Hello again, dear music lovers, and welcome back to our safe space where we try to present to you new exciting artists that we discover and come to love.
Today, we we're touched by this band that has dedicated an album to a very hard thing to do as a person in any kind of abusive or just wrong relationship: leaving.
Luke Westendarp (vocals, keys), Dan Wansell (guitars, backing vocals), Pete Nixon (Bass) and Andy Grieve (Drums) got together and first started writing and playing as The Third Man in 2001 when they met at Edinburgh College of Art while Dan and Luke were studying Painting.
"We recorded one album in Dundee at Thinking Man Studios called Restart the Clocks which we self published in 2005 and a three track EP shortly afterwards and then in about 2007 Dan and Andy moved to London and we only got together occasionally for gigs."
In 2020, luckily for us, they were inspired to start writing together again and started working on Somewhere to Leave.
"We wrote this album remotely from 4 different cities during the Covid lockdown years where we couldn't really get together.
Somewhere to leave is a collection of songs about leaving - which is a subject that has always fascinated us, particularly the positive aspects of getting out of somewhere or something that you really need to, and also how hard that can sometimes be."
The whole album is very emotional when listened to carefully, but the band managed to tell these stories in an artistic and safe way. The first song, What She Wrote sets the tone for the album in a story that shows how difficult it is to leave an abuser with some lyrics that send chills down your spine: If you want to save me you have to go/If you ever loved me then leave me/Please don't let me go.
Haven was inspired by stories of victims of domestic abuse who were effectively trapped in their homes with abusive partners during covid lockdowns in the UK. This was a really tricky one to write lyrically so it didn’t sound too heavy handed about a situation none of us had been in ourselves.
This song describes the hotel rooms that the victims of abusive relationships got as a safe procedure once they managed to escape their home. The emotional violence was so strong that the hotel is described as "a haven for the night".
The first track that got to a nearly complete stage of production in the process of recording the album, Interlude is a portrait of a room and the person who lives there, inspired by our own childhoods in the 80s and the kind of gritty nostalgia of early Suede songs that were really influential in our teenage years. This song paints the picture of a sad, but somehow peaceful place, with some elements one might find comforting from their own childhood: A wrought iron balcony/And cracked china bowls/A weed strewn garden/With grey ash and coal.
Saviour is one of our favourite songs, The initial riff dan sent me recorded on his phone grabbed us immediately and we knew we needed to make it special. It’s a particularly fun song to play live.
The lyrics blur the line between dating and religion and what the subject of the song thinks she needs to sort her life out.
Probably one of our favorites too, we found a strange comfort in this song due to it being so relatable for people who have learned about the selfless love of God and found themselves searching for it in their partners.
4. Before Anyone Knew
Before Anyone Knew was almost entirely written by Dan. The three interweaving fingerpicked guitar parts and the lyrics were sent up to me to put together in the production. I made a few tweeks to the words but this one was really quick to finish.
This one is a real anthem to our childhoods.
Our favorite song that gives us goosebumps everytime, Before anyone knew talks about the innocence of the young, before every difficult time, before the teenager hormones, before the stress of an adult, there was a simpler and happier time, childhood.
This is possibly my favourite track on the album, it’s really quite complex in it’s production with a changing time signature and tempo and took a long time to write with all of us contributing in our own ways.
It’s the climax of the album both musically and also in the idea of leaving. This time we’re writing about how hard it can be to break out of a relationship and actually take the step to get free.
A truly heart breaking song for anyone who has been in this situation, When tells a story of trying to get a clear mind after being abused and manipulated, a story about trying to find reasons to stay when you have all the reasons to go, but you just cant make yourself to do so.
The entire album is an absolute masterpiece, it's soft, it's comforting and it's eye opening and hopefully it will serve as an emotional support for relationship abuse victims and not only.
You are not alone.
Until next time,