what’s new

bible+drag now on Spotify + iTunes

In cool,what's new by fish / February 23, 2017 / 0 Comments

My first cover album ‘bible+drag’ (released August 2016) is now available on Spotify in addition to iTunes/Apple Music.
Whatever you think of streaming services, it’s the way things are these days, so i’m happy to have my music up on the 2 top music sites on earth.

If you don’t have ‘bible+drag’ yet, here’s your chance to check it out.
You can also download the lovely PDF book that accompanies the album by clicking the download link below:

download bible+drag PDF book

MY BRAND NEW RADIO SHOW!! “The Upstream with brilliantfish”

In cool,podcast,The Upstream,what's new by fish / February 16, 2017 / 0 Comments

The debut of my new show “The Upstream with brilliantfish” EP #1 is on Mixcloud and I’m really excited.
It’s in the tradition of late night FM deejays of the 70s (stuff i grew up listening to and wishing I could do that…) and will cover a wide spectrum of music from everywhere.

EP #1 features Canadian artists Junetile, Half Moon Run, Annelise Noronha, Adam Faux, Jonathan Seet and me, brilliantfish.
No agenda, genres, just 58 minutes of great music. So grab a drink, a smoke or whatever you need to relax and ride The Upstream.

 

TRACKLIST:

1 Theme Of Rome by Danger Mouse/Daniele Luppi
2 In Of by Junetile
3 Full Circle by Half Moon Run
4 Saviour by Annelise Noronha
5 Josephine by Adam Faux Exploding Band
6 U Don’t Dance To Tekno Anymore by Alabama 3
7 Blackstar by David Bowie
8 Summertime by Billy Stewart
9 Monkey by Joe Henry
10 Down By The Bay by Jonathan Seet
11 No Harm by The Boxer Rebellion
12 Everybody’s Fine by brilliantfish

THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY #15

In Throw It Back Thursday by fish / November 24, 2016 / 2 Comments

The 15th installment of ‘THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY’
the ‘Catch-and-Release Sessions’
This week:

‘lower’
[from the album ‘sick’, 1997]

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The first track from my first album. I was in a dark place indeed, but this album was my therapy. I was fortunate at the time to garner a bit of a fanbase and attract the attention of a few record labels, but unfortunately, everyone wanted me to keep making the same album. This was a very necessary record for me personally, but once completed, it was essential that I move forward.

This particular track is a short introduction to the dark to follow. Having, at the time, listened to virtually no popular music for almost 2 years, the first ‘pop’ I heard was the latest Nine Inch Nails record. I had intended my first solo album to be more akin to Peter Gabriel’s ‘Passion’, but instead I became intimate with my anger over my father’s death and made my version of ‘the downward spiral’.

Oh well. So much for ‘Sensitive World-Music Guy’…

I had performed and recorded in a folk duo for several years before all this, so there were many people who only knew me as ’Sensitive Folk-Music Guy’ (with a pony tail). They seemed to be ok with my new shaved head, but I think a few of them have still to recover from the shock of buying ‘sick’. (To be fair, I did warn them.)

While it is difficult for me to listen to this album (for many reasons), I still love this opening track. It states in a few minimal lines my recurring feelings about human nature and how, instead of elevating ourselves and each other, we keep going downward and inward until our inability to articulate our emotions is manifested in resentment, rage and violence. It is, however, essentially a plea for us to be better.

On a technical note, the cold, mechanical sounds were sampled from an old sound effects record I had had for years (I have always been in love with the sound of machines) loaded into my Akai S1 mono sampler. The rest is my trusty old Korg Wavestation EX keyboard and a DR RHYTHM 660 drum machine. I wrote and recorded the entire album with these 3 pieces of gear (Thank Bog for Long & McQuade!) and an Atari 1040STe, maxed out with 4mb of RAM.

credits:

Performed, recorded, produced & mixed by brilliantfish
Mastered by Peter J Moore

 

lyrics:

fall from grace with the rage of angels
it won’t take long before you’re lower

look around you when you cross borders
it won’t take long before you’re lower

this flesh, these hands
is all we’re given
and it won’t take long before
we’re lower

[© 1997 brilliant fish music]

THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY #14

In Uncategorized by fish / November 17, 2016 / 2 Comments

The 14th installment of ‘THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY’
the ‘Catch-and-Release Sessions’
This week:

‘save me’
[single, 2014]

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For many, winter is the cruelest season. the cold, isolation and imposed joy of ‘the holidays’ often takes a heavy toll.
This is a winter song about salvation; a love song about depression; a call for help in the deep freeze; a dreamy little song at the top of the downward spiral.

