Longing For A Brighter Day: An Interview with Hamish Anderson

by - May 30, 2024

Photo courtesy of Viviana Mendoza

In a musical landscape where several singles are released to promote an upcoming album, the ability to celebrate an individual song can get lost. For Hamish Anderson, he enjoys honing in on one song at a time.

His third full-length album, ELECTRIC, is due later this year, and he has begun the release process with the first single, “Late In The Evening”. He said the song felt like a good place to start, despite it not necessarily being the most obvious radio single.

“It felt like a good representation of what the album is about,” he said. “The album is my love letter to the electric guitar and ‘Late In The Evening’ is all about riffs, grooves and the guitar being up loud and in your face.”

His upcoming single, “You’re Mine”, is the polar opposite. Its lyrics are more vulnerable, it incorporates a “lush, beautiful” string arrangement and takes inspiration from songs like George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” and Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”.

“The first song we cut was [“You’re Mine”] and I just remember hearing it back through the speakers and how incredibly big, beautiful and victorious it sounded,” he said. “It felt very rewarding and like we were on the right track.”

His favorite aspect of making music is starting with a blank page. Putting dreams and ideas onto paper and watching them turn out better than expected is “an incredible high.” This process came with a challenge, though, as many dreams and ideas were put to paper. Deciding the final track listing was difficult, but the songs chosen were the best representation of what he wanted the album to be: an interpretation of the music that he loves.

He knew that he was going to record his next album while he was touring with Thorogood & The Destroyers last year. Some of the songs on ELECTRIC date back as far as 2019, and by the end of 2022 he had sorted through the final track listing.

In between shows, Anderson and co-producer David Davis knocked out the live recording of the album in just two days. Afterwards they added additional elements and perfected each track.

“I credit how road tested these songs were for how quickly we were able to record,” Anderson said. “I had a very clear image of how it all should sound and feel so that really helped being able to work at such a feverish pace.”

ELECTRIC was not only his first time recording in a studio, but also taking on the role of co-producer. His relationship with Davis gave him a safe and positive space to learn the ropes. Anderson said there was never an attitude of “that won’t work” or “I can’t be bothered” and it was such a refreshing feeling.

“David and I have a very similar sense of humor which is always very important I think,” Anderson said. “David also is never afraid to try anything… the worst that can happen is you try something, it doesn’t work so you pivot.”

He found it effortless to balance the roles of co-producer and musician because it was easy to explain his ideas to Davis and watch him translate those ideas beyond what he could have done on his own.

“I’m all about feel and I don’t know much about technique so it helps having [someone] who is very locked in on the engineering side of things,” he said.

As they finished recording, Anderson realized that there were many references to overcoming pain and having a feeling of hope. Writing is how he makes sense of his emotions and surroundings, and he hopes that listeners feel the honesty in both the writing and the performance; that the songs resonate with them and can grab their attention while making them feel something.

“[The] songs on this album deal with longing for a brighter day and knowing that hard times are here but they won’t always be,” he said. “It’s music made by humans all playing together in a room, nothing to do with AI; instead it’s real people playing stringed instruments and trying to capture a collective feeling together. It’s exciting for me to share these songs amidst so much change in music currently. As I’ve been saying - be sure to play it loud!”

Late In The Evening” is available now and “You’re Mine” will be available June 14, 2024.

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