BLACKBIRDS, BY DUO FINGERSNAP, IS ONE OF THOSE RARE SONGS WHICH CONVEYS EMOTIONS OF SUCH PROFOUND WEIGHT IT CANNOT, SURELY, HAVE BEEN MERELY ‘WRITTEN’.
Accompanied by a moving animated video by artist Lewis Campbell, David McAlmont’s poetic, intimate, lyrics and falsetto soar over Guy Davies’ Baroque piano. The intense – private – feeling of loss and loneliness summoned seems to have struck something of a chord – universal – during the few weeks that the song has been online.
“The sparse beauty and wonderful melancholic atmosphere of the song made me think of a journey that must be taken alone; and that, at its end, some form of salvation or redemption would be achieved,” says video-maker Campbell. “I wanted to create a visual piece that would complement the ethereal quality; that would exist somewhere between dreams and reality”…
After working together on David’s solo albums during the ’90s and early ’00s, Davies and McAlmont’s new partnership was formalised in 2011. Fingersnap’s SMOKEHOUSE EP, their debut material, was released that winter and focused on a ‘British Soul’ sound.
Soul… Defiantly joyous post-break-up single YES (an I WILL SURVIVE for the indie generation) was released in 1995, and endures to this day. Its ‘Motown Plus’ euphoria was described by co-writer Bernard Butler (in The Mouthcast, here) as “a ridiculously uplifting fuck you”. But, perhaps, YES diminished chances for McAlmont’s other work, often ignored in its favour. This is, as he reflects during this new edition of The Mouthcast, a transaction he’s now at peace with, YES accepted as enabling; “It was a gift from the universe”.
McAlmont also discusses his creative partnerships with Michael Nyman and, of course, Bernard Butler; reveals that it was Art Garfunkel’s voice which was his first inspiration as a singer; and talks about working with Guy Davies as Fingersnap…
Download BLACKBIRDS here.
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David McAlmont portrait by JD Kelleher.
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