We have an exclusive track by track feature for you from Brit Alternative Rock combo, LUNA KISS, who release their new album, Following Shadows, which is out this Friday.
We spoke to Wil Russell (lead singer/guitarist) who gave us a unique insight to each of the tracks that make up the record:
When writing Hold On we wanted a track that would open the album with a bang a and had some chunky guitar sounds and a strong chorus line. The track took a while to come into its own. We had the main chorus and verse structure, but it wasn’t until later on in the process that I came up with the bridge and outro. The whole song carries a very positive message that you are going to keep falling but you have to hang on and stick at your goals. We are all made of something and incredible in our own ways. The drum intro came in literally at the last minute. We wanted a big Intro that we knew would work on the record and at our live shows.
This is one of the older tunes. Written very quickly in probably around 2014. Chris emailed me the chord progression as you hear it today and I had the lyrics penned that evening. The outro instrumental has some cool guitar tones. We really liked the idea of creating this three-part harmony at the end with the guitars that all descended into this really dirty E minor chord. During demoing Chris, mrs turned up and threw down some vocal oohhhs that just worked, we then convinced her to play a cello part I had written. It came together well.
You Are was the last track we wrote for the record. It must have been written maybe six weeks before we went to Out House Studios. I knew we needed a big chorus and something a little heavier to contrast the lighter tunes on the record. You are just kind of happened. I’d had the bridge penned out in a major key for months and discovered it in my lyric book. The 7/8 signature kind of gives it that rumba dance vibe which gives it a real groove and I also think gave James a real opportunity to hit some chops, especially live. Watch the video for the track, here – https://youtu.be/iTNFdfD9p2Q
Ross and Chris had been listening to a lot of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. The bass line really originated from that. We wanted to incorporate the Kelstone (an instrument a chris plays) to give it a percussive feel, somewhat closer to the piano. I’d been listening to a lot of Banks and more R and B at the time. The lyrics flow quite consistently and with quite a square rhythm. The song is all about finding a new, exciting relationship but slowly realising you’ve just fallen for the same type of person again. The bell sound… James wanted a bell, it sounded cool, he got his bell.
Harts the first acoustic track on the record. Our influences from people like Bon Iver and City and Colour have lent to a more folk sound here. The song is about an old Stagg passing on his wisdom to the young hart as he passes to the other side. The end has a chunky vocal harmony that was a way of exploring my vocal range and adding a bit of a dramatic end.
This song was a lot of things before it was close, but we discovered if we spend it up it became a real energetic tune. We had a lot of fun with this in the studio. James got busy with percussion and a Chris has some really cool guitar sounds. The song comes in around 3 minutes. The speed and energy of it makes it feel like it starts and ends in a flash. It’s a good breath of fresh air.
Tribulations is one of our long tracks on the album. Close is like running a sprint whilst Tribulations is like running a marathon. Chris went through a stage of weird guitar tunings; out of it he gave birth to Tribulations. The track really explores a load of dynamics from the soft start to the intense guitar solos. We went through a stage of really loving our time signature changes which you can hear throughout Tribs. Tribulations is one of those tracks that we all put a lot of ideas into and was truly collaborative, it’s really good fun to play live.
Take Her Away:
This was originally a single that we released with a video way back in 2012. We knew that one day it needed to be on an album. It’s got a huge riff at the start and end which is also borrowed for the chorus. It’s a bluesy track where Chris gets to show off his chord voicings. The breakdown is a recent addition to the track. We wanted to make it more current and tie it in more with this album. We made James play through the breakdown and then sliced up four bars and looped it to give it a regimental electronic feel. He got his sweat on for nothing! It has a few guitar solos on it too because every rock album needs a seasoning of guitar solos.
Gravity was the start of a change of sound for us. During 2015 we were listening to a lot of Brand New and Manchester Orchestra. The track is very chord based and beefy. I knew I was after some positive chant that would work live. The “I Won’t Fall” seemed to tick that box. This track is one of few on the record where Ross gets to have is musical say. The bass solo just came out of him during a writing session and it stuck.
This is our title track. Following Shadows is a tune I wrote at about eleven p.m and just came really organically. It’s the second acoustic track on the record and it’s one where we really wanted to push our creativity and boundaries. The main features are vocal samples, the “vocoder” pitched vocals and the TR-8 drum machine. Having feasted on the likes of Imogene Heep, Justin Vernon and James Blake for many years I guess that’s where the vocal sound came from. The main vocal sample is thrown around like a beech ball. Chris uses it a little bit in his parts and I use it as the main hook coming out of the instrumental break down, that was a really fun idea that came out of nowhere. We really tried to not let it explode but we couldn’t resist a big ending. Hit up the video, here – https://youtu.be/o5M5IWu6BlE .
This is the final track on the album and one we felt needed to be at the end. It’s fitting that the album starts and ends with a really positive and powerful vibe.
The track was a hard tune to forge. We had the verse in many different forms before we settled on its current format. The riff took a while to present its self. Chris and I wanted some kind of unison part that we could have fun with. The bridge was great fun to write. We stripped the drum groove right back to hi hats and then James started to slowly bring it all back in, it just works so well and makes the ending feel so much fuller. The outro ends with the “I’m not afraid” chant. It’s a really strong message that we felt was lending itself to becoming he main theme of the track. Whilst there’s no definitive chorus on this track there are many hook lines to get stuck into. Watch the lyric video, here – https://youtu.be/_SKqlS84unc . ”