Alberta folk-rockers Starpainter recently released their new single, "Low-Hanging Fruit". To celebrate we asked Joel Stretch to tell us about the track. Here is the story:
Low-Hanging Fruit was written and recorded on the piano in my living room. It's the opening track from a new Starpainter record called Rattlesnake Dream coming out June 2nd on Neon Moon Records.
I was going hard on Bob Dylan's New Morning and Planet Waves when I wrote this one. I love the way Dylan plays piano, on New Morning especially-it's not exactly honky tonk or rock and roll, but still sort of barrels and feels upbeat and percussive. I wanted this tune to have that sort of rhythmic not-quite honky tonk thing, a sort of end-of-the-night looseness and sentimentality.
Piano is a homey instrument for me. I play a lot of piano at my house but have never played piano at our shows. When we were writing and recording these tunes, shows were off the table because of the pandemic-we tried to capture some of that at-home feeling instead of recording specifically with the live show in mind. For me this recording and the whole forthcoming record captures those years off from playing shows, just making music at our houses.
That being said, I was also really missing performing and going to shows when I was writing this one and that ended up informing the lyrics. I was thinking of small-time artists, especially those road warriors who seem to always be touring back and forth across Canada. It's not an easy thing to do and it gets harder every year it seems like. I feel grateful that people choose to create and tour in spite of the challenges. It makes life so much better being able to go out and watch songwriters and bands do their thing. I wrote the lyrics to this song with those folks in mind.
Low-Hanging Fruit was a hard song to finish for some reason. I had only the Verse 1 piano part for a long time (years!). I had this other tune, a sort of cheesy arena rock sounding tune I was working on just as a creative exercise basically-I had no plans for that song but one thing I liked about it was it had a really strong chorus melody. Low-Hanging Fruit had been chorusless for a long time so I tried transplanting the chorus from that other tune into Low-Hanging and it fit like a glove. It's funny how chasing down creative ideas that feel sort of pointless sometimes ends up opening doors.
I'm lucky I get to make music with my friends. I love the way the band sounds on this one. Each person's contributions elevated this song and took it to new places. It's been fun figuring out how to perform this one and all the new stuff for shows too now that we can play again-there'll be some fun surprises arrangement-wise when we tour this record.
I hope you enjoy the tune! We'll have another single coming out soon and the full-length record drops on June 2nd.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here
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