Into The Night Playlist
Around the age of 25 (if I remember correctly) I dated this girl, Lucy, whom I was crazy about. Various turns of events happened (like she went overseas) and we were no longer together. Of course, that required a song…. called “Lucy’s Song”, which popped out onto the ASR10 sampler keyboard during a whole-night composing session. The words also came through that night.
This all happened just before we were signed to David Gresham Records, and before Qkumba Zoo was even “officially” formed. The way I would write then was to programme the beats and melodies into the ASR10, record that arrangement onto a 4 track tape recorder and then I or Levannah (mostly Levannah) would lay down the demo vocals onto the spare tracks on the 4 track. In other words a really rough and ready demo.
At that time, although we had ended our previous band, Ocean Road, we were still frequenting and playing at venues that we had built a relationship with as Ocean Road - except we were now a nameless duo experimenting with loops and electronica playing our music from backing tapes (and by backing tapes I mean those cheap cassette tapes), while Levannah sang and I played a (cheap and not so cheery) acoustic guitar. We were using backing tapes live before backing tracks became vaguely acceptable so we were definitely frowned on by the Joburg rock aristocracy, but I digress.
One of those venues we played at as Ocean Road, and later as a nameless duo, was called Wings Beat Bar. Wings Beat Bar nestled itself on Ameshoff Street in Braamfontein, close to Wits University where Levannah was studying at the time, and was a live venue for mostly alternative and rock bands – and of course us in our previous incarnation as Ocean Road, a kind of acoustic afro rock band sounding very different to everything else. Although we hadn’t yet signed to David Gresham Records, they had already shown interest so when we mentioned to Alan Goldswain (David Gresham’s business partner and the “producer” half of the partnership) that we would be playing a short set at Wings Beat Bar he came through to watch us. I was surprised (and pleased) at his interest but wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out cos we were experimenting a lot with an electronic tribal sound in these songs (which basically meant “not very poppy”) and I thought he might not “get” us and would be put off working with us.
That night we played “Lucy’s Song” and the pre-curser to “Rain”. Turned out Alan really liked them, which left us scratching our heads as we weren’t expecting that, but also a little more confident that we could work with him as he was to co-produce our first album. O, and let me not forget, Levannah was really pushing the theatricality of her stage performance resulting in more than a few calling us weird; and Wings Beat Bar was this smokey dive with a crappy sound system and the personality of metal-head intent on impressing his best friend’s girl by crashing into as many tattooed, ear-ringed, long haired, foul mouthed and stewed moshers in the pit as possible. So there was that too. But I think he liked that we were a little different. The long and the short is Alan suggested recording both songs.
I will leave “Rain” for another post, but when we brought “Lucy’s Song” into the studio both he and Brian O’Shea (our other co-producer) felt like it needed a chorus. They pushed us into various directions until we settled on a chorus. When you listen to the song the verse melody and lyrics are mine from the original “Lucy’s Song” (appropriately sung by me); and the chorus and Levannah’s singing were added when producing the song in the studio. She wrote the chorus melody and lyrics and I love how they complement the verse.
And that, is the short version (haha) of how “Lucy’s Song” became “Into the Night”, one of our favourites. I am also glad for the name change cos you know that thing that happens when you break up… well Gotye said it best in “Somebody That I Used to Know”.
About the playlist. By now you might have figured out that my music tastes are pretty eclectic. I try to reign that in a little in these playlists but no hiding the fact as this one segues through Depeche Mode, some recent dance / electro tracks, through some pop tunes, folky stuff and back to dance tracks from the 90s which I liked and used to DJ. Levannah also has eclectic musical tastes. Talking of which, I asked her to start contributing 2 songs for each playlist. She balked saying she only knows “old” songs which would be weird in a playlist. I said I was a dj and would make it work. So she agreed, and for this playlist she has added “Kiss For a Rose” and “Wuthering Heights”. We both big Seal and Kate Bush fans. To my mind Wuthering Heghts belongs in a special category of there-has-never-and-will-never-be-a-song-like-this-again-ever. Totally beautiful and unique. In the playlist is “Salva Mea” by Faithless. I ended up one night spending a bunch of time with Maxi Jazz which I will tell you about at some point.
Hope you enjoy the "Into the Night" playlist. And remember to feel free to share a playlist based around Into the Night if you like. I would be interested to hear how you interpret the song.