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Utopian Track Breakdown: 11) Anamorphic Anodyne (Twistin' In The Wind)

Riffs, like chord sequences and melodies appear to be swirling around in another dimension ready to reveal themselves to you if and when they're ready. When Ciaron Bell and I were well into our Lockdown work ethic (I send him a track with a guide beat, a couple of guitars and a vocal, tell him the BPM, and he takes it to the next level) I picked up my Red Special one morning and this lick fell out. It immediately posed a question and I began attempting to answer it. There are songs in my canon which somebody once referred to as "McNabbIan."

Songs like Perambulator, Friend Of My Enemy, Enabler, The Atheist, Book Of Reason, Scarecrow, In The Dance The Shaman led, A Factory In The Desert, the list is long. I think of these as my Mystery Songs. Opaque, inscrutable, questions without answers, statements with unclear intent, non sequiturs. One of my main passions outside of music is film. Without giving too much away (you need to hear it) this is about making movies.

I've always wanted to create a soundtrack to a film. An area that is incredibly difficult to break open - the people who dwell in this desirable domain are very reluctant to offer an "in" and fiercely protective of the often ridiculously lucrative rewards on offer.

I have a plan to create a fully instrumental album in the future in order to alert potential employers of my abilities in this regard. If nothing comes of it, it would be an interesting addition to my catalogue nonetheless. I did a lot of stuff like this at college, it's nothing new to me.

Twistin' In The Wind is an earlier idea that had been knocking around for years. Once I'd worked out a melody and chord sequence for the verse to compliment the riff I literally bolted it on to the song to give it another hook. For the middle bit I took another riff I had for a thing called I Am Rock 'n' Roll which I'd already demoed in my studio. It was intended to open the album and provide a thematic link throughout, but I scrapped that idea as Boy was the clear opener to Utopian.

Ciaron heard the main riff as a Siouxsie And The Banshees/John McGeoch thing and I heard the verses as a Stuart Copeland/Police thing, however his track couldn't sound any more like The Icicle Works.


11) Anamorphic Anodyne (Twistin' In The Wind)


Round and round and round we go, where we end up we don't know,

feels just like a movie show, sat beneath the exit glow,

deep into the second reel, hard to function, hard to feel,

aperture so well defined, perfect focus every time,

Twistin' in the wind, dancin' on the earth below you,

where do I begin, when the time has come to show you, will the dark rescind?

only when it comes to know you...


Round and round and round we go, actors in a plotless show,

jump cut to the master shot, steadicam on follow spot,

here's the close up, here's the star, exit from the avatar,

anamorphic anodyne, well rehearsed in every line,


Twistin' in the wind, dancin' on the earth below you,where do I begin, when the time has come to show you, will the dark rescind? only when it comes to know you...


Written by R.I.McNabb © Peermusic (UK) Ltd. 2020

Ian McNabb: Lead vocal, backing vocals, electric guitars, acoustic guitars, bass. Ciaron Bell: Yamaha GX-1, backing vocals. Nick Kilroe: Drums.




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