The One by Stephanie Jayne

 "Marvelous Pop Album" BB Skone Pure West Radio

 

"Two Take" Steph appeared as a guest vocalist on two Season3 projects - SALIGIA and Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I approached her to say could I return the favour by recording some of her own songs. She said that she didn't have any music to record but did have about 20 sets of handwritten lyrics from when she was 14/15 years old.

Steph sifted through them and we earmarked 9 that had potential and so we recorded Fool to see if the project was going to work. Work it did and so over 6 months I composed the tracks you see below; the majority of which Steph gave me songs that would be a good reference and I had key words to work off like "ghostly", "upbeat" and "mid-tempo" etc.

 

Steph was a joy to record and several of the songs are one take all the way through and usually the second take; after which I would say my Yorkshire catch phrase - "That's the one - well done lass"!

 

You can listen to the tracks here on all the major streaming services. 

 

You can lsiten to all the tracks on YouTube plus there are videos for Faces Last and Beautiful Stranger

I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it and if you do please support us by buying the CD in the shop or here to buy on line

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Fool

 

This was the first track we recorded to see if the project was going to work. Work it did and the track Steph wanted me to model it on was No One by Alicia Keys

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Scattered Heart Pieces

 

 Reference track - White Flag by Dido

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Book of Stories

 

At one stage this was a possible contender for the title track. The only track with live drums and played by BENHLMS.

 

Reference Track: Unwritten by Natasha Beddingfield

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Your Spirit Walks Free

 

We had to pause the recording process as Steph lost her Granddad which hit her quite hard and she modified the words and shortened the track to reflect her loss.

 

Reference Track: Only Time by Enya

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Once A Friend

 

Steph didn't have a reference for this one but she gave me the words" Slightly Aggressive", "Mid Tempo" and "Disappointment".  I'd been listening to some tracks by Craig Armstrong and when I heard Inhaler that was my trigger for the Chorus-Break-Chorus section of the track.  The "Friend" Steph was referring to was at school hence the samples at the beginning and end.

 

Reference Track: Inhaler by Craig Armstrong from 1:25 onwards

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Journey of Love

 

Steph gave me Leona Lewis's Fireflies as a reference. I had never heard of the song. What a great song and why was it never a single? So the arrangement is unashamedly the same - why change something that works so well?

 

One morning I heard the clock ticking in our kitchen and thought "sample it" and so the beats per minute of the track was chosen - 60 :-) 

I loved the choir at the end of Fireflies so as Jill is in a local choir - Cantabile Singers of Pembrokeshire - I approached them if they would sing the chorus at the end.  They said yes and one evening I went to do a test recording at thier practice and the acoustics in the Hall were beautiful. They rehearsed it twice and the second one is the one you hear on the track. Thanks ladies and Sam (Music Director) it added so much at then end of the song.

 

Reference Track: Fireflies by Leona Lewis

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Faces Last

 

No reference track form Steph but the word "spiritual". I had recently listened to Enigma 8 and the last track is called Amen featuring Aquilo, who I thought were either Spanish, Portuguese or Italian. Turns out to be two young men from Blackpool and the lead singer has a wonderful voice, I heard their track You There and thought aha.  At the time I was also making and using instruments from a sample community called Pianobook and those are the predominant sounds of this track.

This is my favourite track on the album and I always wanted to make a video for it and knew I wanted to shoot it at Porthgain on the Pembrokeshire Coast with some Drone clips.  The day before the Covid 19 lockdown we travelled to Porthgain and I'm very pleased with how it came out considering we only planned it the night before. Here is the video on YouTube

 

Reference Track: You There by Aquilo

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Beautiful Stranger

 

No reference track from Steph but I had the words " mid-tempo" & "not piano ballad. As I effectively had a bit of freedom melodic electronic music is my main interest and I discovered that Mid-Tempo is an EDM genre so I listened to some tracks and the final 1 minute of RWDY X 2 Below's track Arrival gave me the desired inspiration.

Beautiful Stranger was a boy at school and the song mirrors most teenager's experience of relationships. Meet someone > think things are going great > but you get the odd hint that things are not quite right > just as you think its going well reality kicks in and the relationship breaks up.

It's an unusual song as it has no chorus and there is a lot of production work to get this type of sound - simple it may sound but it contains 61 tracks! I was really pleased with my mix and what you hear is my first one - first time I've never had to revise a mix. I also made an animated video; it's a bit basic but you have to start somewhere!  Here is the video on YouTube

Reference Track (last minute): Arrival by RWDY X 2 Below

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The One

 

As most of Steph's lyrics were a bit depressing at the end of a song I said we had to have at least one happy song on the album and as it turned out The One became the title track ending the album on a happy note.  I was given Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros as a reference track with "upbeat". The reference is a bit cheesy but I like it and it fitted well with Steph's lyrics which are so much more upbeat. No apologies if you end up with a musical worm in your head :-)

 

Reference Track: Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

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Lyrics: Stephanie-Jayne Hills
Music: Composed, played/programmed, recorded and mixed by Bob Ellis at Studio9, Pembrokeshire, West Wales, UK between August 2019 and March 2020 (except*)
Mastering: BENHLMS

 

Additional musicians*
Fool - Backing Vocals: Jill and Bob Ellis
Book of Stories - Drums: BENHLMS, Backing Vocals: Jill Ellis, Simone Jones and Katie Thomas
Journey of Love - Choir: Cantabile Singers of Pembrokeshire
Faces Last - Backing Vocals: Jill Ellis and Realivox Blue
The One - Backing Vocals: Jill & Bob Ellis and Simone Jones

 

Sound Effects: Licenced from Zapsplat and Ueberschall.
Artwork and Photo: Bob Ellis using CD Label Designer 
CD: Produced by Duplication Centre 

 

Steph's Thanks: I would like to start by saying a huge thank you to Bob for helping me bring my songs and lyrics to life and helping me to believe that this was possible, everybody that has supported me with this, thank you for your hard work and dedication to make this album 'The One'. Need I say more? I have the most incredible family and friends around me who have been there for me through this whole process. This is the one, and this is for you.

 

Bob's Thanks: Hard to think that Steph wrote these words when she was 14/15 years old. It was a great challenge for me to write the music to match her vision/influences and I'm proud of what we have achieved. "Two Take" Steph was a joy to record and several of the songs are one take all the way through - "well done lass" :-)

 

Big thanks to: Ben for providing live drums on Book of Stories and a great job mastering the CD (Facebook: Benhlms Music). The Pianobook sampling community for providing additional sample instruments to inspire the mood of Faces Last (pianobook.co.uk). The Cantabile Singers of Pembrokeshire and their musical director Sam Howley for their wonderful contribution to the finale of Journey of Love (cantabilesingerspembrokeshire.co.uk). To our backing singers Simone and Katie. Last but definitely not least to Jill for backing vocals, proof reading, critiques and continued support of Season3 projects. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as we enjoyed making it.

 

 

If you enjoy listening to the MP3 tracks above please support me to produce future albums by buying a CD from the Shop - it only costs £5 + P&P or download online here