Song Is Memory #1

The first in a new series of blog posts where Traitor discusses songs from his archive…


Written April 2011 at home in Tenterden, Kent

Recorded September 2011 in St. Leonards, East Sussex

Produced by Martin Ruffin

In a way, I am grateful that I have never had any real success, as it has allowed me to develop my songwriting, and realise my nature, in the freedom of total obscurity.

Saying that, there has been some interest in my music over the years. The zenith of this interest is probably represented by this song, Piety, which was played by Huw Stephens on his BBC Introducing show on Radio 1 in January 2012, the royalties from which brought me literally hundreds of pounds.

The track was included on my debut album, Zing Dreams, which came out that same year.

‘Zing Dreams’ cover, feat. my cat Tolstoy

The song itself is a curious mix of teenage facetiousness and prayerful sincerity, the second section especially displaying my (apparently) innate desire to express essentially religious thoughts in my music:

Lord, give me the guts to carry on…

Though I do remember praying in all sincerity on at least one occasion in my childhood, I think at this point in my development my use of the language of the Christian church was closer to mocking than to reverence. It wouldn’t be until quite a few years later that I would realise the power this idiom still retains, and learn to use spiritual tropes with a straight face and an open soul.

I played piano and sang on this one, and my friend Martin played guitar and produced. At this time I knew basically nothing about recording, didn’t understand the power it could have, and had no clear ideas about what I wanted to achieve. But I like listening back to this one as a record of youthful energy and excitement.

The nation's favourite Traitor. Singer and writer.