13. Breakthrough (Crystalline)

It’s hard writing music that sounds sincere while at the same time fits a criteria that has naturally been shaped by the other surrounding songs already committed to an album’s track listing.

In my mind, I still needed something else that could be used as a single, wasn’t overly melodic, had an appropriate lyrical sentiment (in context of everything else around it) and a sense of pace to it.

I persisted with my hunt and on a trip to the post office, a journey I regularly make in order to send out merchandise ordered online, I found myself drawn to a song by Morcheeba called ‘Enjoy the Ride.’

It’s message was clear and obvious and served as timely reminder not to lose sight of the bigger picture, something I was guilty of doing having been so consumed by my work for so long.

As I got home, I had half an hour before I had to leave for another run of gigs and proceeded to quickly jot down some words on my laptop that embodied the same sentiment. I slammed down the lid and forgot all about it until much later.

Unlike the previous few unrewarding gigs I’d played the week before, this particular night was far more worthwhile.

After packing away, loading out and catching up with some close friends over a few beers and smokes, my mind was still racing and in no mood to go to sleep. I opened up my laptop to revisit the words I’d written earlier that day and began to experiment with them. I wouldn’t usually use this approach as I tend to go the other way, melody before words which in turn helps to suggest appropriate lyrical sentiments.

I’m not sure whether it was the fact I’d just been playing music for several hours that there was some sort natural musical undercurrent still flowing around my disposition but I knew as soon as I started strumming my guitar, that something cool was happening and that the music I was creating was ticking all the boxes needed to fit comfortably on to the album.

In a magical burst of musical spontaneity, the first half of the song basically wrote itself in the back of my van. There, in the cold parking lot of a Kentish country pub was where I wrote ‘Crystalline’ and when I did eventually go to sleep, I knew I had the song I had been waiting for.

I finished it off properly when I got home a few days later and went to town on the arrangement for the demo, creating what I still think is one of my most beautiful and articulate arrangements when it all climaxes at the end.



Oh what a journey, it cuts to the core,

Just when you get somewhere, you want something more,

You just hope to God it happens, all that happiness can bring,

When you break it down, it’s the simplest of things,

So get out of your head, maybe then you’d see,

That the answer’s around you, you have everything you need,

You can’t stand on the horizon, no matter what you do,

Every road that you go down only leads back to you,

All your running,

Will count for nothing,

So find yourself the time

And stay crystalline

And that golden temple, you were hoping to find,

Will not compete with what’s in your mind,

Don’t abandon the day, don’t let it drive you mad,

One day you may look back and think it wasn’t that bad,

It wasn’t that bad,

All your running,

Will count for nothing,

If you don’t find yourself the time,

To stay crystalline,

All your running,

Will lead you down the line,

You can’t turn back time,

Of course it’s gonna hurt, Of course you gotta try,

It’s not about the end,

It’s all about the ride,

So find your balance,

Find your balance.

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