Postponing a brief tour of the States in favor
of songwriting, Morphine have begun laying down tracks for a follow-up to their
DreamWorks debut Like Swimming.
The band recently postponed the mini-tour of favorite U.S. haunts to capture
ideas, some never before used by the bass-drum-sax band, for the new album
on tape at the Boston home studio of bassist and singer Mark Sandman.
Fans of the band can expect Morphine to augment their sparse arrangement
with additional horns, female vocalists and strings, according to Sandman.
"We're opening up the possibilities and the definitions, so we'll see what
happens," said the bassist, speaking over the phone in his deep, lethargic
voice. "We're seeing what the songs sound like on tape, seeing if they're worth
pursuing. We've got some good basics, and now we're just anxious to start the
Among the tunes slated for inclusion on the as-yet-untitled album is an
extended version of the song "Lilah," the cut that opened Like
Swimming. "We have the expanded, epic version of that that we're
working on," Sandman said. "Epic for us -- that's five minutes. We're
gonna have a lot of strings, and I think we're gonna do that the way Prince [now
as the Artist] works: just go in and work on one song from start to finish. We've
got a couple of other extravaganzas like that that we're gonna do when we get
over to Ft. Apache Studios."
The band is also working on a number called "Down the Street," which began
as two separate songs until the bassist had a revelation that their melodies fit
perfectly on top of one another, Sandman added. "It was a big discovery that
day," he said slowly, as if reliving the moment. "It was a great day." -- Chris
Nelson [Sat., Nov. 1, 1997, 9 a.m. PDT]