Formed in 2015, Boy On A Hill was created in singer-songwriter Dan Glasgow’s studio in Roleystone Western Australia. With his home sitting on top of the Darling Ranges, Dan Glasgow received his inspiration from quite literally being on a hill.
At the time, Tom Greble (accordion/piano) and he were playing in a 7-piece ska band with Dan on drums and Tom on saxophone, with neither of them realizing that the other had other musical projects. From testing out songs to recording their work, they haven’t let any setbacks be their end-all when it comes to bringing their listeners great music.
Taking the element of genre-bending to a whole new level, the organic nature of Boy On A Hill’s latest release “Super Glue,” has us fully immersed in the warmth that sculpts the resonance heard within this arrangement. Allowing simplistic components to serve such an impactful purpose in this record, the inviting essence of this honeyed, pop ballad sits well with us.
Dipping into a narrative that is backed by the lullaby upbringing of the lyrically charged piece, what started out as a way to get Dan Glasgow’s son to stop crying, now has a vast array of listeners sinking their teeth into a tale of relationships. Simmering in the raw and acoustic soundscape that blends both delicate and prevailing hues to complement one another, there’s something about this track that we can’t get enough of.
As we fixate upon the uniquely presented accordion contrast which is courtesy of Tom Greble, we have to admit that when Dan Glasgow’s vocals drift over these key parts, we delve even deeper into what “Super Glue,” touches on. Hanging onto lyrics like, ‘there’s no time for crying, if you’re the one not trying,’ Boy On A Hill has us clicking the repeat button.
Congratulations on the release of “Super Glue,” Boy On A Hill, welcome to BuzzMusic. We love how this song originally began as a lullaby, and we’re even more pleased that you took it and ran with it. Do a majority of your songs stem from this type of creation?
Thanks for the love guys. No, Super Glue was truly a random circumstance. Normally a song jumps out of nowhere in particular, but I get the feeling something is brewing as I'm strumming in my studio. That's where 99% of the songs are created. Super Glue is an exception to the rule. The small, irritable, teething human was grizzling on his playmat, so I started singing and he went quiet. Every time I stopped singing he started crying, so I ended up developing part of the song" There's no time for crying." Of course, I changed the subject matter later once I realized there was something worth exploring in the song. Other than that, I did once write most of another song as I drove down the freeway to a gig one night. In that case, I just called out to Siri and sang and dictated the idea as I drove. I wish that happened more often.
What did it look like when bringing this song from its original state to the ears of the public?
After I changed Super Glue from a lullaby to a full song, I jammed with Tom on accordion and then we played a few shows to get an idea of how various songs went down with audiences. Recording-wise, I did live takes with vocals and acoustic for the first 2 verses. The rest was laid down in layers. I played drums, percussion, harmonica, and banjo, Tom did the accordion and piano. Graeme Bell played a beautiful double bass line that has a hint of Latin flavor.
How do you two contribute to the overall creative process that you generally embark on? Do you find that the creativity you share together is vastly different from experiences in the past?
I'm generally going to have a big, fat chunk of a song created by the time I drop it into a rehearsal. Tom always adds another dimension and I end up modifying my chords. He is jazz-trained and a beast of a sax player, so corrects my scale errors....I'm a drummer....I hit things...when they were teaching theory and asking us to memorize jazz chords and scales and modes , I was slapping out rhythms on the desk and stupidly not paying attention.
The creativity is definitely complementary. When you are first in bands, everyone loves playing, but probably everyone has different ideas about where the sounds are going. So the whole thing falls apart. Band dynamics are difficult . It's not easy to find people who are in your "tree", as Lennon said.
What are you hoping that your audience takes away from this song?
Lordy, that's difficult to predict! We both get immense pleasure when we drop songs onto new audiences and they stop talking all of a sudden and stare or hit record and hold up their phones. I guess we hope that the melody , words or groove is going to touch a nerve somewhere inside of them. I hope folk gets to watch the beautiful animation by Ornella as it really goes well with the song.
What's your favorite release of this year, from an independent artist you admire?
There are a few we are enjoying - Maple Glider ALBUM To Enjoy is the Only Thing (from Melbourne)that album will touch your soul. Helen Townsend Love Lies n Leaving EP ( from Perth) sweet harmonies. I discovered an English band called The Powdered Earth recently via an Instagram Stories advert. They capture a dark, melodic vibe with great poetic lyrics.