Feb 21, 2023
By Mark Redfern
Photography by Ryan Owen Eddleston
Gruff Rhys, Welsh frontman of Super Furry Animals, is releasing the soundtrack for the film The Almond and the Seahorse this Friday via Rough Trade. Now he has shared two more songs from the album, “I Want My Old Life Back” and “Liberate Me From The Love Song.” Listen to both below.
Rhys had this to say about “I Want My Old Life Back” in a press release: “‘I Want My Old Life Back’ is featured in a tense domestic scene in the film as the character’s lives have been turned upside down by the trauma of injury. I actually wrote the song after my van got nearly totalled in early 2020 during a flash flood on the A1 at 3am after a gig. I was stranded in a pub for three days as I waited for it to be fixed, like my own personal lockdown a few weeks before the big one when the song seemed to make even more sense.”
Of the other song, Rhys says: “I recorded ‘Liberate Me From The Love Song’ at Kris Jenkins’ studio Wings For Jesus in Cardiff, with some keyboards and drum machines. I made some more refined versions that were used in the film but this early rough version captures the song better. The song itself is the result of listening to too much (or not enough) Outlaw Country music but doesn’t really sound like it. It’s probably the most noticeable song in the film—a couple are going through an amicable but difficult period of change and this is the soundtrack (whilst they’re eating chips on the beach).”
Rhys previously shared a video for the soundtrack’s first single, “Amen.” Then he shared two more songs from the album: “Layer Upon Layer” and “Orea.” “Layer Upon Layer” was one of our Songs of the Week.
The film also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg.
In a previous press release, Rhys had this to say about the album: “The soundtrack for The Almond and the Seahorse was recorded largely in pandemic conditions, so it was a matter of recording in bursts of possible activity in various friends’ studios, homes and even scout halls as chance permitted. It’s a varied quilt work as a result. As sonic flagpoles I wanted to signify the film’s location in Liverpool and the Wirral by liberally, but hopefully not too obviously, using the Mellotron synthesizer (as famously used in ‘Strawberry Fields’ by The Beatles and therefore in my mind it represents that great city sonically) and the cello as a nod to its use by Gwen’s character in the film.
“I was encouraged by Mike Jones the editor to take things to a more acoustic, emotional and ragged place. That, I hope, roughly explains the trajectory of the recording and how the varied music contained in this record came about. I hope you enjoy this colorful scrapbook of a soundtrack and get a chance to watch the film.”