Getting the new album out there

The new CD and Digital Album release, ‘Whose Dream Are You Living?’

During the last couple of months, Whose Dream Are You Living? has gradually been getting out there, along with the accompanying video for the track Grass Is Greener. As with previous work, the album features a wide range of musical styles, including progressive rock, pop-rock and touches of electronica and ambient music. It was recorded over the last few years with the help of some great musicians and friends at Church Road Recording Studios in Hove, England. Long-term collaborator and co-producer Julian Tardo also contributed additional guitar and other instruments on some tracks.

Another step on a musical and personal journey. It’s been a long old journey (mostly in relative obscurity) since the late seventies and ‘Whose Dream Are You Living?’ is my seventh album. I like to think I’m finally reaching a certain standard after all the struggling – better late than never! Thank you to everyone who has supported my music over the years and if anything from my latest efforts touches or inspires a few people, I will be a satisfied man. It has often been a great struggle to keep going and I have not made it easy on myself by having badly paid day-jobs – mostly care and support work of various kinds. There has also been an ongoing fight with depressive tendencies and a general sense of personal failure in life. The typical, self-obsessed, “first world”, “tortured artist” syndrome!

Brief thoughts on the music business in 2017.
Speaking to a singer less than half my age in a fairly successful band, we both agreed what a farce the whole thing has become for bands or artists trying to get heard these days. Even if you are gigging on a regular basis (which I’m not, although we hope to do a few things in 2018), it now seems to be largely about uploading “content” to the likes of Spotify, YouTube and Instagram in a desperate struggle for attention. And almost no money in return. In all genres, there is clearly far too much music around and it’s largely lost its ability to make a cultural impact. Still, when I can, someone like me will always keep coming back to making music. As an old friend of mine used to say: “What else are you going to do with your life?”. Cheers!

Review of “Whose Dream Are You Living?”

Thanks to Joe Bridge of the Real Music Club for this nice album review:-

“Tim Burness is back at the RMC on February 27th and with his seventh album, Whose Dream Are You Living? a work he has been patiently and lovingly crafting for the best part of five years. His previous album Vision On (2007) received strong notices, recognition and international reviews, so Tim had a lot to live up to with its follow up, released in November last year and available via https://timburness.bandcamp.com/

LiveBurnessOpening track Onwards and Upwards starts off with Gregg McKella’s swirling synths and electro beats before the real drums (Fudge Smith: ex Pendragon and Steve Hackett) kick in and drive the song forward, carrying the positive message of the song’s lyrics along with it.

Slowing down with Grass is Greener, this song seems to catch a man at some sort of crossroads contemplating a change in life, with Tim’s wit particularly enjoyable on lines such as “I know that some British folk like to hang out in Turkey, if I get myself out there I might feel slightly more perky. I heard things are quieter in Belgium, unfortunately there is not much that rhymes with Belgium” and “the grass is greener over there, at least I’ve still got most of my hair”!

The album continues to alternate between tempos as Monty Oxymoron (Damned, Sumerian Kyngs) starts up Set Your Spirit Free, another positive-thinking song “release the energy and set your spirit free” before the ambient sounds of Round and Round bring things down into a mellow hypnotic trance with its repetitive acoustic riff and minimal vocal lines punctuating the soundscape.

Moving on with something a bit different, Smith’s thumping percussive beats and Tim’s fiery bursts of guitar create an aggressive atmosphere to colour the assertive lyric of The Messenger, an atmosphere that builds before being punctured by a cough and a completely unexpected (should I have put a spoiler alert in?!) middle section, all Oompah band and megaphone! Another track that takes the album into different territory is the aptly titled Unlike Any Other, which is largely instrumental bar some sparse spoken lines, and carries with it a kind of modern noirish nightmare feel with its theramin-like sounds eerily playing over the stop-start rhythm.

After that midway detour, A Space for Our Love to Grow brings us back to the vibe set by the opening four tracks – a typically spacious, synthesised sound with a yearning chorus. There are again some little musical twists to keep things interesting, such as the nice acoustic / keys outro that just acts as a nice release to the emotion of the main body of the song.

Politics infiltrates the album on Stop Them. Tim’s anti-corporate, anti-capitalist protest is powerful in its passion but done with a light enough touch to not beat you over the head with its message. The music is subtle with vocals to the fore, bringing full attention to the lyrics.

After the relatively heavy Stop Them comes a song with a sprinkling of humour, playing on its name check of Doctor Who in its first line, with repeated use of Dalek-sounding voices. Otherwise What’s Going On In Your Head is one of those Ronseal songs, doing exactly what it says on the tin!

Closing out the album is Cynical World, a track that gives the album a sense of closure and of wrapping things up with the repeated vocal refrain “Our love goes on” sung over Monty Oxymoron’s distinctive backing vocals and some clean, emotive lead guitar work. Tim Burness has produced a mature and engaging work, full of hope, positivity and deep soul searching, always giving something for the mind to think over whether they be the personal, spiritual or political lyrics within, the trippy soundscapes, or the intricate musical twists and turns along the way. Five years of hard graft and personal investment well spent!”

