Turning Sleeping into Art

Released 22nd of September 2023

All songs are written, performed and recorded by Elison.

  • At Least (I'm a Good Father)
  • Back to the Fear
  • Could You Believe?
  • A World That's Wrong
  • The Long Armed Lament
  • Tiny Sudocrem Handprints
  • Then You'll Cry
  • The Ghost
  • Year After Year
  • When She's Eighteen
  • The Devil's Door
  • Extraordinary Love

Since my last album, a lot has changed! Anyone who follows me will be all too aware of it as I have been releasing singles and as always, I write about what is happening. For those who don't know, I have had a daughter and she has had quite an effect on my life. All very positive of course and she has given me much to ponder and write songs about, but there has been a logistical effect that makes it very hard to get anything at all done!

Albums take an enormous amount of time to record and the last time I did it was during lockdown, from home, before my daughter was born and with only seven songs that already existed in demo form. The last time I wrote a real album from scratch I was living alone and had almost all the time in the world. It's crazy how much time I used to have when I thought I was really busy! I used to play computer games for fun and watch whole seasons of television programmes with ease, as well as working, having a very active social life and then recording albums without really affecting any of my other activities. Now, however, life is so properly busy with having to take care of a child, it is almost impossible to realistically find the huge amounts of time needed to write, record, mix and master an album all on my own while also having a job. I have found a way though!

My daytime job is as a self employed studio photographer and as such I have a studio space. My wife and I have recently moved house and during the search the need to allow me some space for recording really hampered our search. God knows why I hadn't thought of it earlier, but I sound treated my studio so i could move all my recording gear in there. It barely effects the photography side of things, but does mean I can do more video work as the room sounds really nice now. It has changed everything as I can go in early and do a load of recording before work starts proper and I have never before been so productive.

The album is really about just that situation, among others and will be familiar to anyone who has had children. Negotiating your way through parenthood while trying to keep some independent spirit alive and at the same time keep your marriage in good health is the hardest challenge known to man, surely. I have taken on some taxing projects in my time and this child thing is the hardest by far. The actual parenting bit is not so bad, she is an absolute angel and I wouldn't change it for the world. I get so much daily joy watching her grow it's the best thing that has ever happened to me, but in equal measure and the thing very few people admit to, it is absolutely destructive to everything else in life.

Life is just littered with irony now. I have never had such impetus to work hard as I have now, but no energy to see it through. I've never had so many ideas floating around for my work, my house, my hobbies and yet have no time. I'm finding a way and it is making me a better person and that really is what the album is about. It looks on the surface to be about having a child, but really is about surviving the early years. Keeping sane and holding on to your partner through some of the most trying times a person can face (aside from really harsh out of this world kind of stuff like war, illness and death). Just all the phases I have been through, the dark and the light. It's not who I am or who I'm going to be, but the ten or so versions I've passed through on my way to ultimately being a Dad.

As a little note, during the recording of this album it has been played a lot around the house and in the car and my daughter has become obsessed with it, to the extent that a car ride with me has to have it on if a tantrum is to be avoided. It got me thinking that a lot of my influences that I just can't shake to this day were the few albums played in the car by my parents when I was her age. Those albums have forged who I am as a musician regardless of how good they might be (not!) and if my daughter is similarly influenced by what she is listening to right now, the album that will stay with her forever is actually about her. That seems nuts to me!

There a few videos of some songs from the album below, enjoy.

Track 2 - Back to the Fear

Track 3 - Could You Believe?

Track 5 - The Long Armed Lament

Track 10 - When She's Eighteen

Track 11 - The Devil's Door

Track 12 - Extraordinary Love