Recorded at Netil House in east London and Angelic Studios in Banbury, Born Under Saturn saw the song writing split four ways with Dave also producing the record. Lyrics often emerged naturally from the sound of the music. There are dark dramas like Found You, which draws on the myth of Faust’s deal with the devil, and Shot Down, a bloody tale of crime and betrayal. Jim wrote the sighingly beautiful Beginning to Fade while contemplating writer’s block and the atmospheric, synth-driven High Moon, says Dave, is about people who “come alive at night”.
Dave, Jim, guitarist Vinnie Neff and keyboardist Tommy Grace — met at art school in Edinburgh and released their first single, after moving to east London, in 2009. They took their time evolving a uniquely open-minded sound in which every influence is welcome but nothing sounds cluttered or forced. “We don’t stop ourselves going in any direction because we’ve all got very individual styles so it always ends up sounding like us.” Says Vinnie.
Since the last record, the band have also embraced other creative opportunities, Dave travelled to Mali with Damon Albarn’s Africa Express, and Dave and Tommy worked on the score for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of John Webster’s bloodthirsty Jacobean tragedy The White Devil. The band created a song for the film Slow West which recently won the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film. The film was written and directed by Dave’s brother John Maclean. Dave established his own label, Kick and Clap, named after the club night he launched when he first moved to Dalston and Vinnie and Jim collaborated with award-winning artist Haroon Mirza at Stromboli Arts Festival last summer, at the foot of the island’s volcano.
After all this activity they were hungry to make album number two. “We built up momentum more than expectation,” says Dave. “We were keen to get back to making music. Going from a lo-fi bedroom record, sitting in your flat in your pjyamas, to playing to huge crowds, you learn a lot.”
Born Under Saturn expands on the slippery, indefinable brilliance of the debut, finding magic in the unexplored spaces between different kinds of music, and never doing the same thing twice.
“We thought we’d sell to little pockets of people and set up our own live shows in art spaces,” says Dave. “We never thought it would end up the way it did. Once that happens, you have to keep pushing. You can’t sit still.”
Track listing: 1. Gian 2. Shake And Tremble 3. Found You 4. First Light 5. Pause Repeat 6. Reflections 7. Vibrations 8. Shot Down 9. High Moon 10. Beginning To Fade 11. 4000 Years 12. Break The Glass 13. Life We Know
With bonus CD
Django Django – Fruit & Veg
2.Barundi BlackbyBarundi Black
3.Ram on byPaul McCartney
4.All the Tired HorsesbyBob Dylan
5.LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDSbyLouis Van Dyke
6.Everybody’s Gotta LivebyLove
7.God Only Knows (inst)byThe Beach Boys
9.Basileby Engins Bizarres
10.CollagebyThe Three Degrees
11.‘Silly Games’byJanet Kay
12.Quiet PlacebyHorace Andy
13.FrantiquebyThe Ian Langley Group
14.JellybeanbyThe Night Caps
15.I Dig LovebyAsha Puthli
16.It’s Choade My DearbyConnan Mockasin
17.Desire Be Desire GobyTame Impala
19.All is LonelinessbyMoondog