11 October 2011

The Moth & The Mirror: Honestly, This World: Track by track

I am not one for reviews, I think my previous attempts can only highlight the reason why I avoid doing them. So when it comes to writing these wee introduction posts I do find myself struggling a wee bit as there is always that fear that I will fall into the trap of bloggers hyperbole. So I'll try and keep this as simple as I possibly can, yesterday the label that I co-run, Olive Grove Records, put out our third album by a band called The Moth & The Mirror and fuck me it's a bit good. Actually it's better than that, but you really don't have to take my word for it, as so far we've been getting some pretty amazing reviews, including album of the month in the latest issue of The Skinny. You don't need to take our word for it as you can stream the whole album at the bottom of this post and make your own mind up. Tomorrow I will be posting an interview with the band, so I will save all of the introductions until then. For now at least here's Stacey from The Moth & The Mirror to talk us through their awesome debut album...

Everyone I Know

This is a pretty dark song actually, about a sad time when one of my good friends was sick. They got better and all is very well now, but it was touch and go for a while. At that time it felt as though everyone I knew wasn't quite themselves. It's quite an old song.

Soft Insides

I guess this is about something that a lot of people have experienced, when you want to be close to someone but they won't let you. Just one little moment can really effect your relationships. This is Gordon's favourite song because it is so simple. He gets to do his reverby thing on his guitar and that makes him happy. Our old drummer Murdo plays on this one song on the album and we recorded this one with Tony Doogan. Every other song was recorded by Davey McAuley.


Fire is about a mixture of things. Partly running away from everyday life and trying to find some kind of escapism; partly letting people down by doing that, then trying to make it up to them. There are some other things in there too. Louis came up with the riff for this one, that's why it's so jaggy. It was a lot of fun putting this one together. You can really get into the singing at the end, just close your eyes and go for it.


This is the saddest song. It's a pretty angry song too. I wrote it after a family member committed suicide. Depression is a terrible thing but death is not the answer for anything. It leaves such a big hole. I used to cry when I sang this song but I'm tougher now. There are some nice things about the recording of this song that you might like. At the beginning of the song, that beautiful spooky sound is a vibraphone being played with a bow - it's amazing. Also, if you listen to the loud section of the song and listen out especially for the drums. The crazy drum parts were played by Pete while he had a bad arm, but he just took a couple of pain killers and went and blasted it. We found out the next day his arm was broken! We also have some unusual instrumentation in there: at one point Louis is banging a fire extinguisher.

Beautiful Creature

Phil Cardwell of Woodenbox plays the beautiful trumpet solo on this song. This is a sleazy song, isn't it? I like that it sounds so sleazy. There is a 'suede' song that I really loved called 'The Big Time' and I always loved the brass sound on it. That was what we were aiming for with the trumpet there.

When I wrote this song it was very short, I considered adding in another verse and making it a full length song, but I kind of like to stick to making the songs how they come out in the first place. So, it's short and sweet just like the moment it was written about.

Honestly, this world

The title song of our album is our only love song. It's about real love. The kind you're afraid of and treat with respect, like you would a pet Lion. It's kind of about how it's ok to have flaws as well and that when you find the right person your flaws will work together. Does that make sense? The title itself comes from a book called, 'The Sea' by John Banville, but really I wouldn't like to say too much about the sentence, save to say that, as a sentiment, it has various possible connotations and it's for you to decide which you'd like to take.

Also, it is very noisy and is great fun to play live. When we were mixing the song it took us ages to get it right. We couldn't get it to have the noisy, joyous sound we wanted. We had to do it over again 3 times.

Hope is an anchor

This is Iain's favourite song. Because I'm such a weirdo, when I wrote the melody for Hope is an Anchor' the rhythms I was singing were all different time signatures. Iain liked it, so we kept it that way. If you know how to count time you will hear that the start of the song changes time signature every few bars. It's very unusual but it works. This song is about someone who is afraid of any kind of relationship. I think it's a really pretty song, it's very gentle for us. There is a beautiful Instrumental section in this song thanks to Angus Lyon, Kevin Brolly and Sarah Hayes. We asked them to pretend they were on top of a glacier. Everytime I hear Kevin Brolly's clarinet do that crazy squeak, it makes me laugh out loud.


Germany is a poptastic tune. We wrote this one after jamming for a bit. It all started with my dog, he used to drink water funnily from his bowl in a rhythm like: lick lick lick... lick lick lick - That's the main rhythm for the song. Seriously! The big guitar melody came out of us just playing around in rehearsals. The most difficult part of writing this song was the arrangement and fitting the lyrics in. We'd already come up with so many instrumental melodies and fun riffs I didn't want to have too much going on at once. I made the melody really simple and quite monotonous. Then we built the vocal harmonies around it and thankfully it worked. It fits so well with the lyrics too, all very lucky. The lyrics are about stalking someone.

Closing Doors

Closing Doors is a lovely song that's one of Louis'. It's such a simple concept for a song we didn't want to tart it up too much, instrumentally. We kept it really basic. We had the idea of having a door opening and closing and the second half of the song taking place outside walking around. That was lots of fun to record. The beautiful faint harmonies in the last verse of the song were sung by Maria Taylor of Azure Ray. She was in Glasgow playing a show, so I got her really drunk in her hotel bar and stuck a microphone in her face. She's awe-inspiring! Most of our other songs have a really big, emotional feeling compared to this one, I like that it feels small and chilly cold.

Oceans & Waves

The final song on our album is Oceans & Waves. It is my favourite. I'm so happy with how it turned out. It's properly miserable. The vibe that Davey managed to get when we recorded it is perfect. For me, it's the most meaningful and heart breaking. It's about being far away from someone you love, and about unrequited love in a way too. It took us a while to settle on the arrangement with this one, but it ended up sounding better than I ever could have expected. Songs take on a life of their own when you get into the studio.

'Honestly, This World' is available now from their Bandcamp, alternatively you can find download it though all of the major retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, etc. Alternatively, you can do your bit to support you local record store by purchasing it from one of the following stores: Avalanche Records, Love Music Glasgow, Monorail Music, One Up Records and Norman Records.

The album is also available in both Fopp stores in Glasgow (Union Street and Byres Road), the band will also be playing an in store at the Union Street branch on Sunday the 16th of October at 1pm.

To celebrate the albums release The Moth & The Mirror are also playing two headline shows this week, on Wednesday (12th) they are playing at Stereo, then on Sunday they’re through in Edinburgh at the Cabaret Voltaire. Tickets for both of these gigs are available in advance from Tickets Scotland. In Glasgow support on the evening comes from Open Swimmer and Rick Redbeard from the Phantom Band, and in Edinburgh Open Swimmer will be doing the duties again with Endor also playing an acoustic set.


  1. Dan Dems11/10/11

    congrats lloyd! I'm copping it right now and listening to the whole thing! x

  2. cheers fella, good to hear from you too!