I recently returned from the UK where I was working on the upcoming Swingle Singers album.

Where to start? Well, the UK in June is lovely, and the weather (with the exception of the odd flooded road) was mostly co-operative. The studio, Woodworm Music , is in a an old church in a lovely little hamlet in the Oxfordshire countryside: an ideal stetting for inspirational music-making.

After a pretty intense schedule with Round One in January (complete with 14-hour recording days!), we decided to take it a little easier this time around with slightly shorter days, a “barbecue night” (complete with Willy’s unbelievable home-made pancetta and “no-such-thing-as-too-much-garlic” lamb) and a Blessed Day Off in the middle. The result was a wonderfully smooth process and some fine music-making. The Swingles are a fantastic group of singers, with amazing ensemble skills as well as unique individual talents (and that goes for the engineer, Hugh Walker, as well. He plays a mean slide whistle.). Moreover, they’re a wonderful bunch of people who made the whole process musical and fun… just the way music should be made. They also provided enough “blooper outtakes” to keep me in blackmail income for years to come.

Since we’re still in mid-production, I can’t yet lift the Veil of Secrecy, but I can tell you this. The record is going to be something of a departure from previous Swingle recordings both in content and in style: the Swingles have a fine tradition to uphold, but they’re also taking it in new and exciting directions. Songwise, it runs the gamut of contemporary songwriters from the past fifty years or so, and as a result there is something for everyone on this recording. It is scheduled to be released later this year (fingers crossed), so keep your eyes on this site, as well as the Swingle Singers website , for more information.

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