James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra have shared their new song and video “There Is No Upside”; taken from their new album The Wide, Wide River, released later this week on January 22nd.
“There Is No Upside” was the first song JY & TSHO recorded together in Sweden; James had arrived at the studio that morning, and after some brief introductions, they began to record. Yorkston didn’t want to direct anyone too much, but instead encouraged a welcoming, instinctive, free-spirited and joyful atmosphere. “I wanted the players to be themselves. It was important we captured these early attempts at the song, when the wildness and energy of exploration were still present”.
One of the most upbeat songs on the album, with its swirling strings and twinkling bells, Yorkston says of “There Is No Upside”: “I simply asked the band to react to what I was singing, however I was so enthralled with Ullis (Ulrika Gyllenberg)’s fiddle playing, my one suggestion was she solo wildly throughout. She was a little shy at first, but I played her the Linton Kwesi Johnson track ‘Story’ and she got what I meant.” Thelyrics reveal a little more, however; Yorkston adds: “I wrote this song in frustration at a friend who’d chosen to take the big flit… leaving the rest of us somewhat bewildered. I can see how this may seem to be about Brexit. It’s not – but if the cap fits…”
The video’s director and animator Jonna Hallberg said: “The song inspired an idea where the people and their surroundings are stuck in their own behavior, both physically and mentally. It’s a deeply touching song moved by a lot of energy, where the illustrations and the motions reflect a feeling of my interpretation of the song’s intention and atmosphere, without being too distinct.”