I introduced both Tenant From Zero (Tenant from Zero: single, EP and interview) and The Loch Ness Mouse (The Loch Ness Mouse S/T) on this blog in the first half of 2017 as two of the most outstanding neo-sophistipop acts around. I also introduced the two figureheads behind these projects to one and other, and today is the day that we can finally hear some of the result of a collaboration that ensued from the meeting of these two minds. Ahead of the album awaited at the start of next year, the charismatic Paul Darrah, aka Tenant From Zero, gives us a taste of things to come and releases the single “The End Away“: a song/production chuck-full of classic ingredients that we remember or love from our late 80’s heroes of smoothness. It houses, of course, Paul’s melancholy baritone, a saxophone, some siren-like backing-vocals, a sketch of urban drama, and above all, some exquisite guitar-chords. The production sounds polished beyond lustrous. I probed Paul about it:
Tell us about “The End Away“:
“The song is obviously about a breakup but it’s really about facing up to the inevitability of it. I like that the title doesn’t really make sense on its own without the lyric that came before. Musically I wanted this to sound like a big studio thing with a big chorus that could have come out in 1988 when labels poured lots of money into artists and albums. Late 80’s British Sophistipop was the main influence on the sound.”
How did the collaboration with Ole J. Åleskjaer and Jorge Elbrecht come about?
“Well, I was introduced to Ole and his beautiful songs by you and then you banded us together to do the Prefab Sprout cover for the “I Remember That” compilation cover. After that I sent Ole a demo of a song I had done years ago and he really loved it and we started talking about working together. He’s been an incredibly devoted and patient collaborator with some really beautiful ideas that breathed a lot of life into the material. As for Jorge: Kurt Feldman introduced me via email back in 2017. Since then I really got into Jorge‘s stuff. There’s a weirdness in what he does especially the reverb he uses on his voice. I thought of Jorge‘s contribution as the wild card to mine and Ole‘s more traditional approach. He’s been a joy to work with. No attitude; just gorgeous results.”
What can we expect from you in the future?
“This is the first single from what will be my first album coming out early next year. There’s a lyric video for the song also but that’s coming a little later. The album is more band-based than my last EP; still synths, but also live drums, sax and some string arrangements. Ole and I worked thru every detail of every sound and arrangement on every song initially together and then remotely via email. So it’s taken a long time to pull it together and we’re still doing it. AND we still like each other. LOL. Ole is a mean guitarist; he does the solo on The End Away and all the other guitar work on the record.”
“The End Away” was produced by Paul Darrah and Ole Johannes Åleskjaer from Oslo band The Loch Ness Mouse and mixed by Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, Lansing-Dreiden). This is the first single from Tenant From Zero‘s forthcoming album set for release in early 2020.
(art & photo: Ronaldo Aguiar)