"I remember Priti Patel saying some ridiculous things about refugees and it really really pissed me off so I came up with the metaphor ‘Safer at Sea’."
Leeds-based Amber Strawbridge aka Bored At My Grandmas House (and Rough Trade tip for 2021) recounts the recording of her debut EP, Sometimes I Forget You're Human Too, released 12th February on Clue Records.
"I recorded the whole EP (minus Skin) in lockdown 1.0. I’d just come back from uni and had like a burst of productivity when it came to songs I guess I was just in a mindset of reflection so started to write and record the EP. Coming back from Leeds to my tiny little coastal town was nice and calm, it gave me space to think and surface my thoughts. I think that’s a running theme with the EP especially in Showers which is kinda a conscious flow of thought, It just gave me time to express what I’d experienced/felt for the last few months which I think is hard when your somewhere where there’s things constantly happening.
Around the same time I was finishing off the EP Clue Records (Scott Lewis) got in touch and said he was interested in working together which was mad to me because I’d never thought of working with a label before let alone releasing a vinyl. At that point I’d already had all the songs planned out and they were all either finished or in the process of being finished so then we got to work on how we were gonna get it out there into the world. Scott's amazing so basically just said he’d support whatever I wanted to do.
I’ve had the same set up for my music for years, I use Logic and record all the instruments myself using my interface onto my laptop. I love it and don’t really think I need anything bigger it makes it easier and quick for me to get my ideas down out of my head and turn them into a full song straight away. SIFYHT is slightly different in that sense though compared to my past tracks because I worked on this with Alex Greaves who mixed and mastered the tracks at Nave Studio. The EP was made during lockdown so I sent him the stems of all the tracks and then he made a few little changes like swapping the midi drums out for acoustic ones which he played himself. I think for most people this would be a weird way of working but it felt quite natural to me because I didn’t really do anything different as I always record in my bedroom. We went back and forth with ideas and how it could sound but i’m quite stubborn and protective over the production and sound of my stuff so I wanted to keep it as close to the ‘demos’ as I could. If you ask Alex I’m sure he’ll say the same, I remember in Summer the lead synth bit was originally just a guitar riff I’d recorded but then Alex added the synth on top and I absolutely (thought) I hated it to start with just because it took the song to a different place other than what I’d envisioned with it. I immediately got back to him and was like ‘I HATE IT’ but then it grew on me and I think really adds to the track.
Showers was literally written in the shower, it’s just a conscious flow of thought I had whilst showering and is me expressing how I use showers as a form of therapy as they give you space for your thoughts to surface and time for you to process them without being affected by anything external. I recorded this one basically in a day, it was a really quick process.
Skin was a bit different as I’d already released one demo version of it in early 2020 so this one was just a case of Greaves reinventing it and making it sound a bit bigger.
Summer is about nostalgia, reflection and finding tranquillity in a simpler time. It goes back to getting fought up in the fast pace lifestyle of a city and comparing that to being back home in the lakes with my mates just chilling by the lakes. This one started off with the chords which shape the melody of the chorus, it’s a super simple song but each element is important especially the drums.
The title track Sometimes I Forget You’re Human Too started with the riff and then I added more riffs and then even more riffs and then I was like this is sick I’ve gotta make this good haha. I looked through my notes on my phone and saw ‘sometimes I forget you’re human too’ which I wrote down at a time when I had a realisation that everyone goes through shit and uses vices to cope and isn’t 100% all the time and that’s ok. I think I’m quite a self critical person so I always feel like I should be doing more and that others are coping better than me but then one day I just kind of realised that’s not true at all, so it’s a track of self reassurance and a reminder that at the end of the day we’re all the same being.
I wrote Safer at Sea really quickly and its only really two chords so proper simple. I remember Priti Patel saying some ridiculous things about refugees and it really really pissed me off so I came up with the metaphor ‘Safer at Sea’. Based off the fact that these humans make a life threatening journey seeking hope and safety at the other side on shore yet they’re met with bigotry and xenophobia. So I just thought I guess the sea is the only tranquil safe space and we’d all be better off away from society and at sea."
Order Sometimes I Forget You’re Human Too on transparent red vinyl at roughtrade.com
Bored At My Grandmas House will share an exclusive performance film for Rough Trade Transmissions on 19th February.