So good to be working with Elsa again! This started out as a loungecore instrumental called ‘Taking Risks On A Moscow Highway’, but it wasn’t cutting it and was consigned to the B-list folder.
I sent Elsa three sketches, and she wrote over this. At first, I wasn’t feeling what she wrote, so I kind of turned it down. Then, as often happens, I looked at it from different angles, changed the music and it started to take shape. The turning point was when I changed the bass from synth to live, and I re- improvised the Wurlitzer part.
We went backwards and forwards with different vocal treatments and structures and versions, and I’m really happy with the final result. It’s loungecore with a message. The imagery is intense and very cinematic: for me, it’s set in a Mid-American desert, from an immigrant perspective. Someone just arriving, at night, overwhelmed by the heat, and sounds, and smells.
There’s a key production element that features in this and several other tracks on the album - something I call ‘Hippy Shit’. Hippy Shit consists of ever-changing sitars, moogs, analogue synth drones, and various other jigsaw pieces like the Suzuki Omnichord, all mixed together and moving in and out
of focus. I first used this technique on ‘Just One Second’ in 2008 and then forgot about it. For some reason though, I kept wanting to re-employ this sonic signature with this album, sometimes with harps, marimbas and violins joining in. In Lonely Sirens, the harp is what for me carries the counterpoint to Elsa.