It’s been three years since Perth based power psych-pop artist Michael Savage has released music following his third full-length album ‘Won’t Die Wondering’ - but the musician is now back and excited as ever to release new single ‘Write Home’.
Savage has had performances all over the country as both a soloist and fulfilling bass player roles with alt-country band The Little Lord Street Band. He has supported acts such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Davey Lane and Royston Vasie; all of which see him to continue on with performing in the coming year.
‘Write Home’ came about through collaboration with long-time friend Ricky Maymi (The Brian Jonestown Massacre) who assisted with production stages on the song. Unlike many past releases, the artist worked on several iterations before bringing Maymi onto the project - which you can distinctly hear through the toe-tapping groove as you listen to the song.
How do you feel about releasing music after your three year hiatus?
I'm definitely nervous about releasing my own music again. Having laboured over making an album for the past three years, I've found it very hard to let go and admit that it's finished, and let anybody in on its little internal world by releasing this single! But firstly my friends and family are very kind and generous listeners so my fears of public humiliation have not (yet?) been borne out. And secondly I do genuinely think that 'Write Home' is an objectively interesting song.
It's also been less of a hiatus than a refocussing for me. In the three years since the conclusion of my third solo album cycle, The Little Lord Street Band recorded and released an album, toured a lot, played some big supports, did Bigsound and some other festivals, and won three WAMIs. So it was nice to allow myself to be a band member and bassplayer for a while, get my head right, and stress less about booking solo gigs for the sake of being seen to be doing things. Anyways I lived a human life, found love and got married, rediscovered my joy for creating music, and made my fourth solo album in that time!
Through working with Maymi, Scottish psych-rock audio engineer Jason Shaw (Cambodian Space Project, Frankie Teardrop Dead, Kundalini Genie) and Mark Gardener (Ride) joined the project to tackle the mixing and mastering sides of the song (respectively) that made it really come to life. The new song is all about Savage’s whimsical take on the impermanence of relationships and lyrically he does this by expanding on an all too familiar scenario of someone moving away.
We heard that you have an interesting story about how the production for ‘Write Home’ came about. Can you tell us more?
My long-time friend and collaborator Ricky Maymi co-produced 'Write Home' and the forthcoming album from which it is taken. Ricky plays in The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Imajinary Friends and has many brilliant projects with many brilliant people under his belt. I met Ricky a whole ten years ago; he produced two albums for a band I played in called The Morning Night, then in 2015 he co-produced my first solo album, then in 2018 my third solo album. He has incredible ears and exceptional taste, and he's always challenging me to be more interesting and inventive.
I began recording this album with the intention of self-producing it, and I ended up playing all the instruments bar the drums and strings. But Ricky and I are often talking, and invariably the subject turns to music - we're both musicophiles and I tend to have little on my mind apart from the songs I'm working on. So I sought Ricky's counsel often whilst I was in the early stages of making the album, and in 2019 while Ricky was in Perth (he is a resident of the world) we were able to spend a couple of weeks working together in person making all my songs tighter and groovier. Ricky ended up spending so much time on this album and shaping its final form that it felt organic and correct for both of us to call ourselves co-producers. Ricky's greatest addition to 'Write Home' in particular was the chicken-scratch guitar part in the choruses.
Ricky was also the conduit to my meeting (virtually) the mix engineer Jason Shaw, a Glaswegian sweetheart who has worked on a ton of super cool psych records (listen to The Kundalini Genie) and is also an excellent person with impeccable taste. Since the world locked down, the three of us, in Australia, Scotland, and the US, have been working together via a group chat and zoom. And finally both Ricky and Jason know Mark Gardener, a hero of mine from the seminal UK shoegaze band Ride. We approached Mark to master and he was into it, so this song and album were mastered at Mark's OX4 studio in Oxfordshire. So it's been a four-country production!
What do you think would be the best scenario for listeners to enjoy ‘Write Home’ in?
That's an interesting question. I've listened to the song hundreds of times in many different situations trying to decide what to change about it, then dozens more times since it was mixed and mastered trying to decide whether I think it's good or not. I think this one seems to suit headphone listening whilst jogging. Lyrically there's some light yearning and positive vibes, but I guess also it's pretty chilled out and only like 74bpm - so your mileage may vary if you need to do your running to a pump-up EDM tune. 'Write Home' will be on an LP next year that I think works really well in a side A/side B way that will suit a warm weeknight listen with a loved one. PS. I'm really grateful to anybody who would listen and care about my song however they do it!
To celebrate the release of the new single, there will be a string of live shows showcasing Michael Savage’s live performance prowess. The dates will be as follows:
Tuesday November 9 - Leederville Songwriters Club, The 21st Amendment Bar (solo)
Sunday November 14 - Little Lord Street Band (High Beams Tour), Assembly Yard (solo)
Friday December 3 - Milk Bar, Inglewood (full band single launch)
Saturday December 4 - Prince of Wales, Bunbury (solo)
Sunday December 5 - The River, Margaret River (solo)
For more information and updates, make sure to check out their Facebook page here.
In the meanwhile, don’t forget to check out ‘Write Home’ down below!