04 October 2010

Peenko Exclusive: The Last Battle - Heart of the Land, Soul of the Sea: Track By Track

Today sees the release of the debut album, 'Heart of the Land, Soul of the Sea', by Edinburgh folk pop sextet, The Last Battle through 17 Seconds Records. I have already confessed that this is one of my favourite albums of 2010, that is why I asked in lead singer Scott to do a wee track by track of the songs on the album. He'll take you through all the various steps of their cracking debut came together, what he the songs mean to him, the overly loud special guests that he roped in, plus confessions on his love of Leith.

Heart Of The Land

You could say the album has a concept, but I would hate to say it’s a concept album. Basically there’s a theme running throughout of two people who fall in love but can never be together because of their circumstances; one belongs to the land, the other the sea. This is sung from the character who belongs to the land. The interference noise at the beginning belongs to that of a crap shower radio. Paul our bassist who produced the album went through an experimental phase of recording Basins of water, showers running and toilets flushing to get something for the start. The shower radio was the only thing that sounded any good. Personally, I think Paul went a bit mental during the recording of this album.

The Last Battle - Heart Of The Land by peenko


The first single and the most commercial sounding song on the album. Always a popular song to play live. It really came alive after Floras cello had been added. I play the slide guitar on it which I loved doing.


The very first song I wrote for The Last Battle. Even though it’s very jaunty, it was written at a time when I was literally at the end of my tether with a lot of things, so the lyrics are a bit dour. The first line ‘I’m jumping ship and I’m taking all the Lifejackets’ sums up that “Oh sod everything, I’m off” feeling I had at that point in my life.

The Last Battle - Lifejackets by peenko

Natures Glorious Rage

Very very wordy. There are literally so many words in this song. Sometimes we don’t play it live because of the amount of words in it. It’s about our protagonists burying themselves alive in the hope they take root and grow side by side and never be apart. It’s a twisted love song. It also has Bart from Eagleowl doing a subtle bit of electric guitar over the top of it, which literally saved the sound of this song.

Oh Best Beloved

It’s our stripped back love song. Just vocals, guitar and cello. Always hilarious to play live if there are folk chatting as we get to sing the line ‘Ignore me then’ with extra venom. I think Arwen’s backing vocals are lovely. I hope we can get her to sing more songs on her own in the future.

Photographic Memory

In the ten years or so that I’ve known Paul he’s always written either really catchy pop bass lines or really annoying self indulgent Jazz bass lines. This is his first structured song with lyrics and a melody, and though it pains me to say it – it’s beautiful. It has elements of Malcolm Middleton to it. I wish I’d written it. Damn him.


Our waltz song. I like this because it’s got full drums on it, territory which I think we’ll be exploring more later in the bands life, and my voice is all distorted which I’m a fan off. Liam our drummer did a fine job of mixing this. In fact the whole album come to think of it. Well done sir.

The Last Battle - Cutlass by peenko


I have fond memories of recording this. We all went away into the countryside to a friends house to record the end vocals. It went on till 3 in the morning, huddled round a mic all drunkenly wailing our heads off. The title is a nod to my favourite black comedy Snuffbox and Matt Berry’s catchphrase in it of ‘Whisky!!’. The lyrics were inspired by our old Aussie guitar player Dan who would get drunk and insist he was going home before yelling “Pour another, one for the road!’ and end off staying out all night. It’s our wee love letter to Edinburgh, and more specifically Leith.

Any Ocean

This is a song about my wee boy. The outro is very hypnotic, and features Bart Owl playing a magnificent wee looped guitar line. I love playing this live as there’s not a lot of singing in it!

Soul Of The Sea

The closing song, and by far my favourite. Cracking bit of mouth organ courtesy of my other half Ella, on this. We roped Neil from Meursault into singing backing vocals on this too. He was so loud!! We had to make him stand about 5 feet from the mic but he was still louder than everyone else! He sings in a key that’s so at odds with what everyone else sings on this, but it totally works. I remember some of us were a bit unsure of it at first, but after a few listens everyone was sold. Bart also sings on this, but you can barely hear him for Neil. I love playing this live. It always gets such a great reaction. I’m looking forward to getting Neil to sing it live with us.

The Last Battle - Soul Of The Sea by peenko

'Heart of the Land' is out now, you can pick yourself a copy directly from the band through their website, it is also available on iTunes and eMusic. The band are playing an free in store gig at Avalanche Records in Edinurgh at 5:30 this evening. If you're in that neck of the woods make sure you get down to this one.

17 Second Records

"The whole album was recorded in bassist Pauls flat on a cheap 12 track. Drummer Liam Mixed it. On some tracks if you listen very carefully you can hear random noises like Police sirens in the background."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4/10/10

    I love this album, I really do... quite excited about this evening's little Avalanche shindig!