East London multi-media collective Never Never Man release their new album Division on Saturday through Catch 21 Records and they’ve put together a behind the scenes video to introduce the record. We’re delighted to bring you the premiere of the short film, also called Division, by Leon Dee which features music from the album interspersed with footage shot during its creation.
Collective member Gavin Bowers describe the record as “an album about the constructs we come across in our everyday lives, the people we once were, the people we want to be and the people we are today and what keeps them so far apart in a very fractured society why must we have so much division in our lives.”
Gavin also provided us with a track by track guide to Division:
An anti-heroin song questioning why people do it a second time. And why anyone would think it’s ok to subject you to looking after them in that state and watching where that life style can lead to. We tracked most of this live at our old studio space in London it really came around at a time that the band’s sound was evolving into what it is today. Whatever that is.
Someone Else’s Bed
Very Beatles inspired track but with a much darker undertone to it like a freak show rather than a carnival. I guess it’s that situation when one of you is ready to commit and the other one isn’t quite there yet – it’s not healthy if it’s just left like that. The problem with bed hopping is no one can get comfortable. I ended up layering 18 vocal tracks on this one.
More Than a Feeling
This song is about when chasing a feeling gets in the way of your actual life and stepping back and getting some perspective on things and what’s really important when the party is over.
It came out of the first jam we had at the cottage sessions. Ester and Mahyar played some nice keys parts and I jumped on the bass – the rest fell into place without to much thought. It’s just got that tight groove that fits in your pocket perfectly.
It’s about the establishment I wrote it when I was really into the show The Crown – it got me thinking about what it would be like to have absolute power and minimal knowledge.
A pretty song covered in dirt was the idea I wanted the sound to be fuzzed out but underneath still a nice pop song at heart almost like it was trying to conceal its true colours.
‘Lemon’ is basically the peak of my John Lennon obsession musically. Definitely channeling John but also trying to use more timeless sounds to do so. Lyrically it’s about how ridiculous I think the notion of religion is in a modern day content. I like playing with the idea of false gods stuck in today’s society trying to recruit people to their cause, hosting parties and driving fast cars. Basically if Jesus was an easy London playboy would his message be more palatable. I think Esther’s ad-lib vocal style at the end really makes the track for me.
It’s about young couples living together through convenience, having cheaper rent, more space, someone to be around, not really someone to be with, which is fine but a very different feeling than when something is real and speaks to you from that very real place. Ultimately at what price is going through the world alone too cheap for you?
I really like the brass section on the end of this track I was going for a real lady Madonna feel with it but also just a big euphoric release hitting the middle of the record.
‘Lips’ is a tale of bad choices, to the point where you can’t seem to find your way back home. It’s about borrowing money from your parents in your 30s and feeling guilty about it but in truth knowing unfortunately there just was no other option for you. The world you’re 30 in is very different than the one your folks were 30 in. Hard to wipe your own arse when your hand’s firmly stuck in your parents’ pockets. This was really the moment in the studio we’re we found our bass sound which later became the temple for the bass on the rest of the album.
‘Flow’ is about your own sense on morality and how people perceive you. When everyone goes home how do they think of you? It’s that feeling of 3rd man syndrome – if no one is around to question our actions then does it really matter what you do or say? Production wise this song feels like two songs stitched together. It took a while to make that work but I’m very happy with it now definitely takes you on a journey.
It’s a steady song that just moves you along with it. When I wrote it I was thinking about my life as a timeline. Different sounds pop in and out but you keep just pushing forward without a choice. I find that calming.
I think me and Mahyar wrote this one afternoon in his room in Hackney it was one of those songs that just seemed to write its self really it’s essentially Radiohead doing a krautrock song. The lyrics are about the London rumour mill how there’s always someone talking shit about you, even people you’ve never met before, the idea that we’re only ever really as good as our name in a stranger’s eyes.
Why Does It Have To Be This Way
This was a chord pattern Mahyar wrote on an old piano at Esther’s folks house. He sent me a video and I knew it was a tune. He had it down as a slower jazzy number but I had this beat and bass line in my head that I thought would change the flow up – the result was something pretty cool. We all sat down and wrote the lyrics on this one; for me it was about reaching a point in your life we’re your able to put your self in other people’s shoes and question the norms without feeling like you were wrong to do so.
Well I’d been talking about wanting a slow song on the album for a while but something new then randomly the chords came to me over breakfast one morning in the cottage. I could just hear more the space between almost than the actual chords but by lunch time there it all was tracked. I saw it original as an instrumental, I couldn’t hear a melody, but Esther and Mahyar could and wrote it and the lyrics which really elevate the song and make it one of my favourites on the album.
Well it’s a very unapologetic song really about mortality and living in the moment, using the fear to push you on to bigger and better things. Cris wrote the music but had a more rocky approach to it originally. The melody came quickly after and I tried a more electronic meets organic approach to its production to really be the finale of the record. Nice to end on a positive note don’t you think…?
Introduction by Paul Maps