Old Love is a new LP of collaborations between Berlin based artist Guy Dale (Mute Swimmer) and Copenhagen based musician Simon Skjødt Jensen (Own Road).The album was largely recorded over three sessions in a former WW2 bunker on the edge of Christianshavn (Copenhagen) - with the artists recording, arranging and playing all the instruments themselves.
Although each of LP's sides are roughly divided between the artist's lead vocals 'Old Love' represents more of a genuine collaboration than its predecessor (Old Tricks EP, 2013) with both artists taking writing and/or arrangement credits for ten of its twelve songs.
Like 'Old Tricks' the project represents something of a plundering of the vaults - some of its tracks are drawn from ideas more than a decade old - salvaged from oblivion by the other’s enthusiasm for a melody or theme and subsequently re-written, re-worked and arranged together. Others, like the title track, are new compositions that grew out of the recording process and built on the emerging concepts of the record.
A number of songs came about in an old school 'Lieber and Stoller' way - one taking care of the music, the other the lyrics. A case in point would be piano ballad 'Half Smile' to which Dale set a lyrical melody to an old chord progression by SJ. Others tracks took a more 'Lennon and McCartney' approach with one suggesting minor musical changes, arrangement ideas and lyrical additions to the other’s almost complete compositions.
The LP is knit together in a loose, intimate setting - dulcimers, honky tonk pianos, ukes and acoustic guitars prevail - often with the artists picking up instruments they are more or less unfamiliar with and ‘seeing what happens’. This atmosphere of camaraderie and experimentation is evident throughout - but it also acts as a kind foil to some of the darker lyrical themes of the record.
If these are love songs they are shot from all angles of our experience of love - from the slightly paranoid, ego threatening sugar rush of new love ('Can’t Give You A Wolf') to the dead eyed melancholy of separation and lost love ('February 4th'). The ‘old love’ of the title is also cast in its lighter shades - of enduring love ('September Spring') or as an intuition of its being a kind of governing abstract force that sustains and binds things together ('The Old Magic'). It’s also a reference to the songs themselves - to those fragments of old melodies ‘that almost got away’ and were given new life under the auspices of the collaboration itself and a shared love of music and song.
released March 9, 2018
Recorded & mixed by Simon Skjødt Jensen & Guy Dale at The Bunker Studios & at home in Berlin between 2015-17.
All tracks written by Guy Dale & Simon Skjødt Jensen except 'September Spring' & 'Old Love' by Guy Dale.
Drawing, design & layout by Guy Dale.
Mastered by Mads Bordinggaard Christensen at Mammut Mastering.