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Crypt Covers – the album

Hope & Social - Crypt CoversOn Halloween 2012 we recorded a version of Ghostbusters with Hope & Social as part of their Crypt Covers project.  2 years in and Hope & Social have now completed 10 of these Crypt Covers.  These have now been released as a digital album.  We’re in good company on this album, with other collaborators Dancing Years, Merz, The Travelling Band, Duke Special, Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six, Chris Helme, Sam Airey, She Makes War, and Ellen and The Escapades.

If you haven’t seen the video of our Ghostbusters cover, it is worth a watch. Listen to the full album below, and click through to buy it from Hope & Social’s Bandcamp store.

    Hope & Social Crypt Covers – Ghostbusters!

    Crypt Covers

    The ever-amazing Hope & Social have this year embarked on a series of collaborative cover versions, known as Crypt Covers. The deal is simple yet challenging.  Hope & Social choose their musical comrade for each cover, and you suggest songs you think  should be covered. The winning song is ultimately selected and recorded all in one day.  We were chuffed to bits when Hope & Social asked us to partner them for Crypt Covers no.6. The results of the 5 Crypt Covers before ours were staggeringly good.  Ellen & The Escapades, She Makes War, Sam Airey, Chris Helme and Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six have all in turn visited The Crypt for a day, and knocked out terrific performances.

    Crypt Covers - and the winning song is Ghostbusters

    Simon and Sam K react to the wheel choosing Ghostbusters

    On Wednesday 31st October we amassed with Hope & Social.  Drawing up the shortlist was a challenge in itself.  There had been some wonderful suggestions come in, mostly via Twitter.  What with it being Halloween, there were a number of ghoulish suggestions among them.  And it could have been predicted that the wheel stopped on Ghostbusters.  It has to be said that our initial reactions to our task were mixed.  But, as it turns out, I don’t think any of us would have wanted it any other way.  Everything Hope & Social do is informed by their motto, Have Fun Make Art.  That is certainly the case with their Crypt Covers.

    The recording was complete by midnight, and and within 48 hours the ultra-efficient and skilled Shot By Sodium film team had put the resulting video online.  You watch it here.  Enjoy.  We did.

      Molehills Musings 5: Rhys

      Completing the jigsaw puzzle, with four pieces of our Molehills Musings already in place, here is the fifth and final installment, as Rhys reflects on our Molehills Out of Mountains LP.

      Last, and quite possibly least, come my belated musings on Molehills out of Mountains. I say ‘least’ because my role in, and relationship to, the album is somewhat different to the other Wilfuls. I joined (re-joined, in fact) Wilful Missing in February 2010. At this point, work on the album was already quite advanced: the songs were written and more or less arranged, some recordings were quite developed. For me, it was a case of fitting in – to the band, in general, and to a process that was well-underway. Attempts to shift the sound more towards Euro-Pop were not going to be successful (but wait until you hear the next album…).

      Others have mused on the process and the outcome, so I will do the same.

      Having played in various bands, and being a songwriter myself, I can honestly say that I have learned a great deal from watching and helping Wilful Missing make this recording. Two things impressed me most – a scrupulous attention to detail, both with respect to the arrangements and performances, and a healthy level of cooperative spirit. Sam L wrote about the way that parts weave together, and this was borne out of a willingness to really listen to what each person was playing, and for everyone to be willing to change, even drop, their parts in order that the overall arrangement worked. Anyone who has experience in bands knows this is not always easy, that people can get quite attached to what they play. I have a very strong memory of us all sitting with Albert, working on his bassline for ‘London Road‘, and being amazed at his composure, open-mindedness, and musical generosity. He set a very good example that I have tried to follow since.

      Hope & Social - Architect Of This Church

      An album 16,000 hours in the making

      I did also find the slow pace of recording (mentioned a few times in these posts) a little frustrating. Albert, always fond of a statistic, once told me how many ‘people hours’ had gone into the making of an album by Hope & Social: 16,000. While this sounds impressive, consider how few ‘people hours’ went into early albums by the Beatles, Stones, or Dylan, by comparison. After one particular gruelling session, I did ask whether 15 ‘people hours’ on a shaker part for one song was really a ‘good thing’. Next time, I would like to find a better balance between the care and attention that is part of the Wilful Missing way, and a process that captures more of the spirit and energy that is part of our live work.

      I like to think that I brought a little objectivity to the recording process, being less heavily invested in the songs and arrangements. You can thank me, dear listener, that the experiment in Bradfordian- Mongolian throat singing did not make it to the final mix.

      There is perhaps some risk of solipsism in these musings. I find it easier or safer to write about the process, rather than the outcome. Still, I think it is fair that we feel proud of the album, and not only because it got finished. Molehills out of Mountains sounds quite unique. The band have created some captivating arrangements, wrapped around songs that are rich in melody and lyrically interesting. If I must have favourite tracks, they would probably be: (more…)