I think this is somewhere between Eno, Bowie and Neil Diamond, somehow.
Also, I really love sweet T’s dreamy, ghosty vocal in the background.
Her beautiful voice can be heard in the foreground on Hush & Rust‘s debut album, These blue dreams’.

credits:
Performed, recorded, produced & mixed by brilliantfish
Dreamy vox by sweet T

lyrics:

stop me
from falling down
it’s never a good time to drown

save me
with something we found
in a backwards film somehow

[© 2014 brilliant fish music]

THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY #13

In Throw It Back Thursday by fish / November 10, 2016 / 2 Comments

The 13th installment of ‘THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY’
the ‘Catch-and-Release Sessions’
is a somber one:

‘amerika’
[from the album ‘last‘, 2010]

 

I am horrified. No words, no words.
This seems eerily apropos…

credits:
Performed, recorded, produced & mixed by brilliantfish
Guitars by Marc Ganetakos
Mastered by Ray Montford

lyrics:

amerıka ıs so far away
the ısotopes are ın my braın
thıs ısn’t what ı wanted to say
but amerıka ıs so far away

amerıka ıs so far away
my head explodes wıth pıctures
there’s somethıng that ı needed to say
but amerıka ıs so far away
so far away
so far away

monsters ın the closet
bodıes ın the road
no poınt playıng stupıd
cause everybody knows
everybody knows
everybody knows
[not for love / not for money…]

amerıka ıs so far away
so far away
so far away

[© 2010 brilliant fish music]

THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY EP# 12

In Throw It Back Thursday by fish / November 3, 2016 / 3 Comments

The 12th installment of ‘THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY’!
the ‘Catch-and-Release Sessions’
This week:

‘lint’
[from the album ‘separate‘, 2003]

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A minimal track about the ‘spiritual lint’ we carry around on us – the the residue and stains of our emotional baggage and unresolved inner conflicts –  that, try as we may to hide it, is obvious to everyone else. I was experimenting at the time with writing minimal tracks with minimal lyrics (just a few lines, no chorus or bridge sections) and I think is this song is my most successful in that regard.

As far as the sonic landscape, I enjoy the fact that there is no bass. The low end is created with an 808 kick drum that is heavily compressed and put through a distortion pedal. The rest is simply the 808, a Waldorf Microwave synth and some manipulated guitar noise tracks by Maz Fusion.

 

credits:
Performed, recorded, produced & mixed by brilliantfish
Sonic guitar crimes by Maz Fusion
Mastered by Ray Montford

lyrics:

it hides in the truth
you’ll never know it
shine as it does – shine as it does

it clings in the light
you’ll never see it
scream as it does – scream as it does

it hides in the truth
you’ll never know it
shine as it does – shine as it does…

[© 2003 brilliant fish music]

THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY EP#11

In Throw It Back Thursday by fish / October 27, 2016 / 0 Comments

The 11th installment of ‘THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY’!
the ‘Catch-and-Release Sessions’
This week:

 

‘something’
[from the album ‘stamen‘, 2010]

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Here is a look at the disintegration of a relationship as told through sci-fi metaphor. I had an image of a 1950s B-movie meets a modern day CGI big budget production. Like all the tracks on ‘stamen’, this one was built on vintage drum machine loops. It is also only one of two tracks that I have ever used the “AutoTune Effect” on, and I defend my choice virulently, as in this case, it makes sense in context. (By the way, Antares Technologies’ AutoTune™ is an incredibly useful tool when used sparingly and subtly, as it was originally intended.)

Also, as with the other tracks from this album, there is a little ‘surprise’ at the end. This one incorporates what my friend Frank Patrick calls my “Nusrat Fateh Ali Rob”.

credits:
Performed, recorded, produced & mixed by brilliantfish
Mastered by Ray Montford

lyrics:

we watched our planet die corrupt
when all signs pointed to reason
two astronauts would offer my head
to appease the angry Cheese God
and where were you when all was said?
and where was i if not upon your pillow?
we could have been something…

the science of love in broken times
was lost in gravity’s abscence
we changed the route of the water source
but couldn’t make sense of the floor plan
and where were you inside my head?
and where was i if not right here beside you?
we could have been something…

[© 2010 brilliant fish music]

THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY EP#10 !

In Throw It Back Thursday by fish / October 20, 2016 / 2 Comments

The 10th installment of ‘THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY’!
the ‘Catch-and-Release Sessions’
This week:

‘blue’
[from the album ‘sleepdust‘, 2010]

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I have never written/recorded another song quite like this. It is a ballad, but with glitch elements. It is dark and understated, yet with an almost bombastic, vaguely prog rock bridge. There are 70s and 80s rock influences, but the piano track is more jazz than anything else.
‘blue’ is a reflection on and a promise to an imaginary friend who committed suicide, but it contains pieces of real life and the bridge section is pure autobiography.

