Posts in Fat Cat Records
Adam Thompson, We Were Promised Jetpacks

We Were Promised Jetpacks' second album In the Pit of the Stomachrepresented a bit of a departure for the band's songwriter, Adam Thompson.  He wrote their first album These Four Walls in a rather spontaneous fashion: not paying too much attention to the lyrics, just playing the music and, in his words, sometimes "mumbling anything to get the song done." The lyrics were almost an afterthought.

But that changed with Pit, because with this second album came expectations from the music world that were absent from their debutAfter all, you don't get that "it's time to make another album" feeling before you've ever done anything. So Thompson's lyrical process, and in turn its content, became more deliberate: though he still never sits down with the express idea of writing a song, on Pit Thompson tried to string together themes across the songs while spending more time on his laptop crafting the words (and drinking some good rum, I might add).

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Scott Hutchison, Frightened Rabbit

The literary history of the British Isles is filled with writers for whom the water played a major role. There's Virginia Woolf, William Butler Yeats, Dylan Thomas, James Joyce, and Shakespeare, among many others.  This is hardly surprising, of course, given that they lived on an island and were surrounded by water.

So it made sense that Scott Hutchison, singer and songwriter for the Scottish band Frightened Rabbit, took to the seaside to write their latest album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks on FatCat Records.  Hutchison wrote the songs only about 100 meters from the water.  Unsurprisingly, the water had a powerful effect not just on his inspiration, but on the finished product itself: he noticed, upon listening to the album, that many of the songs had a cadence and rhythm that matched the crashing of the waves onto the beach. 

Hutchison's success as a songwriter also depends, as you'll read, on his ability to make songwriting a routine, something that many songwriters are loathe to do.  He sets aside time to write instead of waiting until he feels like doing it.  Hutchison finds that this method of enforced discipline yields the best songs.  It's a habit that began in college, when he was studying art and illustration; Hutchison was often done with projects in the late afternoon, while his friends toiled well into the night.

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Dave Davison, Maps & Atlases

Dave Davison doesn't really understand the label “math rock” that some people have given his band Maps and Atlases. Math rock the music, like mathematics the subject, after all, requires “coldness and calculation,” according to Davison. But the four members of Maps and Atlases met at Columbia College in Chicago—an art school.  Davison majored in cultural studies, Erin Elders and Chris Hainey were film majors, and Shiraz Dada majored in sound engineering. As a band, they’ve been called math rock because of their complex rhythmic structures and unconventional time signatures.  But with their debut release Perch Patchwork (Barsuk Records), they've written what critics have called a more accessible sound.  Regardless, Maps & Atlases plays some wonderfully unique and creative music.  But that's what you get when four guys from art school start a band. 

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