Background To Songs: These Strings, KHT
Written by Jimmy
These Strings is the fifth song on our fourth album, King Henry’s Tears.
Lyrics: Born during the Summer 2011 Spanish Jam, the original idea for this song didn’t really pan out. The goal was to tell a full story of a love song through three verses that told five phrases. Some of this is retained in the verses, but it was too hard to construct a song around five phrases, so we broke down to four, e.g., ‘house keys losts, a hurtful boss, a broken bus, a broken trust.’ But we shifted focus more to ‘These Strings’ and how a lover was protesting against being trapped in web of jealousies.
Musically: This is all about Louise’s voice and we stripped everything back to that, with just a bit of bass and guitar. Once Andy and Ed worked on the backing vocals, everyone wanted to start the song with that. We resisted for a while the notion of having ‘strings’ be the main instrument – so bloody corny. But not that long -we went for it and invited Millie back from 71 Hours to Monday Global Remix fame, to work with Sophie on Andy’s strings session.
Mixing: Big lesson for folks. We recorded all the backing vocals as though they would be just backing vocals. We then decided we like them so much, we wanted to also move them to the front of the song on their own. But because we never intended that the backing vocals stand on their own, we were not that careful about headphone ‘spill’… Andy had a heck of a time dealing with that in the final mix.
Recommendations: If you like this, we think you’ll like Chamberlain in Munich from our secoond album. Then, of course, you have the question of great uses of strings in rock. Here’s a top three list:
- Go Betweens, Was There Anything I could Do?
- Like A Hurricane, Bob Dylan
- Eddie Jobson, Out of the Blue for Roxy Music:
- One of these Days, Camper Van Beethoven. this is rare version:
- Skycity, Old Blind Dogs. I know it isn’t rock, but really nice fiddle.
- Dust in the Wind, Kansas. Oh Stop! It is a beautiful strings session and this video is really good. Oh Stop. Stop!