I am always surprised when I hear this recording, as I am convinced it came through me, rather than from me. I think the lyric is strong, with both broad and subtle brush strokes. The track, with its disparate elements and odd production choices, shouldn’t work. But I think it does.

credits:
Performed, recorded, produced & mixed by brilliantfish
Mastered by Ray Montford

lyrics:

the lıghts ınsıde your head
make you sweat and shake all over
ıf ı had a cross to bear ıt would not be the one they’re goıng to naıl me to
but ı’ll carry yours…

there were tıny gaps ın tıme
where ı flew over trees and houses
the words spoken were not mıne but ı kept them all the same
and ı wıll wrıte all over you…

now the hard part ıs over
now that you’re wıde-eyed and blue
and ı wıll lay you down ın grasses that you never knew
we wıll speak of what’s forgotten
all the brıdges are new
and the ruıns of thıs cıty are all fadıng to blue

no pleasure could defıne
all the waves upon the ocean
the pheromones would be sublıme
but they only turned to rage
and ı watched you walk all over you

[CH]

these hands, these hands, these shakıng hands
wıll wrıte on the sky for Amelıa
wıll trace the curve of your back
ın the aır above my bed
the ache for your scent
ıt turns to wıne agaın
there he goes agaın…
he dısappears, he dısappears
ıf ı could just fınd a way to market thıs…

the lıghts ınsıde your head
make you sweat and shake all over
ıf ı had a cross to bear ıt would not be the one they’re goıng to naıl me to

[© 2010 brilliant fish music]

THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY EP#9 !

In Throw It Back Thursday,what's new by fish / October 13, 2016 / 0 Comments

The 9th installment of ‘THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY’!
the ‘Catch-and-Release Sessions’
This week:

‘I Feel Everything’
[from the album ‘last‘, 2010]

throw-it-back THURSDAY-FULL web

From what I thought would actually be my ‘last album’ (silly wabbit), this began as a somewhat tongue-in-cheek song. The title got stuck in my head almost as a joke, and I thought it would be fun to realize it as a 1950s-meets-Joe Jackson type of track. While writing the lyric, though, I realized that in all my conversations with people who had been through breakups/divorces, everyone spoke of how it made them feel (“I feel angry”, “I feel betrayed”, “I feel lonely”, “I feel like I just want them back”, “I feel relieved”…), so I simply stated what I felt in my own situation: everything. Underneath the light surface, there is a more complicated core.
I especially like the string arrangement at the end.

credits:
Performed, produced & mixed by brilliantfish
Guitars performed & recorded by Jonathan Seet
Mastered by Ray Montford

lyrics:

dress me ın black
ı’ll be at the bar
we all had our chance
but we dıdn’t get far

ı went out on my own
and ı know what you saıd
but ı feel everythıng
everythıng

spoken too much
not saıd enough
ı’d kıll for some grace
(or even cool)
but ı’m just not that tough

the end of our world
wıll slıp us past scıence
when all we wanted was savıng
and ı know what you’ve done
but ı stıll feel everythıng
everythıng
everythıng

[© 2010 brilliant fish music]

THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY EP#8

In Throw It Back Thursday,what's new by fish / October 6, 2016 / 0 Comments

The 8th installment of ‘THROW-IT-BACK THURSDAY’!
(1 song from the back catalogue every week for a year)
This week, we get heavy :

‘weather wall’
[from the album ‘the inescapable truth‘, 2012]

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One of my darker moments, but the message of this song is clear. The album was begun in chaos and illness. The bulk of it was written in a tiny lightless room piled to the ceiling with boxes containing most of my life. I had the flu when I wrote and recorded the vocals for ‘weather wall’, fully intending to re-record them when I was better. However, they work – appropriately – just as they are.

The collection of pieces on this album form a picture of a world in collapse and the subsequent attempt at rebuilding in a hostile environment. Uplifting stuff, I know, but we are facing this reality now, with all its chaos and illness. The environmental collapse brought on by our greed, disregard and consumption is not only inevitable, it is happening in our lifetime.

We are at global critical mass.
We need to ask the hard questions about the inescapable truth.

credits:

Performed, produced & mixed by brilliantfish
Mastered by Mike Beever @ mebaudio.com

lyrics:

you’re lookıng for the answers here
but there are none at all
your conscıence rıses once a year
regard to the weather wall

so many gods, so many rules
so many thıngs to fall
your prayers wıll not be answered here
agaınst the weather wall

once there was love ınstead of fear
but when ı can’t recall
the pages wıll erase my dear
under the weather wall

all brıght machınes, all fıelds of green
together or alone
there’ll be no rıch, there’ll be no poor
when the weather wall comes home

the brıdges now are fallıng down
but no one took the call
two thousand years and countless lıes
to buıld the weather wall

the bedroom door ıs open wıde
there’s somethıng ın the hall
just close your eyes and keep them tıght
outsıde ıs the weather wall
outsıde ıs the weather wall
outsıde ıs the weather wall

(© 2012 brilliant fish music)