Zu Beginn ihrer Karriere galt das britische Duo Aquilo kurzzeitig mit ihren emotionalen, wie elektronisch anmutenden Songs als das nächste große Ding nach London Grammar oder The xx – zwei Alben später warten die beiden aus Silverdale, Lancashire in England noch auf den großen internationalen Durchbruch, aber auch ohne den ganz großen Erfolg ist es immer noch spannend, was die beiden einige Jahre nach dem Zweitwerk ii (2018) abliefern. Heute erscheint nun ihr neues Album A Safe Place To Be, für das das Duo von Los Angeles in ihre Heimat Silverdale zurückkehrte und dort entdeckte, dass die Besinnung auf ihre Wurzeln die Inspiration war, die sie brauchten. Für uns haben Ben Fletcher und Tom Higham ein Track by Track zum Album geschrieben!
1. Out In LA
We wrote this song after we’d have a difficult ‘writing trip’ to LA. We’d been to LA loads before but this time was different. Island records sent us out there to write ‘a hit’. It made us feel rubbish. We felt like we weren’t capable of writing freely and it just didn’t go down well. We came home after a month of nothingness and decided to put Aquilo on hold and start a new band pretty much. Then we were with a good friend Jon Green and we started writing a song about that experience and how it can be such a love/ hate place.
2. Our Bones Turn To Stone
This was a real turning point for us in terms of the album realisation. We decided to go home for Christmas early and take our instruments/studio with us. We set up in Bens mum and dads basement where there was this old out of tune piano. The first thing Ben played was the melody you hear on the piano. The lyrics just came so naturally and the second lyric is the title of the album. We wrote it in Silverdale and at the time that was our safe place to be.
3. Talking To Yourself
We’d been listening to lots of Arcade Fire around the time and this song just sort of evolved from that. Originally it was a song about blocking out all the unwanted noise but it evolved into much more than that over time.
4. You Make Me Mad
The title for this song just speaks for itself really. It’s straight down the line about someone making you mad. We’d been blasting MGMT and Passion Pit a lot during in lock down so we were getting a little synth crazy.
5. Stupid Not To Try
Originally we wrote this song with Sabrina Carpenter whose an actress and artist from California. She was a fan of the music and came to our show in LA at The Troubadour. A few months later she was in the UK and we wrote this song. It just happened so easily and that’s really not always the case. A few years passed and she still hadn’t used the song so we asked if she wasn’t going to have it could we and she seemed pretty happy about that. After a week or so of tweaking we’d got it right with Toms voice. Theres definitely something special on this one. Feels like the sound track to a beautiful ending of an indie film or something like that.
6. Costume Change
Almost every song on the album holds a place in the model village/ A Safe Place To Be. This one in particular lives in the village hall. We both used to play music there as kids and perform in the village plays. It’s about being able to be someone else for a brief moment on stage and feeling comfortable in your new skin for the moment.
7. Hanging On
Theres no hiding this being like an ode to Beach House. Sonically it just reminds us of our younger days swooning over those synths and drum machines. ‘Like sex on the beach or a really good sleep, rubbing salt in the wound, I’ll always want you’. It’s about no matter what, I’ll always hang on to ‘us’ being something.
8. Our Days Are Numbered
Throughout working on the album we would hire Air Bnb’s and disappear to wherever we needed to go and just set up the studio there. Often we’d take friends and this time we took our friend Karma Kid. He brings a much harder hitting sound and that’s what you’re hearing there. We were out in the Cotswolds singing ‘You Say Our Days Are Numbered’ all weekend.
9. Silver Spoon
We’ve had this song for ages, so long actually it could have gone on the 2nd album but we just didn’t quite have it right then. A few friends of our friends kept telling us we were mad for not releasing it and after a while we started to grow towards it. So happy we’ve finally found a home for it. Just a little bop really.
10. Better Off As Strangers
This lyrically is a big one. Referencing songs we’ve written before and jus being brutally honest. Kind of one of those songs you wanna sing in the rain being all dramatic. The strings arrangement is one that really gets us. We had Matt Kelly on strings for most of the album but what he’s done with this is just special. Maybe one day we’ll just release the string version.
It’s another song about accepting not being with that person. Bit of a theme there we suppose?
11. I Wanna See You Smile
This was the last song we wrote on the album. We had no intentions of releasing it as s single until 2 weeks before we released it. After we’d written it, it just continued to grow on us. Tom had this piano motif he kept playing at the piano but it never really went further than that. It took a long to time to write because we didn’t have a chorus either. We just couldn’t get it right. Ben showed Tom another song he’d written and Tom was like, THATS THE CHORUS TO THIS. We simply sung it into this song and he was right. (That never normally works by the way). But we were just so over the moon we’d finally cracked it. A really special song for the two of us and it leaves the album in a good place that we’re both proud of. We suppose it marks what’s coming after the album.