Neil Brogan – Things Keep Getting In The Way

Neil Brogan has a new album out; Things Keep Getting In The Way is full of sweet, soft, sometimes lo-fi, always classy jangle pop.

How did this record come together?

I wrote and recorded these songs at home in spare moments over the past nine months or so. Unlike my last record Magnolia Day, which was written and recorded over a very concentrated period of a few weeks. I just waited this time until I had a clutch of songs I liked, then took away a couple, then wrote another two or three. It was more of a cherry picking approach and it came together naturally over that time. The title track was one of the last written.

What would success look like for the new record?

Just me being comfortable with it being out there is a kind of success.

How great is the urge to stay creative? To keep writing songs and lyrics?

It’s a habit that I still enjoy for the most part and can’t seem to break. When I feel like making a song and it comes out well, it still makes me happy. I suppose it’s a vocation at this point. I also like the autonomy it affords, of being self-sufficient and making something by myself. That’s a luxury.

You can’t control the way people ‘hear’ your music. But if you could make them aware of certain aspects, you think, set your songs apart. What would they be?

I’m good at writing short, very melodic songs with good lyrics. My songs are easily identifiable as my own work, they reflect the aspects of my character that I am happy to project, and the flaws I can’t hide.

Suppose you were to introduce your music to new listeners through three songs. Which songs would those be and why?

Things Keep Getting In The Way is a good way in, if you don’t feel like listening after a few seconds, then you probably won’t like my stuff.

Build Back Better is a good contrast to that song. Stark and depressive sounding.

Watercolours to take the edge off.

What place do you occupy in the music industry?

I don’t. I am outside of it almost completely. I gave up trying to assimilate into it a few years ago. The word industry signifies negative things to me, people flying in to see bands showcasing, staying in a nice hotel and then fucking off while the band doesn’t get paid.

If you could pick three singers to sing harmony vocals on your next record, who would you ask?

Robert Wyatt, Barry Gibb, Yoko Ono.

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