Multi-million-selling darlings of down-tempo, Morcheeba, will release their seventh and latest album Blood Like Lemonade in the UK on June 7th through PIAS records. The album will be preceded by the single ‘Even Though’ on May 24th. Blood Like Lemonade sees the band return to form, with it being their first album since 2003 to feature Skye on vocals.
Paul Godfrey says: ’This is the record we should have made after Big Calm but we had to travel treacherous terrains to get back to our natural habitat.’ Skye adds: ‘Friends have been asking, “What does the new Morcheeba record sound like?” My answer? “It sounds like Morcheeba” Of course!’
Blood Like Lemonade
Track by Track with Paul Godfrey
I’d always wanted to write stories about characters, but I’d never actually been any good at it until now. I’ve watched so many great movies over the past few years that I’ve managed to get my head around narrative (and it helped working with people like Jim White, Kurt Wagner and Slick Rick, who are all master storytellers), and it all came together on this record. The more I listened to what I’d written, the more I realised I was writing about us, or about me, but through other characters – so the opening line on the record is “On the roadside, by the wreckage”, and it really did feel like that, that Morcheeba was like this burnt-out car that was smouldering, and it was a case of how we were going to pick up the pieces. We had to pimp that ride!
The lines about “the hidden dangers” and being “cast adrift in space” reflect worries about humanity. That was inspired by reading interviews with astronauts – they’d get into space and look back at the world, and couldn’t understand why people were still fighting with each other, and why we were destroying our own planet, that was so beautiful from a distance. The heavy breathing sound is an astronaut breathing in his helmet. He doesn’t have long to live, and at the end his breathing stops. He’s basically just trying to send a message that we should all get along.
BLOOD LIKE LEMONADE
That’s about an ex-priest vampire bounty hunter, who goes around seeking revenge on bad guys and bandits, whose blood he drinks like lemonade. It seemed a bit weird at first, but the more I thought about, the cooler it sounded. It’s a strange simile, and the fact that it became the album title is even more bizarre. But vampires are pretty hip nowadays – all those movies where the music is really loud and the characters just whisper the screenplay..
That’s Ross doing the harmonica on that. We used to call that kind of stuff ‘Ross left to his own devices’, because he’s such a sucker for that old blues sound – you know, the only thing that would make it sound contemporary would be a hip-hop beat and a bit of scratching. But that has a real charm of its own that we enjoy. I think maybe it’s a tribute to our heritage, it’s about accepting who we are and what our talents are: there’s nothing wrong with having a musical personality of our own, but we just didn’t consider that until seven albums in.
I AM THE SPRING
This album started out sounding quite folky, before Skye came back, and there traces of that earlier stage still evident in this track. But we’ve always had folk and country influences, long before the ‘folktronica’ scene came about. We always used to joke, like Tom Wolfe, that if you want to be big, just do what we’re doing five years later. We were always too busy trying to do something new that we never really caught any waves. One of the ways I like to think about this record we’ve just done comes from my love for the Raymond Chandler books, and the way his novels came from short stories that he’d written for magazines, which he then interwove and refined into novels – so you’d have maybe three short stories made into a single novel. It made me appreciate that sort of genius, in a different way: instead of trying to be innovative all the time, why not take what you’re really good at, put it together and make something better than what you’ve already done? That’s something I’ve aspired to on this record.
RECIPE FOR DISASTER
That’s another one where I’m writing from a character’s point of view. I used to see the lyrical process a necessary evil – but on this, it was so much more of a challenge to get inside these characters and their motivations, and also to have it slightly tongue-in-cheek, which I think is captured in ‘Recipe For Disaster’. Everybody’s so obsessed with cookery nowadays, and takes it so seriously: you’re not allowed to turn up drunk for a dinner party anymore.
EASIER SAID THAN DONE
Skye suggested the idea for the theme and it was sort of written to explain to Skye that I understood how she felt about us, because there were still traces of bad blood left from the split.
CUT TO THE BASS
That’s an updated version of the kind of esoteric, instrumental hip-hop thing that we’ve always done.
SELF MADE MAN
Nothing teaches us as much as failure – failure taught me a whole lot more than success did, because I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when we were most successful. It’s kind of autobiographical, an acknowledgement that it took the three of us to get where we did. There was a period where we were all so bloody-minded and selfish with each other that the respect and appreciation had diminished. It’s me saying, Yeah, I’m on the other side of all that shit now.
BEAT OF THE DRUM
I was hoping to conjure that seafaring vibe on this – it’s the gentle side of Vikings!