Track One – ENTRY
This was intentionally written as the album opener. The idea was to start really quietly and build to a crescendo before abruptly launching into ‘Hermits’. It’s really got no structure, and it’s different every time we play it. We thought it would be fun to give people a bit of a ‘what the hell is this noise rubbish?’ before the first proper song. It’s got a lot of bowed guitar on it, which I like using for texture in the studio.
Track Two – HERMITS
‘Hermits’ was almost recorded for our first album ‘Arrest The Slide’. We had one last 2 day session at Blackbox and we were going in to record ‘Medusa’ and ‘Missing’, but I’d written this new song ‘Hermits’ maybe a month beforehand and knew it was probably better than both of them. Unfortunately we just didn’t have enough time to bash it into shape for the session, so it became the first song for the next record. I wrote the bones of ‘Hermits’ in our old share house in East Brisbane, just picking little things that would keep happening in the house, like the lights blowing all the time, and using them for a story about someone suffering from depression.
Track Three – BURN
I was listening to a lot of Screamfeeder when I wrote this, so the line ‘why don’t you burn your name on me’ is a little nod to the title of their second album ‘Burn Out Your Name’. The music and the lyrics in the chorus were there pretty much from the start, but the verse went through a few permutations before we were happy with it. I had no idea what the final lyrics were about when I wrote them, but reading it now it sounds like someone singing about impotency.
Track Four – INSIDE
As soon as I started writing ‘Inside’ I knew that Fi had to sing lead vocals. I was only a few lines into the first verse when I realised I was actually writing it from her perspective. It’s the first time I’ve really tried to write something from inside someone else’s head, but it’s still got that universal quality to it. The final song is partially from me to my wife, and partially from Fi to Lucinda.
Track Five – ICE
Our former drummer James Lees actually suggested we record this song. It was written by Lucinda Shaw and Brett Collery in the early days of Silver Sircus. James played Tony and I a Silver Sircus demo, I think originally with the idea that we would help record a proper Silver Sircus version of the song. For whatever reason that never happened, but at some point Lucinda and James offered it to us instead. We spent quite a while in the rehearsal room pulling apart the chord progression and rebuilding it before we were happy with the arrangement. Our version is quite different to the original, very aggressive and atonal. I was incredibly nervous when Lucinda heard it for the first time, but thankfully she really likes it.
Track Six – SCENE
‘Scene’ is about bands whose sole purpose is to look cool and get laid. There are a lot of them out there. I’m really proud of the line ‘You’re not creating, you’re just masturbating’. It’s really two separate songs that we’ve jammed together. Part one is the pop/punk radio-friendly section, and part two is essentially the heaviest, noisiest jam we could come up with to illustrate the ludicrousness of the song. I guess it’s like merging The Offspring and Slint.
Track Seven – DRY
I really wanted ‘Dry’ to sound like early PJ Harvey. We originally played it as a band, with ultra-quiet verses, and jarringly-loud choruses. Something about it didn’t quite work though. It wasn’t until about 3 weeks out from recording Tony asked me to just play it by myself. Afterwards he said ‘that’s it, that’s the song there’. It’s really just a single guitar and some vocals, with a few overdubs.
Track Eight – MIRROR
Lyrically, this is probably the most straight-forward song on the album. I walked into the bathroom one morning and caught myself in the mirror. It must have been a big night because I looked terrible, I was wondering where my youth had gone. I picked up a guitar with the line ‘When I look in the mirror I see an older version of myself’ in my head and the rest of the song just flowed straight out within 10 minutes.
Track Nine – FALLING
This song was written back in The Soundcasters days, although I don’t think we ever played it. When we were writing songs for Bitter Dream I went back through some old demos and found this one. It was originally called ‘Falling Apart’, and I think I might have played it at a few solo gigs years ago. I ended up stripping the second verse out and Tony came up with the time signature changes that we play in the outro. Other than that it’s essentially the same as it was when I wrote it in 2008.
Track Ten – NOW
This song started life as a simple chord progression using a half capo, leaving the B & E strings droning. An early instrumental-only version was demoed as far back as when James was in the band. I was never able to write a vocal melody for it, so I eventually handed it to Tony to write the vocal melody and lyrics. It marked a turning point in the way we write music as a band. Tony also sings lead vocal for the first time on this track. The album title comes from the line ’A soulless breath that whispers to me / To leave / And kill this bitter dream’. The lyrics for Now are about confronting something sudden, something horrible or dreadful and wishing you had more time to prepare for the news. It’s when you are in a state of shock, thinking you weren’t ready, you could have done something to prevent it, and that maybe, that you were always powerless to do anything about it anyway.
Track Eleven – RUBBLE
Lyrically, ‘Rubble’ is about the ending of a friendship. Musically, it’s probably the most straight-up grunge song we’ve done, but there’s some Edge-style delayed guitar in the instrumental sections, and a nice little piano melody that Tony overdubbed at the last minute – the first time we’ve put keys on a song.
Track Twelve – WITCH
‘Witch’ is really just a little progression I would play out of boredom waiting for Clint to tune his guitar/s, or find that one cable in his monstrous pedal board that was disconnected. It really is only to eliminate that awkward, attention hogging silence you get on stage, when the eyes are looking and waiting.
Track Thirteen – EXIT
‘Exit’ is about the passing of someone close and how those left behind are affected. Sonically it’s very full-on, and lyrically quite simple, but there’s a lot of emotion in it for me.
Compiled by Clint Morrow with input from Tony Parker on NOW and WITCH
You can pre-order the physical album and purchase a digital copy via Thirteen Seventy’s bandcamp page – http://thirteenseventy.bandcamp.com/album/bitter-dream
THIRTEEN SEVENTY will be headlining The Zoo on Friday 21 August to launch their new album
Coming along for the ride for this very eclectic event are GALAPOGOS, SILVER SIRCUS and BALLOONS KILL BABIES
This gig will be presented as part of the 2015 Brisbane Fringe Festival.
Date: Friday 21st August, 2015
Advance Tickets: $12.00 (From the bands)
Door Price: $15.00
Photo ID required for entry
Tickets on-sale now. Click below for more information and bookings
Thirteen Seventy – https://www.facebook.com/thirteenseventy
Galapogos – https://www.facebook.com/galapogosbrisbane
Silver Sircus – https://www.facebook.com/silversircus
Balloons Kill Babies – https://www.facebook.com/BalloonsKillBabies