New Song: California

New song: California (featuring Ingrid Schroeder)

We have a new song: California, which features the lovely vocals of our good friend Ingrid Schroeder. This is an early mix, we are still working on a few things, but I was too excited to keep it under my hat for any longer. This will most likely be the first single off our upcoming third album (which we are still writing). Rather than hold off and wait, we thought we'd share the new sounds and get some feedback.

Writing "California"

After more than a year away from Combine the Victorious Isabelle and I have picked up the keyboards and started writing new songs again. Last year I was pretty much dedicated to Guilty About Girls and getting that band going, but suddenly I found there was a rather large collection of songs in my head that weren't going to fit that project. Instead they seem to have arrived specifically for CV.

In that light we are pleased to offer the first track we've finished which should be the harbinger of a new album: California. This song features our very good friend Ingrid Schroeder on guest vocals. Earlier this year Isabelle had to return to Scotland for personal reasons and while she was away I became inspired to write and demo as many songs as possible. Several will probably appear on the next Combine the Victorious album, but one in particular was the basis California. It came very rapidly, almost everything within an afternoon, and then over the course of a few more evenings I put together the bedtracks that have now become our song.

One slightly different idea on this one was the blatant use of autotune. I've always been adverse to the processing, though of course have used it to correct the pitch of certain lines and words over the years. This time though, there was something intriguing about the robotic quality it imparted to the chorus line, something that seemed to make it more important with the effect on! Perhaps it was just the way it suggested Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to my ear, but it seemed to fit perfectly. A statement on the synthetic nature of our N American culture - or just a cool sounding vocal.

When Isabelle returned from Scotland I played her the new idea and she immediately liked it. In fact everyone I played the demo to seemed incredibly excited by it, so I knew we had something interesting. However I couldn't quite find what the rest of the song might be about, so suggested we send it over to our friend Ingrid Schroeder in London. Ingrid is a glorious singer with a sultry smooth voice and lovely delivery. Over the years I've worked with Ingrid on her own recordings and know just how wonderful her singing is. So we sent it over and waited to hear what she might write for our song.

A few weeks later we received a demo back from her that had a gorgeous story lyric about traveling through the state of California by car, almost a Kerouac-like narrative given in a style similar to Suzanna Vega! Of course Isabelle and I loved it and set to work on completing the track. The collaboration is now the first single we have finished leading towards our third album. I can't say whether we'll do another co-write with Ingrid for this album (though I'm always open to such an idea) but this first song is exciting and promising, so perhaps we shall.

We've asked several producers for remixes of the track and will be releasing an extended single in late October. A video is in the works and a new live show is being figured out. A full length is tentatively scheduled for March 2012, and this time I think we shall bypass the CD release and do only Vinyl and digital albums. Feeling very inspired these days, so more songs shall be appearing in rapid succession. Please stay tuned!

Thanks for reading,



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