Track By Track With…Mcrobin


Mcrobin is the solo project of James McGuffie. Today he unveiled his debut EP Fault Lines. The alternative folk singer-songwriter recorded the EP at his home studio with co-producer Jim Rindfleish and the EP was mixed by Matt Voigt (Big Scary, Oh Mercy).

Always interested to find out more about the creative process, here’s our track by track with James.

‘In’ opens the EP in the most honest way I knew how; with an acoustic guitar and my voice. However the song developed quickly into a hi-fi synth heavy tune as I proceeded to add ‘layers-upon-layers’ before muting about 80% of them. This song was the most ‘produced’ song on the record as I was chasing a polished Phoenix type sound. Expect to hear nylon string guitars collide with vintage synths and subtle arpeggios to create a bed for intimate vocals that evolve from spoken word verses to soaring harmonised falsetto choruses.

The concept for this song came from a dream about an orphaned adolescent and a new found motherly figure. The story of their relationship developed on paper as the song was being penned. It was a prime example of the unconscious taking an idea and running with it. With rolling finger-picked electric guitars and steady driving percussion the song grows from sparse verses into soaring Buckley-esque choruses.

A breather. Almost a reprise for Vinegar as the drums were sampled from Vinegar’s outro before being synthesised and surrounded by layers of nylon guitars and solemn vintage synths.

Leave Me At Spokane
Spokane, Washington was but a blink of an eye pit stop on my coast to coast US expedition. Penned from a vacant bench during an overnight stay in the train station, the song speaks of the realisation that we are only ever where we think we are. Chet Baker (not Faker) dominated the headphones on the Amtrak trip prior to my arrival in Spokane and his influence is prominent in the jazz balladry of the verses.

How Long Will You Run?
This song began taking shape during one of many ‘People-Watching’ sessions – This time at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. I figured that if you’re still listening to the EP by the 4th song then you’re a patient listener so I felt ‘How Long Will You Run?’ was more then appropriate to close out the EP. The EP title ‘Fault Lines’ came from the line in this song ‘…as we navigate the fault lines of our hearts’ and I think it’s is a suitable umbrella for the 4 songs. The song is homage to all the things that make us tick; the ‘fault lines’ that we all have to navigate on a daily basis. I created the outro in such a way that it would feel like the ‘credits’ of a film as they roll and fade away without begging for any attention.

Mcrobin launches this EP this Sunday July 12th at the Evelyn Hotel in Melbourne. Support from Liv Cartledge, Dash & Alma Kalorama. Doors 2pm, tickets $10.

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