Hyde and Beast’s second gambit is their most impressive to date, a fully-formed and ultra-assured call to arms in the shape of new LP ‘Keep Moving’. The project of Dave Hyde (The Futureheads) and Neil Bassett (The Golden Virgins), it’s a smart, spruced-up filtering of ideas that doesn’t so much link up to the pair’s respective other projects as form territory of its own.
Ahead of its 4th August release on Tail Feather Records / Caroline International, Hyde and Beast have been kind enough to provide a track-by-track on their record. The follow-up to 2011 debut ‘Slow Down’ borrows some elements of its predecessor - a smoky blues influence, the occasional nostalgia trip - but there’s a whole lot more going on here. They sound like veteran studio-heads without the self indulgence, pushing knowhow minus any smugness. ‘Blue’ is a strutting lead number, and the record’s title-track (out now as a single) is a road-tripping juggernaut.
Below, the band provide a guide to every track on the record. Listen to the album in full on their official site, alongside an old family polaroid for every song that appears on the LP.
Open Your Heart
This is our kitchen sink song, as it has everything but the kitchen sink! Horns, brass, a way too long guitar solo, gospel singers. Bam! It’s a bit of a weepy this one and documents a break up. It has two drum kits playing at the same time (I think it was both Dave and I drumming on this one but can’t be certain as the recording process was and still is a bit of a blur!).
Like I’m Grass
Me and Dave worked this one out in one night, in Dave’s back garden in Sunderland, sitting around a BBQ for heat. We always knew it was gonna be a hazy/lazy/woozy song. I guess because we were sitting around a BBQ in a garden we ended up singing about sky, ashes, fire, grass. The horn section idea came from my repeated listening to ‘Virginia’ by Manfred Mann which has a totally dissonant horn break in it that cracks me up every time I hear it.
I love the oriental sounding intro to this song but Dave took a little convincing at first. I am glad he came around. This song was a rarity in that we were meant to be recording a different song that day, I had set up the drums and got the microphones positioned and was about to hit record when Dave started noodling on the piano, playing something I had never heard before. I joined in drumming along. Before we knew it we had a brand new song. It just appeared out of the fog. Grinning at us. A big ugly smile! It’s nice when this happens, but it’s rare!
‘Keep Moving’ is the title of our album. I think it’s fitting as we had both individually been through a rough year personally and when times are tough you just have to keep moving! I had always wanted to have a song with the drum beat that appears on ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ by Slade. It’s a great beat but very underused these days and it was an absolute pain in the arse to play in time (possibly why it is very underused!). I managed to sing what I thought the guitar solo at the end should be and our live bass player, the slender and graceful Steve Angus, picked up a guitar and nailed it.
I honestly cannot remember recording this little fella. Maybe he just recorded himself and turned up to the party! The lyrics are a little cryptic with talk of animals, Noah and the washing of eyes but at the end of the day it’s about wanting to protect and help someone who had been the through the mill a bit.
This rotten bugger was an absolute pain to get out. It was the first song we started to record on this album and was the last one finished. Along the way we re-recorded it 3 times trying to get it right. But we got there. We record and mix ourselves and I was trying to summon up the guitar tone from Norman Greenbaum’s ‘Spirit in the Sky’. The Giddy Mama’s singers came up from London to add some lovely gospel backing vocals which was the icing on the cake.
Suits Me Fine
This song is an ode but I can’t really say here to what. The amazing lap steel player and spaceman Tom Fletcher came in and played those beautiful country tinged steel guitar parts. I love how this song really just slows down in places. Like it’s melting.
Forever Your Own
My personal favourite on the album. The guys who played brass on this album Simon, Will & Andy (affectionately known by us as lips, lungs and cheeks) just absolutely smashed this song. The beautiful duelling saxophone solo after the chorus was just those guys warming up so I hit record. A happy happy accident.
I spent ages trying to convince Dave (Hyde) that instead of the open line being “I’m terrified, mystified, everywhere I go” he should sing “I’m Mister Hyde, I’m terrified, everywhere I go” just because it cracked me up so much. Obviously we didn’t do that!
Train to Nowhere
This is a cover version of The Savoy Brown Blues Band song from the early ‘70s. But we glammed it up a bit, put some platform boots on him. And a little make up. The ever gracious David Brewis from Field Music visited our studio and played the blistering guitar solo on this in the way that only he can. Dave Hyde’s brother Barry Hyde from the Futureheads played the vaudeville style pianos. That guy’s got Fingers.
A Dark Mistake
To me this sounds the least “Sunderland” of all our songs! It has a kinda Little Feat style groove. And check out Dave Hyde’s mad bongo skills (who knew?). The Brass of lips, lungs and cheeks features heavily here and we drove Lap Steel Guitarist, Tom Fletcher, around the bend asking him to make his playing sound backwards, Indian and wrong. I think he got it! I guess this song is saying “we were wrong together. But at the end of the day I still think about ya.”
Ba Ba Ba
From day one Dave wanted the last song on the album to end like it was floating off into space. So it does. This song features the dreamy Violin skills of Hannah Rickard. We wanted some Stevie Wonder clavinet style funk on little bits of the song but didn’t know how to do this so me and Dave sat side by side at the clavinet just hitting random notes. Easy, who needs Stevie!