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Short-Haired Domestic – Photo courtesy of Short-Haired Domestic
A few months ago, we introduced you to the exciting new project involving UK-based celebrated producer Tim Friese-Greene and fellow music maker (and wife) Lee Friese-Greene under the moniker Short-Haired Domestic.
Today, as they move closer to the release of their eponymous debut album, we are pleased to present their latest single, ‘A song in German concerning gardens and goodbyes’.
For an album that features a different language for every track offered, Lee apparently had quite a lot of help from her friends with translation and language pronunciation coaching. Between this, writing and recording – not to mention time out for Tim’s own production pursuits – this process took several years to pull together. And what a colossal achievement. This is a beautiful album – just you wait and see. In the meantime, do enjoy this fine track back-to-back with those previously released over the past few months. What a wonderful portal they’ve opened.
Best known for his celebrated production work with Talk Talk and Catherine Wheel (often dubbed the silent member of the former group), this new duo features stunning vocals by wife Lee Friese-Greene of ’90s London Riot Grrl band Sidi Bou Said and currently lead vocalist and guitar player for Pavlova.
“This song is about aging and change and empty nests. Inspired by the cat, envious of his ability to find contentment in the simple pleasure of laying in the garden all day, at a time when I was feeling the (self-imposed) pressure to do something more significant with my life now that it was more my own again. It’s especially poignant to be releasing this track now as we have just said had to say goodbye to that particular feline friend. Turns out that this was the time…,” says Lee Friese-Greene.
Tim Friese-Greene further notes: “The orchestral samples at the front are from a 1908 tone poem called ‘In a Summer Garden’ by Frederick Delius, who although brought up in Bradford was born in Germany. I found the double tie-up of this particularly satisfying.”
Earlier in 2020, the duo released singles ‘A song in Spanish addressed to men who drive big cars’ and ‘A song in Latin… A song in Hindi…’, along with a fun and clever video for ‘A song in Latin about the importance of comfortable shoes’ (produced by Dylan Friese-Greene and filmed by Jake Friese-Greene).
Apart from his work with Talk Talk and Catherine Wheel, Tim Friese-Greene has also produced works by Lush, Thomas Dolby, Sidi Bou Said, and Firefly Burning. AllMusic describes him as “renowned for his unerring sense of atmosphere and nuance, Tim Friese-Greene was among the most innovative — albeit underrecognized — producers of his era.”
After 1995, he shifted his primary focus to creating music as a solo artist, issuing various releases under his own name and as Heligoland. Short-Haired Domestic is the next step in a logical progression for this producer.
As previously mentioned, each track on the new album features vocals in a different language. At their heart are a breakbeat loop, sampled fragments, scratching, insistent funk and Latin rhythms, surprising appearances of acoustic guitar and just about every sound that’s possible to wring from a WASP synthesizer.
The result is melancholic and driven with a pop edge and sensibility. Avoiding any whiff of ‘diva attitude’ in the vocals, these songs instead allow emotion to be largely generated by the music as a response to the lyric.
On October 2, the duo will release their Short-Haired Domestic debut album on vinyl and CD, as well as digitally across digital platforms. It can already be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.
Written and performed by Tim Friese-Greene and Lee Friese-Greene
Recorded and mixed at The Hold, Totnes
Mastered by Caspar Sutton-Jones at Gearbox Records and
Steve Kitch at Audiomaster
Sleeve artwork by Left Bridge
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Also enjoy this fun video for ‘A song in Latin about the importance of comfortable shoes’ (produced by Dylan Friese-Greene and filmed by Jake Friese-Greene).
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