"O Morno" is a rough English translation of "the warm" in Portuguese. I love Bossa Nova and Brazilian music, especially the Tropicália movement of the late 60's and 70's. Much of the influence from certain tracks on this record stem from that, especially Clube da Esquina by Milton Nascimento and Lô Borges. To me, that record is one of the most beautiful examples of simplicity in songwriting and recording.
The songs on Land of the Giants cover topics as diverse as a new baby on the way, our many wars, SUVs, tsunamis and black holes. I suppose I am selfish, as I seem to write the music that I want to hear while taking the train to work, mowing the lawn or driving around. I have my influences, and as a friend once told me, they are evident on this recording. He referenced bands like Prefab Sprout, Talk Talk and Durutti Column. Needless to say I was flattered to be in such company.
The instrumentation on Land of the Giants is simple, and all of the instruments were played by me. I would often start with Spanish acoustic guitar or Ukulele, and drums second. That may seem backward, but those instruments have rhythms that can be picked up by brushes on a snare and turned into a beat. Also, not recording the drums first gives the song a looser, less robotic feel. After those instruments, I layered piano, bass, harmonica, dulcimer, vibraphone, electric guitar, accordion, percussion and finally vocals. I also recorded and mixed the record myself.
released April 28, 2012
mike armstrong: songs, guitars, ukulele, bass, drums, piano, percussion, harmonica, accordian
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