When they're not out conquering the world, Savage Garden call their old mates at TV HITS for the gossip on their hot debut album. Singer Darren Hayes takes YOU exclusively through each track.
Track 1: "To The Moon & Back"
This was one of the first songs Daniel and I wrote together. It was a beautiful, space-like instrumental that Daniel had been working on for quite a while. He showed it to me and I took it away to work on the melody and lyrics. The song came together very quickly. We recorded the song and included it on our first demo tape. Thank God we did because it is probably the reason why we got the record deal. Most people seem to zero in on this song. It is inspired by the life of a mutual friend. Recording the track for the album was a real challenge as we had become so attached to the original version that it was hard to be objective. The album version features members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the outro sections.
Track 2: "Carry On Dancing"
The scene is just before midnight... a full moon at a masquerade ball ... avant-garde strings, timpani and even castanets create the gothic feel of the song, inspired by Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. The feel is grandiose and theatrical. We feel this song has a definite sound that we like to think of as our own. We see this feel creeping up a lot in our new work.
Track 3: "Tears Of Pearls"
A bittersweet take on the masks and illusions within relationships - the games we play and the emotions we hide. Originally the song was influenced by Seal, but the sound soon changed during the recording process. Now it is a hybrid of influences. If you listen closely you will hear string arrangements, like old Diana Ross & The Supremes records, layered amidst the throbbing bass and anchored by the almost-dance beat.
Track 4: "I Want You"
This song was always a wild card. The original idea was very simple: to use the voice as a rhythm instrument - cramming in as many syllables as possible into one phrase. Prior to recording the album we had about 40 songs to choose from. We narrowed down the list to record and came up with 15 tracks. "I Want You" was on that list, but because it existed in a simple rough demo, it was not an obvious choice. The recording process really bought the song alive. The simple vocal in the chorus became a bed of 12 voices, six of Darren and six of session singers that we sank very low in the mix to give the chorus the thick layer of vocals that you hear. When we finished recording, this song just jumped out as our debut single. Lyrically one of the more frantic and nonsensical things we have ever written, the song is based on a recurring dream.
Track 5: "Truly Madly Deeply"
A love song in its purest essence. This track was actually written in the last few weeks of recording and was originally intended to be a subtle, low-key ending to the album. Charles Fisher's producing and Chris Lord-Alge's mix really made the song a much stronger statement. Definitely a pleasing surprise for us. One of the few songs that ended up exactly how we imagined it would.
Track 6: "Violet"
A track which took on another identity during the recording process. The thick, double-fuzzed base throughout, combined with Rex Goh's funk/blues guitars, give this song an almost Prince-like vibe. Lyrically a trance-like ranting, describing a state of mind we would all like to get to at some point ...the disco inside your head!
Track 7: "All Around Me"
The most obscure track on the record. A quirky fantasy inspired by Daniel's obsession with Meg Ryan. Features a high camp rap, overflowing with designer references and Absolutely Fabulous overtones. Definitely the shock track on the album. We will have a lot of fun doing this one live.
Track 8: "Universe"
During the writing process this song was originally an instrumental track, possibly suited to guitar. We tinkered with it and added a Motown-influenced melody and the track seems to have taken on a Smokey Robinson feel, worlds away from where it began, but firmly rooted in the original structure. A sexy groove, cemented by a fantastic mix by Mike Pela.
Track 9: "A Thousand Words"
One of the two songs about conflict in relationships. This track is a very personal snapshot of a
real-life argument and a play on linguistics and twisted meanings. The rhythm section of Terepie Richmond and Alex Hewitson take the track beyond its original Manchester feel and make it alive, grunting and believable.
Track 10: "Break Me Shake Me"
Once again dealing with conflict, this track is schizophrenic. The slick, moody bassline and
held-back vocal in the verses are in direct opposition to the intense anger and release of the chorus. Turbulent mood swings and angry guitar hooks dominate throughout. When Rex Goh played the solo we were jumping out of our skins. Even though it goes all over the place, we felt that the solo was perfect. It was a single take and was so angry we just had to keep it.
Track 11: "Mine"
This is also one of the first tracks we ever wrote. This song is about delay. Every instrument is cycling through a delay in its own time, creating a swirling continuous swell that culminates in the instruments finally locking together. Lyrically based around the notion of desire so strong and yet so completely unobtainable.
Track 12: "Santa Monica"
This track appeared as a bonus track on the "To the Moon and Back" single. When we released "Moon" we felt that the song had more potential than we had at first thought. Then when we went to America, the record company fell in love with the track. It really was written about Santa Monica, about feeling so out of place in a new city but seeking comfort behind the mask of a telephone. We were just getting into the Internet and we found it interesting how in cyberspace you are only as interesting as your mind. You can be anything you want to be. So sitting in a cafe in one day, this strange thought came into being.