“I was cycling through Suffolk in the April sunshine during the dark days of lockdown and this song just fell into my head” says veteran songwriter Phil Thornalley, “It seemed darkly funny, but honest too.”
After years in the music industry writing, producing and playing for Bryan Adams, The Cure and, perhaps most famously, Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’, Phil has honed the skills of writing, arranging and playing to pop perfection. The recording took barely a day with Phil laying down all the instruments at his modest home studio, taking on the familiar role of a one-man-band akin to his other solo project, the seventies rock inspired Astral Drive.
For ‘22nd Century‘ the song’s production took on a distinctly Jeff Lynne / Travelling Wilburys sound.
“I’m a fan of Jeff Lynne’s records” raved Phil, “and I worked with Jeff on a song I’d co-written with Mr Adams for his ‘Get Up’ album. I thought the demo I made was simple and no-nonsense but Jeff took that demo and made it even simpler! Simpler drums, the most basic bass guitar part, everything was reduced to work for the song and the voice – no fancy shit!”.
“When i sang the line ‘ooo-ooo-ee, 22nd century’ I thought I might be pushing the limits of simplicity into bubblegum absurdity. A hit songwriter friend suggested changing the line for something with more substance but the song seemed to want to stay simple and that’s what i went with – the feel of that breezy, sunshine Suffolk bike ride”.
Its tongue in cheek lyrical message hopefully brings a knowing smile to the listener, young or old. A record made for classic radio and Saturday evening barbecue playlists. Something to kick back to.
A simple beat, a simple hook and an unavoidably simple truth. Three chords and the truth, in fact.