Sarah Tyler of north of England's THE ENDGAME talks us through the tracks on their debut album 'Shifting Circles'
The Endgame are a gig-seasoned four-piece whose eclectic mix of alt rock, folk and pop has, as well as earning them numerous gigs in the north of England, brought them airplay on BBC Introducing and BBC Radio Scotland. In January 2011 The Endgame, consisting of Sarah Tyler (vocals, guitar), Dave Hay (guitar), Guy Millen (bass) and Chris Johnson (drums), released their first EP, 'November'. In 2013 the band began working on their debut full length album with renowned percussionist and producer Martin Neil. The project, 'Shifting Circles', was recorded at Blast Studios, Newcastle-on-Tyne and the House On The Hill studio, Durham. It was also mixed and mastered by Neil in Los Angeles and was released digitally on 7th March 2014. Here, Sarah Tyler gives her song-by-song rundown on the album.
Strangely this was a song written out of the frustration of having to fill out a tax return form, although, on a wider front, it's also about wanting to break free from the things that try to negatively shape and manipulate our lives.
This song relates to the 59 Motorcycle Club. An obituary in the paper a few years ago told the story of one of the founders, Father Bill Shergold, who set up the club in his church. It went on to become the biggest motorcycle club in the world. This original "ton-up" vicar befriended a whole generation of young "rockers", despite disapproval from the "powers-that-be".
"Here Comes The Rain"
This song almost didn't make it onto the album; written over a cup of coffee in just 10 minutes, none of the parts were fixed until we came to record the tracks late into the night. It essentially came together out of nowhere but is now one of my favourite songs on the album.
By contrast, "Atmosphere" was written as a response to a very moving talk given by Archbishop Desmond Tutu about apartheid, when I was still at university.
"Hang My Head"
This is a personal song composed several years back for my brother, Simon, who was going through a rough time in his life which none of the family had known about. Back then, I remember feeling really ashamed I'd let him down.
This song is about the foot and mouth epidemic that hit our local farming community really badly. Every day, on my way to work, I would see yet another ministry vehicle parked at the end of a farm track and, that same night, a line of black smoke billowing across the fields which became "etched in mind".
This was my attempt to make sense of a film clip I saw which showed children scouring a rubbish dump in a third world country, in an attempt to feed their family; it is my reflection on how remote such personal stories seem from our own experience.
This is a song with the theme of a relationship that has broken down.
This song relates to the Northern Irish peace agreement.
"Porcupine" has a similar theme to "Perfect Peach" about when a relationship goes bad.
The final song on the album is also the oldest. It was written in my late teens and was inspired by some pictures I saw in a prayer-book given to me by an aunt who was dying of cancer. One of the pictures showed a figure in white robes, walking across a barren landscape. This was followed by a drawing of a rose, without thorns, that had presumably fallen from the person's hand. It was a symbol of hope that remained with me, especially as my aunty had had a strong personal Christian belief that impacted on my own life. Interestingly, it is always the song that we finish our set with and seems to have struck a chord with lots of different audiences in a variety of settings.