Work on Station Island had been paused for a while but Kym and I were keen to continue writing and recording. We started coming up with a few ideas to see where things would take us. The starting point was really track 1, The Sea, something that I had originally written back around 1998 as an album opening piece. Kym heard it and brought the B section to the table, again something written years ago. This was ultimately extended to also became the last track, Final Thoughts, and set up at reoccurring theme throughout the album. Once we were under way things started flowing pretty quickly, as it was not long before the concept of Captain Scott's ill-fated trip to Antarctica started to form.
With the concept in the bag it seemed appropriate to head in a more progressive directive and I started writing on acoustic guitar. The first few songs to emerge were My Destiny and Terra Nova, with Kym contributing a lot of the lyrics and keyboard parts. Both songs are uplifting and positive, as I am sure the team felt as they made their way to the South Pole in the trusty Terra Nova.
Pioneers came next, a song from Kym again written sometime ago that seemed to fit the mood perfectly. Kym adapted the lyrics and played everything on this one except drums and lead guitar which I contributed. So song is about Captain Scott and his team knowing that they are in a dire situation but taking comfort in the fact that they will leave a legacy and go down in history.
Around this time the two instrumental interludes popped out. Kym writing Bay of Whales in his head in the shower (as you). Again Kym played all the instruments on the tracks and found some pretty awesome samples to set the seen. I came up the Great Ice Shelf, a guitar piece soaked in reverb over a single grinding rock organ note, giving it the sound of a very slow moving glacier......that was what was in my head anyway.
Here at Last started life as an instrumental for my Sky Quake album, but it never sat quite right with the other songs. I played it to Kym who said that he would take it away and see what he could come up with. It was already entitled Here at Last which fortuitously fit with the expedition leaving the Terra Nova and hitting dry land. Kym came up with the lyrics and melody and it all fitted together rather nicely. The ending is pretty much how the original ended with the addition of some keyboard work from Kym.
The Never Setting Sun was a rejected Conspires To... track called Threshold that never materialised into anything. I played it to Kym who thought it was worth working on. I rewrote the lyrics for verses which I already had, and then we set to work on the chorus. It ended up being a pretty epic multi-layered affair with plenty of harmonies. Great to write and record. The song ended up nestling in well with the others and for me provides a bi of a highlight on the album.
Don't Go Outside and Storm came next. Kym writing the former and me writing the later in isolation. Kym's being the story of Captain Oats famously sacrificing himself in vain so that this comrades would survive. I think Kym has captured the mood brilliantly and does a great job sonically. I contributed a bit of lead, and a bit of backing, but the rest was all Kym's work. Storm fell out quickly and finds the team caught in a storm leading Captain Scott to reflect on his decisions and he taking hus crew member on a suicide mission. Kym came up with the lyrics and contributed backing vocals.
The last track to be included was winter. I had written this whilst trying to put together Station Island as a band. Kym had alway been a fan of the song but it had never really fitted in with the Station Island sound or Vibe. The lyrics were almost perfect for Terra Nova as they were very melancholy and cold related. They sounded to me like the men thinking of their loved ones back home whilst perishing in the tent.