Men Diamler – 12 Songs For A Girl
[Long-time Toad pal and all round top bloke Men Diamler has released a new album, and in a brilliant turn of events he’s made it available free to download! In this week’s Sunday Supplement the man himself introduces the album for us.]
Welcome to “12 Songs For A Girl”. Somewhere between 2009 and 2010, against every cynical bone in my body, i fell head over heels for a girl who shall remain nameless. We used to hang out a lot, doing this or that, and i was bowled over by how inspired and happy i felt whilst in her presence. I recorded some songs for her birthday, and that’s where i probably got the idea to write and record an album in tribute to her. The songs i recorded, didn’t do the minx justice. Although it must have been blatently obvious that this nervous, dishevelled dreamer was chasing her, i thought that, through the vessel of song i could explain how i felt without relying on the power of speech, which has proved lethal whenever it comes to anything important.
I put my plan to action in January 2010. The snow and cold made travelling impossible, so i found i had four days with nothing to do at home. I wrote all the songs in three days, on the only guitar i had with me (which had four strings – i found an open tuning that worked and went from there), and then set aside that fourth day to record them on my four track. I made the album, with a sleeve made out of a hardback book cover and pasted the photograph of a pig on it. I tore some Polish song from A.L. Lloyd’s volume on folk song. and pasted that for the inner sleeve. The girl was polish, you see – and it somehow fitted.
A lot of the lyrics referenced either stuff that we did together or stuff i’d learned or thought about her. It’s full of very personal references to people, places and things. The snow, like sand, found into almost everything. Despite all the references, i think some of the songs are as direct as anything i’ve ever done; Listening now, i’ve worked out (obvious i know, but i’m slow) that the album is as much about me as it is the muse. There’s a lot of opening up that would seem slightly unnerving to share with you all.
I finally gave her the copy of the album on the fourth night. She said she loved it. You are all aching to know whether she fell into my arms and we lived happily ever after? The answer is no (sob). We are still friends and see each other time to time, and that’s cool when it happens. I have played some of these songs live, and played and copies the album to various friends. Some people said i should release it. Some people said i shouldn’t. I’ve thought about rerecording the thing, but i decided i wouldn’t have the time when i’ve already got two albums to finish this year.
There’s two major reasons why i want this amongst the public. Firstly, i like it – and generally what i like, i like to share with others. It’s very messy as one would expect for an unrehearsed collection of songs recorded in a day, but some of my favourite recordings come when the chord changes and lyrics are not even dry on the page..I think it holds together well, like a bag of street urchins does in a victorian photograph. I don’t think they should be seperated.
Secondly, i need closure. I’m not greatly a person concerned with my own past and in resurrecting it. I don’t want to have a backlog of songs in the can for future projects right now – I have to keep writing anew. There so much to be done. Since i wrote and recorded this(only months), i feel i’ve changed imeasurably as a person. I’m not sure for better or for worse, but i doubt i’ll write songs like these again. A part of me in this record has left the building. My future writing from today onwards goes the other way. At present, I can still enjoy listening to this record though, and i’m sure i’ll always be proud i made it during that unforgettably cold winter.. That girl deserved an album. If you know who she is, you know it’s true. I truly hope this half hour proves a pleasant diversion for you.
Out you go,
Men Diamler, September 2010.