Scalawag – You On My Mind

I hope we’ve all experienced those hopeless days of infatuation at the start of the best relationships when you can’t get the other out of your head. The very thought of them makes you smile broadly even if you’re miles apart. You can’t wait to spend time with them; you experience butterflies in your tummy just in advance of seeing your partner again. Time spent with them feels so right and you never want it to stop. 

It does of course. The ga-ga feeling that accompanies your stuttering heart is not a sustainable one and probably not a healthy one. Practical realities come back to the fore and you find ways to work out how to be together outside of the first throes of love. Either that or you move on to somebody else so that you can circle back to the hopeless days of infatuation again. A fluttering feeling on repeat. 

Scalawag’s latest single ‘You On My Mind’ is all about those early days in a new relationship. From Vancouver, Teo Saefkow, the man behind Scalawag, explains more in the press release to the song. “I wrote the guitar in 2015, then I waited for 5 years for inspiration to strike for the lyrics” says Teo. “It came one day in early 2020 when I was noodling on the guitar, and I decided to try and make my partner smile. I improvised the lyrics, and they just kinda stuck.

There clearly aren’t enough songs in the world making reference to peanut butter and for that reason alone ‘You On My Mind’ deserves a Sonic Breakfast blogpost about it. It’s also delightfully playful – a gentle acoustic guitar sound merging with a few choice piano flourishes to build into a climax of trumpet and whistles. Sweet, unfettered love sure does sound nice in Teo’s world. He plays all of the instruments himself. “It’s important to me that I create as many of the sounds myself as possible, instead of using stock instruments or samples,“, he says, about the creative process. 

Teo’s having a good, happy year. “2021 has been pretty good so far, there’s a lot of hope in the air, and the weather has been pretty awesome in Vancouver!“, he says when we exchange E-mails. “I’ve been able to write and record a lot, so that’s definitely the biggest highlight. Once the restrictions start to relax I think the first thing I’ll do is just go eat at a restaurant!

The mood around the UK feels similarly positive. Spring is in the air and we wake to blue sky and birdsong. Lockdown relaxations continue to offer improved freedoms (pub anyone?) and I sense a happy Wednesday song will be more than appreciated. 

Freyr – Avalon

I’ve never been to Marseille. I do think that I’d like it there though. 

Most Mediterranean port cities tend not to disappoint. Regular readers of Sonic Breakfast will know of my love for Alicante. Mad, Med  cities buzz with creativity, tolerance, historical relevance and cosmopolitan spirit. Overlook the cruise ships, the crime and the fact that Marseille is in France (joke) and I reckon you’d have a long weekend second to none.

 

It certainly sounds as if Freyr had a pretty neat time when visiting with a former lover – that’s how I’m interpreting the lyric to his new folktronica delight, Avalon. In a throwback to the summer months, we find Freyr and his friend in hazy mood and romantic waywardness as they explore the mean streets, the monuments, the rocky outcrops, the beaches and river beds together.

The feeling doesn’t last – these things never do as the utimate verse is at pains to point out (spoiler alert) but, whilst they do, why not revel in the warm bliss of that moment? The beat is fuzzy, the vocal toned, the backing organic and the guitar woozy as; it all comes together in a wonderfully reminiscent nod towards place and season. 

Freyr comments in a brief E-mail exchange that, “The melody for Avalon was inspired by all the Temples around Vancouver. But it needed some lyrics to go with it and this trip to Marseille was still very fresh in my mind. But I don’t like saying too much about lyrics. I like the audience to be free to conjure up their own vision.”

Your challenge for the morning is set.