Dinas Powys: Track by Track. ‘Time Crisis, 1982’

Originally I wanted this to be the first track as it really encapsulates what I was thinking when I came up with the ‘cubist folk’ idea. The riff is built from acoustic guitars both played normally and cut up, reversed, processed, interspersed with field recordings (the clattering background percussion on verse 2 is a quantized recording from Wally’s Kaffeehaus in Cardiff) and a moog bassline underpinning it all. In the end I chose to open the album with the poppiest songs, and a cool opening lyric.

As a song I came up with it after seeing Jeff Mangum perform at the Union Chapel in 2012, just before my trip to Tokyo for the final PWL show. My love of Neutral Milk Hotel is well established, and I think the melody to this song (and ‘the Gentlemen’s Game’) make that clear. Ever since I was about 15 I’ve wanted to have a song with the line ‘One of your days’ in it – not really knowing how to make that make sense grammatically – until ‘…will be your last’ popped into my head in Tokyo. Like The Flaming Lips’ ‘Do You Realise?’, this song is ultimately very positive about accepting your mortality and focussing on what matters.

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