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Breakdown The Shakedown: The Heavy North Breakdown Each Track From New Album, 'Delta Shakedown'

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Breakdown The Shakedown: The Heavy North Breakdown Each Of Their 10 Track From Their Recently Released Second Studio Album, 'Delta Shakedown'

Here's a Track-by-Track breakdown by all six members of The Heavy North for each of the 10 songs on their second Studio Album (Credit: Image was provided to The Liverpudlian to share, courtesy of the Publicist on behalf of their client. We make no claim to this content).
Here's a Track-by-Track breakdown by all six members of The Heavy North for each of the 10 songs on their second Studio Album (Credit: Image was provided to The Liverpudlian to share, courtesy of the Publicist on behalf of their client. We make no claim to this content).

‘Delta Shakedown’ was recorded, mixed, and produced by Jose Ibanez at 3rd Planet Recording Studio, Liverpool and mastered by Martin Kuchta at Roughgrain Mastering. The album is the first collection of tracks The Heavy North recorded as a six-piece band with guitarist Jack Birch who joined the band in January 2022.

The Heavy North are Kenny Stuart (singer), Jose Ibanez (guitarist/producer), Andrew Horrocks (bass player), Jack Birch (guitarist), Ste Penn (keys) and Mark Rice (drums).

‘Delta Shakedown’ is OUT NOW on 12” gatefold colour vinyl, CD and all download and streaming platforms. Visit The Heavy North's website for more information.

Tickets for The Heavy North’s Camp and Furnace show on Friday 1st December are ON SALE NOW.

Here's a Track-by-Track breakdown by all six members of The Heavy North for each of the 10 songs on their second Studio Album.

‘Delta Shakedown’ Track-by-Track

Track 1. Delta Shakedown

Kenny (lyrics): "Delta Shakedown is just a filthy, blues rock song. I wanted something with the vibe of The Doors whilst keeping that sleazy 'dive bar blues' sound and I think we nailed it with this one”.

Jose (Production & Guitar): “I wanted the keys stabs to be heard which reminded me to the 60’s psychedelic with a darker touch. The Vox Continental sound was in my head from the start with this track and Ste used to play a Vox so I knew it would be a great fit”.

Mark (Drums & Percussion): I think this is a good show of what the band is about musically, has a little bit of everything that makes our sound. was immediately earmarked as an album opener.

Ste (Keys): “I took the opportunity to use the Vox Continental sound on this track in the style of Ray Manzarek of The Doors. There’s a short piano solo in this track which I recorded on the Fender Rhodes, which cemented the ‘Doorsy’ sound”.

Andy (Bass): “The bass had to be a low driving force along with the drums. I set a small parameter for the bass melodies in the verses for this song, allowing other instruments freedom until we all came back together for the chorus.”

Track 2. Where Are You Now?

Kenny (lyrics): "Where Are You Now? is about remembering people who come and go in your life, and wondering whether they’re still the same person they once were”.

Jose (Production & Guitar): “I wanted a simple short track with fuzzy guitars and gated sound”.

Mark (Drums & Percussion): “Only track recorded before the Electric Soul Machine tour. I don’t think we were planning an album at that point, and it was possibly going to be a standalone track before ideas for another full-length album started coming in”.

Ste (Keys): “This is one of the tracks where I recorded a few different keys sounds – the distorted/fuzzy sound in the intro and choruses, a Rhodes sound in the verses and a phaser sound in the bridge”.

Jack (Guitar): “For my bits I pulled a lot from the guitar parts in ‘Little Sister’ by Queens of the Stone Age. Trashy chord stabs, with really sustained melodic lead lines. The middle 8 bit ended up being a bit ‘Mars Volta’, totally unintentional.”

Andy (Bass): “I was messing around with slap, ghost notes and octaves on this song. Much like Delta Shakedown it needed the bass to not be overcomplicated but still keep a ‘toe-tapping’ element. The ghost notes in the verses and slap on the chorus’ allow me to mimic some of the drum rhythms that occur throughout the song. Sometimes you don’t need to play a lot of notes to keep the groove ticking.”

Track 3. Give A Little Love

Kenny (lyrics): "It's a song for anyone who's feeling bogged down and needs reminding of the good things, even when they're difficult to find" added Kenny. "I suppose the message behind 'Give A Little Love' is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go again."

Jose (Production & Guitar): “We went for a surf sound with a reverb on a VOX AC30 was the beginning of it and wanted something fast and hectic on the chorus”.

Mark (Drums & Percussion): “I just wanted to play this one like a punk song. Just fast and simple fills”

Ste (Keys): “This is one of the faster paced tracks from the album, and we wanted to try keep the piano stabs in the chorus. As a whole track I feel this is on that we’ll enjoy playing live and has a similar vibe to ‘Satisfy You’ from Electric Soul Machine”.