Whose Dream Are You Living? Tim Burness – 26th November 2015

Whose Dream Are You Living? Released 26th November 2015

Whose Dream Are You Living? Online album release date 26th November 2015

First track now up, album on the way

 

GreenGrass

There’s a brand new Tim Burness track now available for free listening or download, one of the more obviously progressive rock songs from my forthcoming seventh album, “Whose Dream Are You Living?”.

http://timburness.bandcamp.com/track/grass-is-greener

The album features a range of musical styles and will be released in the summer. A great pleasure to be finally getting some more of my music out there, it’s been a while.

 

 

Finishing the new album

photo 1Having begun with very rough musical sketches at the end of 2009, it’s quite hard to get my head around the idea that my new album is actually finished and just about ready to master after all this time. There have been several large gaps of many months in the process, here’s a couple of previous brief blogs from 2013 and 2010.

Since the first self-funded album (Burnessence) back in 1983, one of the reasons that I have not always been happy with finished material is the lack of time (and money) spent to get the production up to a reasonably high standard. The best results have been achieved when we’ve set the bar a bit higher, as on Finding New Ways To Love (2004). In more ways than one, the new album is a follow-up to that, even though I also released Vision On in 2007. Including the Burnessence LPs and the Infinite Ocean mini-album (1997), this will be my seventh album release altogether.

photo 3Co-producer and engineer Julian Tardo has been as supportive as ever at Church Road in Hove. Julian has had extensive experience with a wide range of successful contemporary acts, including work on sessions with The Antlers and The War On Drugs, amongst countless others. It’s a mystery as to how he has been able to put up with so much of my artistic madness for so long – top bloke! Based on his experience with my album, he has written a blog on Long Term Project Management, discussing such matters as how we began in Logic 8 and finished in Logic X. Between us, we’ve just about held things together.

View from the computer - Julian (right) and myself

View from the studio computer, on a good day

The album will probably go up on Bandcamp first, with perhaps something on Soundcloud as a taster. If there is sufficient interest, there will be a CD release to follow. What’s it like? Well… it’s very me. There’s some progrock, there’s some seventies, eighties and nineties influences from different genres. Having ditched the original title of Spirit Level after it popped up in the career of Brian Pern (the BBC3 parody of Peter Gabriel) I am currently going for…

Whose Dream Are You Living?

Slowly but surely… the new album

Currently listening back to the latest mixes of my next album, “Spirit Level”. The title is taken from The Spirit Level, an influential book by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett on the consequences of inequality in societies. With one or two exceptions, the tracks are all sounding jolly good, even though I do say so myself. Still a long way to go though, now hoping for a 2014 release.

Studio2band2013

Monty Oxymoron, Tim Burness, Fudge Smith and Keith Hastings

We made a big step forward in March, with around ten days with Julian Tardo in Church Road Recording Studios in Hove. Having originally worked on around thirty rough tracks since 2010, some ruthless decisions have been made, and it’s now down to ten or twelve. More than ever before, I have tried to put as much of my self into this album as possible. I’m trying to give it absolutely everything – I might not have many albums left in me! Musically, as with most of my material down the years, it is a mixture of “progressive rock”, pop, and electronic and experimental elements. A fair bit of my dubious sense of humour is in there too.

A few general influences on the album have been a fascinating biography of The Beatles by Sean Egan, the stunning opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, and a number of books such as the recently published The Future by Al Gore. Musically I have gone back over much of my own work down the years, aswell as listening very very carefully to many of my all-time favourite classic rock albums and artists.

There are scrillions of people making music these days, and much of it is of a high standard. A lot of great stuff is only heard by a very small audience. At this stage, I am just grateful for the opportunity to have a lot of fun expressing myself, with the help of some great musicians and friends. Drummer Fudge Smith and bassist Keith Hastings came down to Brighton for their final contributions in March. The next step is a bit of compositional homework with keyboard maestro Monty Oxymoron, then back into the studio in a few months time.

New music

Now listening back to some of the rough mixes of what will be the next album, maybe in 2012 with a bit of luck. We are really trying to dig much deeper this time.

As with the ‘Finding New Ways To Love’ (2004) and ‘Vision On’ (2007), most of the recording is taking place with Julian Tardo in Church Road, with the excellent musicianship of keyboard maestro Monty and drummer Fudge playing an important part.

After the last album (which I now view as a disappointment, even though there are some very good moments on it) I have gone back to opening the whole thing up a bit, rather than an emphasis on a stylized version of “progressive rock”. Is the new stuff any good? Is anyone interested?! (Okay, I know quite a few people are actually.) Even if the answer to those questions is yes, the chances of making any money from it whatsoever are slimmer than ever – SO WHAT?! As long as I can get the thing out there somehow. We have certainly been having a lot of fun, which is a good sign and probably the most important thing.

I put a lot of the first keyboard demos down by myself in late 2009 and we have been working on the pieces for a few days every two or three months since. Many of the tracks are still at the stage where they could be taken in completely different directions e.g. instrumentals or songs. Patience is required, amongst other things.