Despite Stretch Ur Skin becoming a huge triple j hit in late 2017, Ceres songwriter Tom Lanyon found himself in a pit. “It kind of ended the band for me, for a little bit – I didn’t write a song for a year,” he admits. “Like, why am I going to put out another record of this shit? I don’t want to pedal negative shit anymore, y’know? I felt like we had nothing to say. I couldn’t do it again.” Then one day Lanyon was driving his car, with a stack of newly framed sketches drawn by his partner’s late father – an artist by the name of Viv – piled up shotgun next to him. He felt a sudden urgency to go home and write a song about it. “Viv In The Front Seat kind of started this new era of the band,” he says. In comparison to Stretch Ur Skin, “one was a full stop, and one was like a capital letter, I guess.”
It was this point that Lanyon realised he could “write a goddamn love record, and be positive,” and then the ideas for We Are A Team came pouring.
Single Me & You spotlights Lanyon’s struggles with being direct, and also his admiration for the person – Viv’s daughter – for whom he sings, “Say it in one, when you know that I’ll take two.”
“She’s just so beautifully succinct and doesn’t try to pretty anything up; I’ll just wax lyrical about something, and hide behind the words,” Lanyon smiles. “It’s a definite goal; I just love that shortcut to meaning, and I think the less prettied up it is, the more beautiful or devastating it can be. That kind of plain-speak, but it almost feels like poetry.”
Lanyon admits that tempers were lost at the gorgeous, isolated Apollo Bay property where the now-five-piece (welcome, Stacey Cicivelli!) recorded. “My opinions are very, very strong, but people stood up this time,” Lanyon says. “I’ll say, ‘No way, that’s wrong, that sucks’ – then you give me five minutes and I’m like ‘F-ck, that’s actually so sick.’ I’m learning Tom’s not always right. I’m limited by my brain and my abilities – which are sort of minimum to none – but the things I don’t like when they get recorded end up being my favourite things on the record.”
We Are A Team is out now via Cooking Vinyl.
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