Jack (Guitar): “When Jose said let’s do a surf song I was buzzing. I was thinking Dick Dale on steroids. It ended up being a lot milder than that (more like Dick Dale on diazepam), but I love the way it turned out.”

Track 4. Round Again

Kenny (lyrics): "It’s a song about being complacent with day-to-day routines whilst longing for a wilder, more carefree time. Round Again is also a bit of a response to ‘Where Are You Now?’ (Track 2) which was about wondering what people from our past are up to now, but with this time we’re reflecting on our own circumstances and situations”.

Jose (Production & Guitar): “Kenny had the riff and the vibe of the song, and he inspired the solo with some crazy almost nerve-racking vibe”.

Ste (Keys): “I remember Kenny playing me an acoustic demo of Round Again and I knew the chorus was catchy. I recorded a Hammond-style track on the verses and wanted to keep hammering the piano in the choruses and in particular the outro”.

Jack (Guitar): “I saw opportunity to get the slide out and took it! I got carried away with the muddiness in the studio, but Jose worked wonders with it.”

Andy (Bass): “This one felt like a hangover from Satisfy You when it came to looking at the bass parts. It was fun to peer back into the roots-y/gritty looking glass of Electric Soul Machine; chugging away on the chord structure and also supporting the guitar riffs in parts. A firm stance and a steady rhythm hand goes a long way here.”

Track 5. I See You, Do You See Me?

Kenny (lyrics): "I See You, Do You See Me?' was inspired by a random video I came across of one of my school friends who took the hallucinogenic drug Ayahuasca to try and find answers about his son's disability. He seemed really comforted by the fact that that during his Ayahuasca trip he was told "he sees you and you see him" about his son. I thought it was really interesting and I was moved by how my school friend had found comfort in this”.

Jose (Production & Guitar): “This track was based on an idea from live jam of a slow psychedelic guitar riff. This is probably my favourite guitar solo of the album - and the stop makes it more dramatic”.

Mark (Drums & Percussion): “One of the only tracks on ‘Delta Shakedown’ to be mostly live or at least improvised in as few takes as possible - so this track feels the loosest and most freeform”.

Ste (Keys): “I always thought this track had a Black Sabbath feel to it and it’s very focused around the slow looping guitar riff which I try and shadow with the keys sound. We recorded a phaser as well as a Rhodes sound for this one and it’s definitely one of my favourite tracks from the album”.

Jack (Guitar): “I perceived it as a stoner / eerie psyche kind of vibe when I first heard it. I’ve always loved ‘Space to Bakersfield’ by Black Mountain and it made me think of that. My parts on the recording seemed to just come out of the jam really. Jose always encourages everyone to just jam along and see what happens when we’re in the studio. I have that to thank for quite a few guitar parts on this album.”

Track 6. I Couldn't Love You More

Kenny (lyrics): "I think I must have been listening to a lot of Nile Rodgers and CHIC when I wrote this track. I was trying to do something a little different and show another string to our bow”.

Jose (Production & Guitar): “Kenny had the riff, and he suggested the backing singers. I was excited about this as I wanted to create a bit of gospel choir vibe in the chorus with our backing singers Rosalie and Molly. The wah on the guitar gave it that 70’s New York funk vibe. I also love the way me and Jack have a ‘question and answer’ solo on this one. After jamming it in the studio the last part came in as a fast change of pace with a tight guitar part. Great to finish the song like that when playing it live”.

Ste (Keys): “When I first heard Kenny’s vocal melody for the chorus, I imagined a ‘big band’ sound which I think comes across with the backing vocals and brass in the chorus”.

Jack (Guitar): “When in doubt, get the wah out.”

Track 7. Don't Need Money

Kenny (lyrics): This track came about as a result of all the corruption, self-service and greed we've become accustomed to with the Conservative government and leaders around the world in recent years. The lyrics are intended to remind us that money doesn't mean happiness and money certainly doesn't guarantee love. Some of the lyrics are also a nod to Peter Green ("all the love I have, man, I dig that more") which I listen to a lot.

Jose (Production & Guitar): “Don't Need Money was one of the few tracks that started off as an instrumental demo in the studio between Jose, Ste, Andy and Mark whilst waiting for Kenny and Jack to arrive. Then Kenny and Jack heard the idea and brought it to life”

Mark (Drums & Percussion): “The drum tracks are actually from the demo session we did. These were done in one take after jamming to the initial riff idea. I intended to come back to it and re-record it for the final take, but as the track started to come together it didn't feel like it needed it”.

Ste (Keys): “I remember playing around with a few repetitive melodies on Jose’s Fender Rhodes in the studio. There was only a couple of us jamming along at first, and it had a bit of a ‘driving’ vibe to it. I enjoyed it because it sounded a bit different to the rest of the tracks we were working on at the time and I’m made up with the final mix”.

