Today Chris Merrick Hughes, post-punk forebearer, producer, and songwriter has released his first piece of music in over 20 years, with the single,”Dily’s Dream,” off his forthcoming album Eirenic Life.
Chris Merrick Hughes on the track and new album Eirenic Life:
“The title and main theme for Eirenic Life came from my feelings about the recent state of things and a few unwelcomed premonitions: the ongoing wars between people, the right-wing shift, Trump and Brexit, the late-night scaremongering news, all the aggressive and unnecessary crap,” says Chris Hughes.
“The album doesn’t carry much form of traditional western composition, like developed harmonic work, it’ s quite basic, Hughes feels. They’ re more like sketches, strange melodic ideas. Not complicated, not boring but hopefully rewarding.”Hughes’ grounding in The Beatles and psychedelia was soon upended by a moment when his fine-art teacher/music-buff father took the 18-year old Chris to a concert by the minimalist composer Steve Reich. It was an album of, “strange experimental electronics, that Hughes played to David Bates, a junior A&R man, that led to producing the Liverpool synth-pop band Dalek’s I Love You, which led on to Adam Ant.
“Fast forward and I’m still working away in the studio, but I decided three years ago that it was time for another solo project. Often late at night, away from phone calls, production work and schedules, and with the added freedom of knowing that my children were now old enough to burn their own toast. Eirenic Life is, at heart, a very straightforward piano album. I wanted something small and simple, and everyone understands the nature of piano. I didn’t want a synth record. I didn’t want mystery.” Looking out of his studio at the lush Bybrook Valley, outside Bath, and looking too at computer graphic images of a sunset/sky and water that became Eirenic Life’ s beatific album cover.
“My album has purpose but it’ s meandering, it’ s supposed to be primitive. I did write other ambitious tracks, but I couldn’t connect with them. I’m also a huge fan of minimalism, if you can get your point across with less. I like the idea that the V and A is theoretically calm, but it’ s actually quite noisy!” he says. “And then I bedded the piano on that ambience”. The track also features the sound of an old gate opening and closing, discovered on a countryside walk. it made such a squeaky mechanical interruption, I recorded it and used it as a squeaky mechanical interruption.”
The album ends with “Safe Warm Sun,” which is a the eirenic part, aiming for peace, and no bigotry.”‘ Tenemos Historia’ (Spanish for ‘ we have history’ ) makes the same point: “it’ s reminder that human beings should be doing better than killing each other by now.”The Dily of ‘ Dily’ s Dream’ is Hughes’ cat, a nervy rescue animal who nevertheless sleeps so peacefully, “and I often wonder what she’ s dreaming about. It’ s a dippy, noodly tune and it’ s supposed to be whimsical.”Likewise, ‘ Exmoor Pony Gavotte’ , 47 seconds of, “a strange, repetitive descending line, which wasn’ t particularly good, but when I re-discovered it, it made me laugh! And it made a nice dropdown into the last piece.”Having waited 23 years between solo albums, Hughes is already making progress with a third, “a more obtuse record, with wobbly synthesiser, super-fast modulation and drums.”A book of Hughes’ graphic designs in also in the works. But right now, he’ s on a mission for peace, with one of the most exquisite and melodic balms of this or any other year. Send it to Donald Trump, now!