Two years after releasing “Blood Like Lemonade,” the project which would become known as Morcheeba’s reunion album, lead singer Skye Edwards stepped out on her own to issue her third solo effort, “Back To Now.” It was distributed by PIAS Records, but was unfortunately not promoted and therefore remains unheard to most members of the general public. The CD was eventually purchased via Chaos Music and some thoughts on the album were written on the final day of August 2015:
Troubled Heart: Skye’s opening chant of “Hey yah, hey oh ah” give one the impression that she was giving a nod to the Native American Indians. The beat is almost tribal so that may have been the reason why she chose to do that. As far as the lyrics are concerned, it’s about shouting it out, letting it go, or choosing not to hold onto any ill feelings you may be experiencing at a certain moment in your life. She’s singing directly to the listener’s (perhaps her own) “troubled heart,” hence the song title. A minute and forty-eight seconds in, it sounds as though there are samples from an ultrasound, or it could just be muted samples of a baby crying. Check out the synths towards the end, though they’re definitely comin’ at cha!!
Sign Of Life: Quite a dizzying synth heavy intro from the voice of Morcheeba. You might think that this song has a double meaning, as she keeps making references to sex cells all the way through. However, looking at the lyrics sheet, it becomes quite clear that Ms Edwards is definitely not stating that “SEX SELLS.” Rather, she is singing about how life is created: “Sex cells, transforming like a magic spell. Mirroring female in male, we sow seeds, flower at will.” Definitely quite an interesting concept and approach.
Featherlight: The first single lifted from the album is quite an upbeat dance number in which Skye is just talking about how she keeps falling for her man. It is to the point where she feels light like a feather, hence: “I’ll be featherlight, I’ll float right into view.” It’s a shame this song didn’t do anything, as it certainly has that commercial appeal. Seems like these days nobody wants to hear a prettily sung dance song about love. Evidently the video for this song inspired the album’s artwork. Skye’s looking all blue and glittery. Pretty cool.
Nowhere: When listening to this album as a whole, it could be fair to say the strings that begin this tune definitely provide a nice segue to what we’ve just heard. Clearly, this song is all about outright refusing to let somebody get away from you: “I’m not giving you up, I won’t let you go. You’re not going nowhere, nowhere. If my heart was a cage, it would lock you in, ’cause you swore you would stay.” Sounds a little extreme, but at least she’s getting her point across!
Little Bit Lost: Proceeding this song is the sound of a needle being placed onto a record groove. Brilliant. Just the way this reviewer likes it. Clearly the album title comes from the opening lyric: “Trying to figure it out and find a way back to now.” “I retrace my steps to rewind the tape deck.” How cool is that lyric? The references to old sound equipment all tie in, as what we’re hearing right now is a throw back to Glam Rock. Definitely quite different to the last few songs on the album.
We Fall Down: So, like…. whenever there’s a full moon, does Skye double over in pain and start sprouting fangs, hair and claws? ‘Cause it sounds too much like she’s howling her ad-libs. Looking beyond that, she’s talking about wanting to rekindle the spark she once had with her man. Although lyrics such as: “Don’t get me wrong, you had me crying” and “You had me fighting for oxygen” paint somewhat of a dark picture in one’s mind. The vocoder is kinda cool on this track, so there’s that.
Every Little Lie: Now, Skye, you’re not being very nice here, telling somebody that you’ll be there standing with your arms folded whenever they fall down. As mean spirited as that may sound, just bear in mind what this song is saying: She was lied to. You know what else? The chorus gets all kinds of annoying after a while!!! So, with that we shall carry on, evaluating the rest of this here album by the artist currently known as Skye.
High Life: Yet another dance tune from Skye. Her vocal phrasing are quite jazzy, especially in the chorus: “It could be the high life for you, high life for me.” Not about to make an attempt at dissecting the lyrics this time around, though, let’s just take it for what it is and leave it at that.
Dissolve: Morcheeba are known for making music that’s usually quite dark and dreary. Skye has now decided to give us an example of exactly that: “Ya could have told me the love was dead,” she croons in a rather deep voice over a moody synthesiser. It was quite easy to see why this song was never really listened to by this reviewer though, especially when the beat doesn’t kick in until three minutes and thirty odd seconds into the song. Until it gets to that stage, it’s just Skye’s voice and a synthesiser. Certainly creates a creepy atmosphere.
Bright Light: The keyboard riff that’s played for at least the first minute is quite similar to “Featherlight.” Skye’s vocals eventually come in, followed by a beat which is more in line with what we now know as Trip Hop: The genre Morcheeba are often associated with. So you could say that this is a salute to that type of sound. With that in mind it’s a great way to cap things off. Especially after that last miserable song, why not bring forth some bright light?
Verdict: Certainly a much different type of sound from the front woman of Morcheeba, especially in comparison to her first solo album which is much more acoustic and reflective. As this is an entirely independent production, it was Skye’s intention to create a much more upbeat type of album. Perhaps in the hands of the right label it could have done very well, although Skye is not exactly a house hold name, so maybe it’s just as well she’s an indie artist. Overall, a solid third effort from Skye Edwards.