Jack (Guitar): “This came together remotely. Jose put a video into the band group of him playing a travel-size guitar that he got for Christmas which ended up being the basis of this tune. I had a play around with it at home and the parts came together quite quickly but wasn’t sure if they’d work in a full band context; then tried it in the studio and was quite surprised by how well it fit.”

Andy (Bass): “I had been doing a lot with arpeggios in my spare time at home. There were four of us in the studio at the time and the guitar chords & melody was being played through the speakers. I began messing about with arpeggios of the chords and settled on a hypnotic variation that occurs throughout the song. This also gives a dramatic feel to the chorus when moving from the hypnotic melodies to the syncopated stabs. Easily one of my favourites to be a part of writing.”

Track 8. Play It Safe

Kenny (lyrics): "I'd been listening to a lot of Dan Auerbach's solo album at the time and really enjoyed the laid back vibe. The song itself is about having that dream to look forward to, something to chase and seek out - which I think is important in life, especially with the rubbish weather we get! It's nice to feel the sun on your face and let your day-to-day worries slip away”.

Jose (Production & Guitar): “This song is very special as we have Rosalie and Molly as backing singers and Northern String Quartet, as well as some brass. It was a joy to record the strings live in the studio”.

Mark (Drums & Percussion): “I know Kenny wanted to have some drums or percussion on this track, but everything I came up with felt like it took away from how good the vocals and instrumentation was. I felt better to let them be the rhythm and I just added some concert drum style hits here and there”.

Ste (Keys): “Kenny shared an acoustic demo of ‘Play It Safe’ with me in late 2022 and I knew we needed to add it to the next album. I wanted to hold back a bit on the piano and keys on this one and not make it a piano ballad. I think it was important to include the backing vocals, string quartet on this one which added a new dimension to the final track”

Jack (Guitar): “This took a lot of time and many experiments with tunings but got there in the end. I was very conscious of making it sound too busy (which is very easy to do with 3 guitars). Had some fun in the studio when putting the parts down, experimenting with pedals etc.”

Track 9. Rosanna

Kenny (lyrics): "Rosanna is probably the closest track to being the counterpart of 'No Good' from our last album. It's a song about someone in a relationship who feels unhappy, doesn't feel they're being treated well, and it's basically got to breaking point. I'm sure most people can relate and or know someone who has been in that kind of relationship”.

Jose (Production & Guitar): “I always wanted to have a harmony with two guitars in a solo me and Jack had so much fun recording it. I am a big fan of the Black Crowes, and you can tell the Rich Robinson influence in our style”.

Ste (Keys): “As soon as I heard the intro idea for this track, I knew I wanted to have that ‘wet’ Hammond sound and throw in some slides. I knew I could also be a bit ‘messy’ with the keys on this track too, and similar to ‘I Couldn’t Love You More’, I knew this track would sound great as a ‘big band’ style track”.

Jack (Guitar): “We had loads of fun with guitar harmonies on this one, like playing the same simultaneously in different octaves. It’s one of my favourite things we do.”

Track 10. Forever Without You

Kenny (lyrics): "When I wrote this song I'd been listening to David Bowie's last album Blackstar. I was also inspired by the loss of a good friend's father during COVID. I really tried to put myself in that position which got me thinking about mortality. I came to the conclusion that I'm not actually frightened of dying, but I'm frightened of the thought of never seeing loved ones again. For the last part of the track, I wanted to try and portray the individual responding to their grieving loved ones, as if they're shouting back”.

Jose (Production & Guitar): “Kenny influenced me on the production as he told us what the lyrics meant to him. You can feel the journey of the song as a beginning and end and the dark side of the feeling of losing your loved ones. Especially in end when the strings, fuzzy guitars and heavy drums kick in – as well as the dark distorted vocals (with credit to my telephone microphone to achieve that sound!)”

Mark (Drums & Percussion): “I call this track the 'Anti-As Long As You’re Here With Me’, because both albums end with a waltzy ballad but with different themes – with this definitely being the darker theme!”

Ste (Keys): “I think we all knew this track had an ‘end-of-album’ feel to it and knew we could add a crescendo towards the end of the track. There’s something nice about how the track finishes with the keys melody I recorded on the Fender Rhodes”.

Jack (Guitar): “A few of us had been to watch the Brian Jonestown Massacre around the time the album was put together. I think that’s what inspired a lot of guitar parts on this song. Some of the lead lines pull from Barry Cadogan a bit too. It’s been great to really bring in our influences on this record.

A Track-by-Track breakdown by all six members of The Heavy North for each of the 10 songs on their second Studio Album (Credit: Image was provided to The Liverpudlian to share, courtesy of the Publicist on behalf of their client. We make no claim to this content).

‘Delta Shakedown’ is OUT NOW on 12” gatefold colour vinyl, CD and all download and streaming platforms. Visit The Heavy North's website for more information.

Tickets for The Heavy North’s Camp and Furnace show on Friday 1st December are ON SALE NOW.


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