“A Ghost” received its first play today from Ken Bruce on BBC’s Radio 2, and arrives with a stunning animated video directed and drawn by frontman Fran Healy, with his son Clay leading the cinematography work – all done whilst in isolation.
Fran shares; “The video started out as a mocked-up picture of me and three ghosts playing the last chorus of the song in a deserted alleyway. Just when everything was ready to shoot, the world went into lockdown, so we had this great song with no way to make a video, so I decided to draw it. It worked out that it would take around 30 days, with 2,500 drawings. Most of the animation is rotoscoped, and one day I was watching a sequence back and when it got to the end, it flashed and went into live-action. This was the moment I realized I could shoot the mock-up picture of me playing with my band of ghosts in the alleyway. It was clear that filming the last 47 seconds would save me 10 days of drawing, I could recruit my 14-year-old son Clay as the cameraman as he has a drone, and most importantly, we could film it socially distant. It was the most bizarre video shoot I have ever worked on, but it turned out great.”
Co-produced by both Fran and Robin Baynton (Coldplay, Florence & The Machine), and recorded at RAK Studios as 2019 turned into 2020, 10 Songs is an album about the way life comes at love and what love does to weather those challenges. Travis claims many of its songs benefit from the almost psychic sense of mutual attunement that comes from being in a band whose line-up hasn’t changed in its entire collective lifetime.
There are also interesting cameos to be found, including synth work from Grandaddy’s Jason Lytle, lap steel from Greg Leisz (Beck, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Springsteen) and vocals from Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles that came about from a chance exchange on Twitter.
It’s been twenty-five years since the four members of Travis first set foot in a Glaswegian rehearsal room. At various points along the trajectory between then and now, the band have sold millions of albums, they’ve been the subject of the award-winning feature-length documentary Almost Fashionable and Fran has elicited acclaim from Paul McCartney, Elton John and Graham Nash – all songwriters whose ability to divine a timeless melody out of thin air have sustained them through the decades.
To sum it up, Fran says; “There’s a song on the record called ‘Butterflies’. And that’s really how I think about songwriting. These things are floating around. And you have to be very quiet, and be very quick, and be very respectful. You catch them, you look at them for a little while, and then you set them free again. And that’s the whole point of songs. That’s the point of songwriting.”
Pre-Order 10 Songs HERE.
Photo Credit: Ryan JohnsonShare this :