“I think Tom Petty once said of the writing process, he ‘doesn’t like to stare at the lightbulb for too long,’” says Daniel Schamroth, “and I heard Neil Young say he feels like he’s channelling a spirit , like he’s a medium for something or someone that is writing ‘through’ him.’”
These transcendent moments are what The Loft Club singer and songwriter relates to most when writing. It’s how he assembled the British indie rockers’ upcoming album Dreaming the Impossible, out August 7, and single “Heard Her Say,” a track he says wrote itself.
Quoting Eckhart Tolle’s “all true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no mind, from inner stillness,” writing is clearly spiritual experience for Schamroth. “I try not to over analyze the process too much, otherwise I don’t create from an authentic place,” Schamroth tells American Songwriter. “It’s only when I stop ‘trying to write,’ that the magic starts to happen.”
Once the main melody is set, the lyrics tend to fall into place for Schamroth, which is how the “magic” happened around “Heard Her Say.”
“With this song I was sitting in my old flat, which was a pretty pokey old place, but it had a great view out over the river below,” says Shamroth of the song. “I was watching the birds flying across the window and the sun rising above the clouds and I just started writing what I was seeing and feeling.”
In that moment, says Schamroth, came the opening Wake up, wake up, wake up / Wake up and see the sunrise / Beauty’s up in the skies, beauty’s just in your eyes / Make up, make up, make up / Let’s make up another rhyme / World needs a lullaby, birds they just drift on by.
“Ultimately I think this song is about the fleeting moments, the beautiful but elusive nature of life and however hard we chase it,” says Schamroth. “We can never catch it in the palm of our hands.”
Formed in 2015 in the city of Exeter in Devon after random meetings at house parties and shows, the band—made up of Schamroth, bassist Jamie Whyte, vocalist Josie Stoneman, guitarist Sam Piper, and drummer Kieran Chalmers (drums)—recently released the single “Flicker,” a collaboration with Lisa Loeb. Debuting with 2016 EP Heart’s Desire, sonically the band has arrived with more textured melodies that tap into something a little ’60s, and current, on Dreaming the Impossible.
Recorded at Middle Farm Studios and produced by James Bragg (Jack Steadman), Dreaming the Impossible was written before the world turned upside down, says Schamroth, yet still, unintentionally, resonates around the current state of affairs. “I couldn’t have dreamed that the album would be coming out against a backdrop of such strange and uncertain times,” he says, “but if they can connect with people or give them some hope or comfort, then that can only be a positive thing.”
Energetically arranged, and harmoniously lit in its sha-la-las, “Heard Her Say” is a necessary jolt everyone needs right now. Get up. Get out, and experience life—no matter what is going on out there. Lyricallly, any uncertainty and fear is weaved into something wholly uplifting, leaving off on a universal message to enjoy the “ride” of life and take in its beauty as much as possible.
“I know that’s a pretty difficult thing to do in difficult times like these, but that’s kind of the paradox of the times we live in, as well as the message of the song… the beauty is in the struggle,” says Schamroth. “Hopefully people will connect with this sentiment.”
He adds, “I try to write from an honest place. I feel if I write about what’s true to me, then it might mean something to someone listening out there.”
Schamroth believes people need music now more than ever, living mostly in isolation through the COVID-19 lockdown, all while there’s more politicization than solution surrounding the world’s events.
“We’re being told not to touch or hug our friends and family, so music has been a therapeutic thing for lots of people during lockdown, an escape from the chaos of it all,” says Schamroth. “It certainly has been for me. Maybe the world is collapsing outside my window, but it’s okay. I’ve got my record collection, a pair of headphones and a cold beer. That’s me sorted for the evening.”