Last month the Isaac Birchall Band released their debut full-length – ‘Where We Are’. It’s a favourable mix of rootsy heavy folk and blue-collar rock. Throughout the Isaac Birchall Band flex their musical chops from the ballad-esque ‘Omen’ to the jaunty ‘Don’t Send Me Away’ to the lively ‘Say It Tonight’.
To give us a better insight into ‘Where We Are’, Isaac Birchall himself gave Already Heard a track-by-track breakdown of ‘Where We Are’.
‘Believer’ is a song about my struggle with being massively opinionated and extremely stubborn in those opinions. I’ve lost dear friends over stuff and arguments that should never have gone as far as they did and that’s made me push myself to be more pragmatic in my outlook on life… thankfully it’s working! The song touches on the fact that everyone has their beliefs and their demons, and that’s ok to me now, because we’re all human.
2. Don’t Send Me Away
Fear of rejection is probably my biggest insecurity, especially where music is concerned. This song deals with my fear of never really “making it”, I suppose it’s my way to ask the listener to give me a chance. This song is special to me as well because it started life as a purely acoustic demo, and my band individually put their parts and their marks on it, it’s become a favourite among a lot of people, and there’s a lovely happy irony right there!
The song that was never meant to be. All my life my family and I have been persecuted and bullied by a small group of people, and this was written and recorded immediately after an incident. Even though we recorded the album version months later, the vocals on this are pulled from the original demo version because they felt the most real to me. I like the way they’re rough, out of tune and I even blew my voice out recording them. This song is my middle finger, my ‘You Can’t Bring Me Down’ by Suicidal Tendencies!
So this is based on a reoccurring dream I had for a while, that I was being taken away on an airplane from everything I knew and loved forever. I always had a pretty strong emotional reaction to it after it happened because I felt so sad, so I decided to turn it into a song to wrap it up in lyrics that I wrote almost like a short diary entry. I never had the dream again, so I guess it deals with trying to hold on to what you have, being scared to lose it incase the grass isn’t really greener.
5. What If I’m You?
As I’ve gotten older I’ve had friends and relatives pass away far too young, and it’s always struck me that life seems to carry on. I found myself imagining myself as the bereaved and the mourner and ended up with a song which feels like a fitting tribute to friends and family no longer with us. I’m not religious, so it’s about spending time with their memory & keeping them close by honouring them in the things we do while we’re still here.
‘Omen’ is sort of the opposite of ‘Don’t Send Me Away’ and ‘Gardens’ in that staying still and not moving on or taking chances can be just as destructive as making the wrong choices into the future. It’s about looking on past achievements, being my own counsel and hoping I find enough omens along the way to guide me.
7. Say It Tonight
This is a sad love song, no doubt about it. Written from the perspective of someone who’s so without love and so without friends that they make them up, hold conversations, dream of them and wish so hard they were real that the reality is crushing when it finally sets in. It’s about picking up the pieces and moving out of a rut of loneliness.
‘Where We Are’ by Isaac Birchall Band is out now.