Ridiculously infectious pop in a similar vein to Easy Life et al, George Moir‘s new EP ‘Guide To Growing’ is a witty, uplifting look at relationships, mental health, ambition, poverty, work, stress, and more.
‘Baked Beans’ is about a period of my life when I had just moved out of my parents’ house, and was barely scraping by. My weekly food budget was something like £7 on an average week, but I was working freelance, so it varied quite a lot depending on how much work I could get. It was pretty intense, to say the least! The song is an awful lot of fun though, I made sure to include a hearty portion of humour and a big helping of hope. There’s something I really love about contrasting a bouncy track with some serious subject matter, and beans in tomato sauce seemed like the perfect theme to gel those two worlds together. I feel very fortunate to have been able to write this song from the other side of the experience and that it’s now something I can look back on with some fun memories in amongst the hardship.
Big Boy Cruising
I really love this song; it’s one of my favourites on the whole project. When I wrote it, I felt like I had outgrown the place I was at in my life, like I was really ready to move on. I’d just started working in music, and I was so ridiculously excited to get going, there was all this potential lurking just out of reach, and I couldn’t wait to get to it. I didn’t have a clue how best to pursue it, though, or what I could do to make things move faster, haha! So I guess the song is all about that. I think it’s quite a naïve trait of mine, always looking to the next chapter rather than enjoying where I’m at, and I wanted to capture that feeling of it being a little bit silly to want to move on so quickly. So I sort of wrote it from the perspective of a kid on a trike.
I remember feeling so weird travelling up on the train to the studio for the ‘Flowers’ session. I was really excited to be going to an actual studio for the first time in my life, and honestly really relieved to be getting away from home for a while. Things were sort of complicated; my partner and I had been arguing a lot and were at a bit of a standstill. I’d been super selfish and wasn’t really paying attention to her perspective. It was really good to have that time away, though, even though it felt odd. I was able to process a lot by writing the song; it helped to come at it from a different viewpoint and appreciate just how much of a butthead I was being. We’re all good now; I bought her some nice flowers (discounted of course), apologised, and we made up. I think the song might have helped a bit too.
I wrote this the same week as ‘Flowers’. We’d spent like two days on ‘Flowers’, and we had one day left for another song before I had to go home. I was completely spent. We stopped for lunch after a morning of trying out ideas that weren’t working. Josef Page, my longtime collaborator, kindly bought me a pasty, and I trod back to the studio, passing a very pretentious looking Lambo on the way. I sat down at the keys, and something just unlocked, and all the last few months of hard work, burnout, and slow-flowing finance poured out into an almost finished song within about 30 minutes. It’s probably the most satisfying songwriting moment I’ve ever had.
Although I wrote it much earlier, ‘Sickly’ captures a similar feeling to ‘Empty’, although this one is definitely a lot more about work and how it can badly affect your mental health if you’re not careful. I really dislike a lot of the entrepreneurial messaging that gets chucked around on social media so much of the time – it can really get to you and make you feel like there’s something wrong with you, and that’s why you’re not successful. I was definitely in a bit of a hole like that when I wrote this one; I was working crazy hours and just felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. I was really stressed out, having panic attacks and migraines all the time, and was very much avoiding admitting to myself that things weren’t quite right. I’m fine now, but it wasn’t very fun at the time! I guess the take-home message is to be a bit nicer to yourself; sometimes pushing yourself is great, but it’s not worth running at a high rpm 100% of the time; just take a break, man.