Lawrence Arabia shares 3rd Singles Club track 'One Unique Creature'


One of New Zealand’s most acclaimed songwriters returns to releasing music, but in a new way. Feeling strangled by music industry release norms of premieres, deadlines and embargoes on his music, Lawrence Arabia decided to take a step closer to his fans sending them his new music as he makes it.

Abstract: A dysfunctional relationship is temporarily improved by hallucinogens.

Production Notes:
On October 6 last year, my old mate Edward Castelow (Dictaphone Blues) invited me to come and play a show in the Lewis Eady piano showroom. The dressing room for the show was the music school, a small warren of cell-like rooms where, presumably, eight year old virtuosi are brought to tears after failing to successfully execute an F#m scale. While relaxing in one of these sometime torture chambers, I started tinkering around with a looping waltz pattern on one of the Kawai uprights in there and soon had the elements of the piano chords and repetitive "ding dong" melody that make up the basics of this song you now have in your inbox.

I took my phone demo home and wrote a new vocal melody which turned the existing piano melody into a counterpoint and we were off. My first proper demo approach on October 16 last year nailed the general feel and arrangement pretty much as it is now. The next part of the process was to spend about four and a half months not thinking about the song at all.

After playing a bunch of varied shows around the turn of March, I was ready to start panicking about what to do for this month's song. The Lewis Eady piano song seemed like the prime contender, but I spent a couple of weeks walking around Auckland Domain trying to generate the right brain wavelength to let the lyrics start flowing. Eventually I decided that I was trying way too hard and that the lyrics could work in an impressionistic way rather than as a story with strong specific elements – the overall trippiness could hopefully fill in whatever gaps existed in the meaning.

Somewhere in that two weeks of musical existential angst, I also went through three string arrangement ideas and an agonising self-directed crash course in Sibelius (the computer programme, not the composer) just in the nick of time before recording a string duo of Rachel Wells (cello) and Alex Taylor (viola).

Even after recording the string arrangement, I still had no idea how to bring the song to some kind of state of completion. It was around then that Will "Wild Bill" Ricketts came into my mind. I sent a text message to him about the hypothetical possibility of adding some percussion to the song which he responded to seconds later with an extremely enthusiastic phone call – "send it right now and I'll put something on it." About two hours later, Will sent a percussion feel with about 20 different parts contained within it, and I had the final element that opened up the key to the atmosphere of the song and a sense of where it should end up.

Finally, Mike Hall paid a visit to the salubrious surroundings of Wall Of Shit on Tuesday evening and added double bass. At that point, I finalised as much of the mix as my pro-am skills would allow, then, on Thursday, my Wall Of Shit roommate James Dansey came in and went over the mix with a fine tooth comb.

This one has definitely been the hardest work of the three songs so far, as evidenced by the ponderous length of these production notes, but I'm really pleased with the final result and excited to share it with all you fine people.