late Night City
'Late Night City' was lyrically compiled of some observations I made while walking to and from a venue I used to work in in Cardiff. I had the great luxury of starting my shift at 10pm and finishing at 5am, so was able to see some pretty incredible things at that time, I really dug on how a couple of hours can make a huge difference in the experience that people seem to be having while purging all of their demons on St Mary's Street. Musically however, I just tried ripping off 'Born on the Bayou' and here we are.
Stockholm City Rock
Perhaps one of the more widely known stories of my songwriting canon, particularly because I don't stop going on about it when we play live, this song was written on a bus from Stockholm-Arlanda Airport to Stockholm City, just after I had observed a road sign that said' NON-STOP TO STOCKHOLM CITY' (the superfans will also observe the EP's title here). I just thought that sign was one of the most rock and roll things I've ever seen, I think it's truly beautiful seeing something so rock in the everyday.
This one came about as I was trying to get what can only be described as a fairly disappointing decaf Americano in a Costa somewhere on the A470. I had acknowledged this thing I do when watching films where I realise that everyone's just an actor and it really pulls me out of the film and gives a strange element of perspective about acting, Hollywood, careerism, and all of that boring stuff nobody wants to hear about when you're in the middle of watching Bee Movie, just let Jerry Seinfeld be a bee, man!
Anyway I was in this Costa, and I started applying that same technique to everyone getting coffee, and I realised that everyone was acting, in one way or another.
Theme From Early Morning City / Theme From Late Night City
The two themes tie nicely into what I was observing in writing Late Night City, there is a bridge that crosses the River Taff, which I have to cross to get into town and previously to get into work. I was thinking as I was crossing that bridge, if I were a camera, filming my journey, what music would accompany it at both of these times; walking to work at 10pm and walking home at 5am, the two themes were the result.
Long Day / Free Day
SIDE TWO! This one is probably one of the most organic songs, I had just had a really bad day and wrote a song about it, beautifully simple. Anytime I have a bad day, or a day that I feel I haven't done enough work, I always get this strange paranoid anxiety that all of my friends are doing incredible amounts of insanely creative and honourable work, hence the final lines.
What Is Hate?
My favourite of the EP I think, a real underdog. I wrote this one with zero intention at all, and just tried to have fun with words in a classic Magic Mystery Tour kind of way, hate, plate, behaviour, dictator etc. I think the snare is panned hard right too, which at the time would have been a very hard decision for me to make, I know what you're thinking, get a grip, and I will.
John Lennon Is My Jesus Christ
My child, my sweet, sweet child. I wrote this one in Madeira while visiting my girlfriend's parents, I was having a conversation with my girlfriend's father about what bands we love, and John Lennon came up, to which he exclaimed: 'BIGGER THAN JESUS!' - he was slightly wrong because that was more of a Beatles issue than a JL issue, but I let it slide, and later on that evening wrote the whole song in about ten minutes on a nylon guitar my girlfriend had in her childhood bedroom. The songs that come out in ten minutes or less are always my favourites, oozing out of the cerebellum.
Sugarloaf Mountain Crucify Me
I had a crack at writing a song that was actually emotionally and contextually relevant to me and my life, instead of writing cheap rock songs about denim and Stockholm, and this is the final result. It all kind of revolved around the cathartic process of writing a song that was a little bit more honest about my own feelings, how I view my relationships with other people and how I want to be a better person. We have a Sugarloaf Mountain in Abergavenny in Wales, and I've always viewed it as this monolithic deity that observes Abergavenny and Crickhowell (it also looks over Green Man Festival so maybe a couple of late nights doing God knows what after watching King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard had something to do with it seeming so Godly), with this in mind I thought it might be cool to explore the idea of climbing the whole thing just to purge yourself of all the tiny awful things you've ever done, so you can feel clean and free etc. I always feel really guilty about remembering tiny times I fucked up like when I told my mam my Tae-Kwon-Do recital was an hour later than it actually was, and she didn't get to see me do high kicks and sit-ups, this song is about cleansing yourself of all that residual guilt.