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Kit Hain: Albums

Spirits Walking Out
US cover shown above, album released in that country as Looking For You

US cover shown above, album released in that country as Looking For You

photo: Brian Hagiwara.

Album Selections
from Spirits Walking Out (UK version)
Notes by Kit Hain

Aaron
This is me singing to an ex-boyfriend.  Short of using his name.  Well, Aaron sang a whole lot better!  But I can also see with the benefit of hindsight that the core of the message, being true to yourself and not hiding, applied as much to me.  Maybe I was dimly aware of that at the time….Too busy fooling myself that I was more ‘Highly Evolved’ than him.  Yeah sure. 

 

Danny
Late one night in my Kilburn basement studio, with a Jupiter 4 and Teac 4-track tape recorder, I wrote this and thought, ‘This is WAY too country!’  Yet, how could this be (country being such a dirty word in my 80’s lexicon)?  I loved it!  So did the people at the record company, and my producer.  So, it got recorded.  I was remembering a time in Munich  when Julian (Marshall) and I had been there to promote Dancing In The  City.  The wet streets, far from home, both of us feeling out of our depth and missing our respective partners.  Imagining how it would be if both people in a couple were out on the road, how tough that would  be.  I think DJs thought (or liked to think) that Danny was a  DJ.  But actually, I was imagining that he was a rock hero, and that I was tuning in to the radio to listen to his Live Concert at Madison Square Garden or somesuch.  The song is a bit of an oddity by dint of being so straightforward.  But I think it still holds up over the years.  In fact I’m thinking of  re-demoing it and sending it to Nashville.

Force Grown
Always loved the droning build of this one.  The song was inspired by the comment of an elderly friend about one of those  popular 80’s Self-Improvement movements.  ‘ChangeYour Life in a Weekend,’ that kind of thing.  The course seemed particularly brutal and controlling.  Some of its tenets made sense, and some people were able to synthesise what they needed and translate it well  into their lives.  Other people’s thoughts became a pain in the backside:  very didactic and tactless all in the name of Honesty and Integrity.  Anyway, she and I were talking about this, and she drew a parallel to hothouse flowers, being force grown, not as strong.  That got me thinking.  About how heartless a lot of it felt, how disconnected.  How in our haste we bypass the depth of understanding that can only come with the passing of time. Bit serious, really.

I’m The One Who’s With You
Or maybe, Love The One You’re With.  Ooops, sorry Steve Stills  I always loved your song!  No particular story to this one, more a reflection of times past, teen years when the Crush of the Moment was so enamoured of that bitch!  Why?  When I’d be so right for him?  Actually there was a time before Aaron and I were together that he was in love with someone I thought was pretty cold.   So it was a while until I was the one who was with him.

Spirits Walking Out
This was tremendous fun recording!  I think that still shows….manic.  I’d recently finished reading a book.  It’s a while ago and I couldn’t swear to it but I think it was C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength (amazing stuff, that Space Trilogy).  Anyway, in it is the prediction about King Arthur not being dead but lying in his grave waiting to return in the nick of time to save Mankind.  Then one night I was driving home (Kilburn in those days) past what looked like some kind of riot ensuing, and wondering, Where do all these souls come from?  The world’s going mad!  I started imagining what Arthur might be thinking as he turned in his grave, getting more and more pissed off with the violence going on over his head, like he was building up steam to break open his casket and emerge!  So, he was an angry Arthur in my song.  But the idea evolved into something a bit more ghoulish along the way so there’s definitely a comic element there too.

School For Spies
Kit Hain, School For Spies album cover

Track selections
from 
School For Spies
Notes by Kit Hain

After The Darkness
A bit of wishful thinking, this one, I was definitly needing some of that Hope in the Dawn.  Some of the lyric inspired by the picture on the front of the old Tate and Lyle’s Golden syrup can.  There’s a lion lying down with a lamb or something, with the words the bitter shall bring forhth sweeteness.  Rememberance of childhood idylls complete with  Peanut Butter and Syrup sandwiches.  When we were recording this one we were thinking how nice  harpsichord would be on it, but we’d need a REAL keyboard player.  It so happened ex-musical parter Julian Marshall was in New York so he come along to play.  We hired him, but I don’t know if he actually ever got paid.

Fallen Angel
Ooh.  Creepy this one.  Kit takes on the persona of angry Lucifer cast out of Heaven.  I shudder to think where I was at!  Not one of my fave vocal performances.  In general I was trying to sound stronger than I think my voice was capable of (force grown, perhaps?) Roger Daltrey did this one far more justice!

Fire In His Eyes
The fairground/circus tratment was inherent in the writing of this song.  The keyboard riff is the first thing I came up with and that inspired the imagery.  We recorded the whole album in New York (which is step one, I guess, on how I come to live here now!)  Yes, that is  Mr. Mike Thorne shouting his head off in the bridge.  This never actually made it onto the album: it was released first as a single which flopped.  As the record company felt we needed another uptempo on the album, this one was ousted.

Too Far Too Soon
I’d just arrived in New York City to start work on the second album with Mike Thorne.  I  was staying at his and Leila’s place.  Alone one Spring afternoon,  I sat at their somewhat honky tonk upright and wrote this.  Straight from the gut.  After the Aaron relationship broke up, I was in Lonesome Limbo Hell for a few confusing and intense years when all I seemed to  manage were the odd one-nighters and/or unrequiters.  This was about one of those. Usually the vocals were the somewhat painstaking last stage of recording.  In this case, though, we kept the guide vocal that I sang when the  band was putting down the backing track; couldn’t improve on it.

Wild Ones Dance
God knows where all these shifting time signatures came from.  It was hell for the musicians to play!  When I wrote it (another Basement Song) it all seemed quite natural.  I’d recently watched Polansky’s Vampires Ball for the umpteenth time and kept imaginging all these ‘Wild Ones’ rounding the corner and being invisible in the  mirror.  While watching from the shadows, I  think this is how I was feeling a lot of that time: self-conscious and outside of life.  The wildness came out in the music.