‘Night Comes Down’ is the latest single from Spacehotel. The original demo (from 2010) was more laid back than the final version, there was no over-driven guitar outro, no guitar break after the first verse, it was lighter musically and lyrically. I decided a while back to add this one to the ‘singles to-do’ list as it didn’t quite fit the album I’m working on. Along the way it transformed into this finished version, all the better for it I think.
The singles I release are odd-songs that I like enough to release still but not part of a cohesive vision I have for an album. If you are thinking “but Paul you’ve only released 8 or something?”, I’m mostly talking about all the unreleased songs that will be released as singles over the next few years (and plenty more coming this year!).
Of course I’m still, as always, working on albums too. I love albums!
‘Night Comes Down’ starts out like a love song and may seem to stay that way, but listening closer should soon reveal a darker side.
It’s a song about murder, fictional murder I must stress. It came from the idea I had, after writing the music, of someone out on a boat at night disposing of a body, near the shore. I imagined it was a crime of passion, clearly still wrong but probably regretted by the main character.
The video (which is from copyright free footage from decades back) was edited, chopped up and plays out backwards from the night, possibly just before any criminal activity took place, to the morning when everything was going just fine…
Most songs should probably never be explained as it can spoil the images the listener may have on their own but it’s good to let people know that I’ve not killed anyone. However, here’s a few words about some of the lyrics:
“Let the moon take you where it will” is alluding to the possibility of the tide moving the body.
“More lights on the shore arrive and they dance in red and blue” is the emergency services called by someone on land.
“Masked shadows of the righteous men are they here for me or you?”, the silhouettes, in front of the lights, is it the police (for “me”) or a little-too-late crew of paramedics (for “you”)?
Speaking of “for you”, the female backing vocals that start on verse two (underneath the lyrics “Coloured fairground lights…”) were sung by my Girlfriend. I gave them a kind of sinking, angelic, watery effect to amplify the main idea of the song.
Synth-Geek time: I used 5 different analog synths on this song: Moog Sub 37, Juno 106, Polysix, Prophet Rev 2 & JD-XA. The intro is Juno 106 and Prophet Rev 2, the mono line that pops up in verse 2 (and plays on and off until the end) is the Moog. The Roland JD-XA shows up in the Chorus.
The added ‘police siren’ intro (only on the video version) was created with a Roland SH-2, an analog mono synth from 1978 (famously heard on Duran Duran’s ‘Save A Prayer’ sequence and similarly on ‘The Chauffeur’ as well as others from their early days) , through delay and reverb effects. I recorded it while tweaking the sliders to bring out the ‘sirens’ and the wind/shore noise at various points.
So that’s the story of Night Comes Down. Hope it was interesting for those that like this kind of thing. Thanks to everyone who’s bought the song or left nice comments about it around the net.
Thanks for reading