Fault Lines - EP

by Mcrobin

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about

You know when you go to a café or a bar and there’s some poor soul in the corner who’s explicit job it is to provide ‘background’ music? You’ve seen that forlorn looking troubadour who fills the awkward silences of faltering conversations, politely declining requests for Creedence Clearwater Revival, while singing into a microphone that they’re sure isn’t a) hygienically safe or b) switched on. It takes some sort of artist to transcend the contract of the background music and make people order another drink, just so they can stay a while longer and listen.

I’ve read about Bob Dylan taking over Greenwich Village in the ‘60s and I’ve listened through headphones for pin drops as Jeff Buckley shook the walls of Sin’ E. But I could only count on one hand the artists I’ve actually seen do it. Twenty-four year old Mcrobin (aka James McGuffie) is one of these artists. Possessing a voice of Buckley-level virtuosity, delivered with the controlled confidence of Chet Baker and an instrumental flair sharpened by years of studying Nick Drake’s finger-picking and Bill Evans’ chords, Mcrobin is the kind of musician that doesn’t even need to demand your attention; he already has it. While this outward brilliance hooks you in at first - like fellow Melbournians such as Lior and Hue Blanes,who cut their teeth silencing the clatter of cafes and bars - it’s his pairing of such refined musicality with damn good songwriting that keeps you there. No sooner was this recognised than with the release of his debut single Waiting for the Rain in 2014, which was a finalist for both the International Songwriting Competition and the Darebin Music Feast Songwriters' Award.

Venturing from his alternative-folk centre into offshoots of AM radio alt-country, slow-burning jazz balladry and intelligent indie-rock, Mcrobin’s debut EP, Fault Lines, sounds like the validation of a decade of songwriting self-education. Layered harmonies and subtle electronic textures recall the cinematic musical scope of Beck and Sufjan Stevens, while lyrically, the four songs offer internally acute observations of the external world. Whether staring out of his boyhood bedroom at the natural wonder of the North-East Victorian landscape or finding himself stranded overnight at a desolate American train station, Mcrobin harvests beauty from the everyday to shape couplets of Leonard Cohen-esque surrealism. Complimenting his lyrical approach is the constant sourcing of inspiration through the philosophy and discipline of Yoga, which provides an optimistic and life-affirming angle to Mcrobin’s words that mark him as one of the more unique songwriters to surface in recent times.

Recorded and produced alongside drummer/collaborator Jim Rindfleish and mixed by renowned engineer Matt Voigt (Big Scary, Oh Mercy), the sonically expansive Fault Lines teases at the possibility of many diverse future musical directions, as any great EP from a young artist should. All you need to do is keep listening.

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Thanks:
A huge thanks to Jim for being my right hand man on this project. Couldn’t have done it without you. To Joe, Coops, Billy and Carl for your input. You all brought something really special to the songs and it was an honour to have you help me bring these songs to life. To all my friends and family for their continued support. I’m so lucky to have all of you in my life. Without you I wouldn’t be who I am and this wouldn’t be what it is, so thankyou. And finally, thanks to you, for finding a place for me and my music in your life. For all I put into it I hope there is something special for you to get out of it.
James




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credits

released July 10, 2015

Vocals, guitars, piano and synths performed by JAMES MCGUFFIE
Drums performed by JIM RINDFLEISH
Electric guitar performed by JOE ORTON on ‘Vinegar’ and ‘How Long Will You Run?’
Bass performed by MICHAEL COOPER on ‘Vinegar’ and ‘How Long Will You Run?’
Bass performed by CARL LINDEBERG on ‘Leave Me at Spokane’
Piano performed by BILLY MATHIESON on ‘How Long Will You Run?’


All songs written by JAMES MCGUFFIE
Recorded and Produced by JAMES MCGUFFIE and JIM RINDFLEISH
Mixed by MATT VOIGT
Mastered by JOE CARRA` at Crystal Mastering

Artwork, Design and Layout by JAMES MCGUFFIE and KODY DERETIC

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Mcrobin Melbourne, Australia

With Jeff Buckley’s vocal virtuosity and Nick Drake’s instrumental elegance, Mcrobin harvests beauty from the everyday to shape intelligent, alternative-folk-rock.

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Track Name: In
It’s cold in there
So you just sit there and stare
And you know it’s old
You wait for someone else

You stole my air
Like you always do
But you won’t be cold
With you hand upon my pulse

I don’t believe in your smile
I believe in your frown
I believe that I’m here, to turn it upside down

Leave room for joy
Leave room for me
To find, to find our love

It worked on the world
And it worked on me
Now it’s time to let your smile make you happy
With your hair to your hips
And my love on your lips

I don’t believe in your smile
I believe in your frown
I believe that I’m here, to turn it upside down

Morning comes before you wake
and the moment begins to break
I’ll never let you down
Minutes pass, the empty glass
Send a rainbow to the grass
I know it while its there
'Cause I’m not whole
If you’re not home

I didn't believe in your smile
I believed in your frown
Now that I’m here, I'll turn it upside down

You’ll leave room for joy
You’ll leave room for me
To find, to find, our love
Track Name: Vinegar
Young man he stands alone, December nights contain no light to stay
Says a, woman, “Is your home near, or far from here, can I wipe your tears away?
Way from your face”

Covert below, She takes him home, deciphers codes to find out what’s inside
Says the, woman, “There’s wise in you, I see it through, all your mother left behind,
A poor vacant mind, poor vacant mind, your mind”

Words like vinegar
Sweet and bitter,
Stop and start again,
Amid clearer vision

Come man, come child of mine, not of blood line, but our place upon the way
Says the woman, “You’re part of me, not part the, the lands of waifs and strays
Be done with the devils day, day, day."

Words like vinegar
Sweet and bitter,
Stop and start again,
Amid clearer vision
Track Name: Leave Me At Spokane
Leave me at Spokane
Where the river runs but it don't rain
And only the tired find themselves there

Leave me at Spokane
Where a soul spills but it won't stain
Only the wild find themselves there

Leave me unbroken
And let me dream dreams 'til I wake
Of kings that bring you every thing
To a house by the lake

Finally the further we fall, the further we crawl
But I’m not about to set sail

You left me at Spokane
I killed my time ’til the sun came
We stayed for a while, with no one else there

Never been so far my home
But never been so far from alone
Somewhere sometime we found ourselves there

Finally the further we fall, the further we crawl
But I’m not about to set sail

You left me at Spokane
I killed my time ’til the sun came
We stayed for a while, with no one else there

With no one else there
With no one else there
With no one else there
With no one else there
With no one else there

So leave me at Spokane
Where the river runs but it don't rain
Track Name: How Long Will You Run?
"How long will you run?" I asked the pen
"'Til paper deceives me 'til the string finds it’s own end"
Just like that eternity began
I guess that that’s the art
So what better time to start
Feeling like colours on a chart
As we navigate the fault lines of our hearts
As we navigate the fault lines of our hearts

How long will you wait until it’s fair
Another day without her is like breathing without air
But only you can choose love over hate
But I guess that we are born
To appreciate the thorns
Think I’m coming after dawn
As we navigate the fault lines of our hearts
As we navigate the fault lines of our hearts
As we navigate the fault lines of our hearts

And you know
There is no better view
Still you keep on searching for a clue
And a way to start a new
But I’m afraid that day won’t come to you