With the impact of the lockdown in 2020, the band found themselves with some unexpected extra time on their hands, and began working tirelessly on new material, cultivating countless tracks that eventually became their, ‘Life is Strangely Accidental’ album (released today).
New single, ‘Thin + Blond‘ can be viewed below:
Vocalist, Neill Marshall gives us a break down of the album, track-by-track…
1. ‘Watcha Got’
“This is an old boy that we’ve always loved, Neill’s riff with Adam’s middle section. There were times when I didn’t think it would make the record let alone open it. But the Hammond Alina has + the way the recording came out was a real treat.
I always wanted to do a track where we did a ‘call & response’ verse, but the BV’s coming first, then the lead vocal answering them.
Lyrically, it’s about being on the other side of the barrier…watching a gig & just wanting to be on stage. It’s a mission statement too, of sorts. The desire of narrator is to succeed in the music industry no matter what.”
2. Thin + Blond
“It’s a very special song as it’s the first time the 5 of us wrote together. Alina (Keys) brought in the chords, originally it was SUPER slow, it first morphed into a naff ‘Parisian Walkways’ for a week or two. Then Adam & I started messing around with the duelling guitar vibrato/bends & we picked up the pace, added a disco verse & everything fell into place.
It’s a song that appears to illustrate a young man (ergo ‘Blond’ rather than ‘Blonde’) feeling wronged via getting teased by a person he admired from afar, his wildest dreams being a non-platonic outcome with said person. The rejection or…lack of a promising starting point in the ‘relationship’ takes a drastic toll on the skinny, fair-haired fella before long.”
3. Take it to the Grave
“Grave was an Adam (lead guitar) riff, both verse & chorus. I added the tail in the verse & the key change & lyrics.
Lyrically, it’s about the omission of guilt & consequence some (very) God fearing people have as they muggle through life. The idea that they can do or say…harm anyone & not be judged until they meet their maker…& also be absolved of said heinous acts….”
4. Life is Strangely Accidental
“L.I.S.A is a Ciarán (Bass) Verse & Chorus, written as an intense/strummy acoustic piece. We slowed the chorus, I did the lyrics and melody & then it was shelved till Alina joined. We dusted it off, revisited Ciaráns original rhythm & Adam & Alina worked a lot on the middle part. A rare example of a song that took plenty of time crafting but turned out to be worth the effort.
The title is taken from the actual demo & even though the line never actually appears in the song, ‘Life is Strangely Accidental’ somehow graduated from the working name to the official name of the track, then it got promoted (via band vote) to the album name….. an unlikely journey.
Lyrically, it’s about falling for a beautiful, bewitching person, who happens to be a member of the occult, believe it or not. On the surface, you can hear the track & along with it’s ‘Manic Street Preachers’ musicality, it’s not going to jump out at you that we’re talking about helplessly falling in love while simultaneously being introduced to the dark arts, but that’s what I like to write: heavy-ish subject matter masked with ‘pop’ metaphor & cliche.“
5. Die for you
“I was on holiday with my heavily pregnant wife, Claire, a few months before the birth of our first child. I had enjoyed myself with a few relaxing drinks & Claire went to bed early. She was rudely awoken several times through the night as I crept into the bathroom to record ideas for a new song on my Dictaphone. 80%, including lyrics for ‘Die for You’ were written that night.
The solo at the start is a homage to ‘go with the flow’ by QOTSA. The pre chorus was our first attempt at doing a ‘punky’ section, Ciarán added the idea of doing stabs rather than playing loosely, which was great, the intro came last…& the chorus is one of my favorites we’ve ever done.
Lyrically, I feel it sits in an early 90’s trope of overstating your importance to another in a relationship. It’s all a bit dramatic, but the narrator comes to their senses finally…during the very last line.”
6. Hide The Night
“The main riff was written by Neill in the rehearsal space, which is rare. We stole the verse from an ancient, bygone discarded song & the chorus came the week after. The middle section was reimagined by changing the drum pattern just before the track was committed to tape.
Lyrically, it’s a subversive, boastful & toxic narrator tempting a poor soul with a better life, all the while not really trying to hide the fact that it’s not actually in the ‘tempted’ person’s best interests.”
7. I’ve got a hold on you
“We all sing, so having a track open with mostly just our voices was inevitable, and then came the pop. Thankfully Adams leads bring it back to being a guitar-based song, but there is scope to dance here too.
The tone of the narrator is trying to convince a disinterested lover to come back to him, that the grass is in fact not greener & that all is forgiven. He is begging though & quite brash in his assertion of things potentially going his way……I don’t fancy his chances.”
“The ballad of the record, piano intro, borderline pompous vocal delivery & a choir…..why not.
It stems from a Ciarán chord pattern and then we wrote the piano line which shaped everything else. The middle bit was always a quagmire to us…until we FINALLY just added a few ‘Ah’s’
The story of this song is NOT about an infant that sleeps poorly, but in fact a mentor trying to guide a younger person who has fallen into the same traps & vices as he had himself, and perhaps he still has those issues. He wants the person of whom he’s talking to avoid a dark path.”
9. Bloody Tree
“The heavy song that made it, another came very close but we love BT. It’s the hardest song to perform in many ways. Also, placing a song with double kick drums right after the ballad on this record was a “can’t miss” opportunity.
The tone of this song is like ‘Lifetime’ bar the fact the narrator is gleeful to witness a person or persons self-destruct before their very eyes. It’s a screaming, shouting superiority complex anthem.”
10. Say Goodbye
“The only lyric (Neill) didn’t write on this record is ‘who are you to say goodbye?’ That’s an Alina line.
The music as all Adam, from the slide intro to the pull-off riff in the pre-chorus and the very melodic main riff.
Lyrically, it’s as much about a jilted man not getting the last word as it is his dissatisfaction with the relationship breaking down in general.”
‘Life is Strangely Accidental‘ is out NOW on all good streaming platforms.
Royal Autumn will be performing in Whelan’s’ on Friday, March 24th, and are offering a FREE GUEST list for those wishing to attend. All you have to do is email
Influenced by everyone from Tom Petty, and Fleetwood Mac to Judas Priest, and Manic Street Preachers, with a philosophy of complete freedom, Royal Autumn take pride in their “We write whatever we feel like writing” approach.
This environment fosters a deadly-serious approach to the art of songwriting while ensuring that flippancy, and fun are never left behind. Royal Autumn are dynamic, delivering everything from emotional contemporary songs, such as ‘Say Goodbye’, and ‘Lifetime’, too fast heavy burners like, “Thin + Blond’, and ‘Bloody Tree’.
Album track listing:
‘Thin + Blond’
‘Take It To The Grave’
‘Life is Strangely Accidental’
‘Die For You’
‘Hide The Night’
‘I’ve Got a Hole on You