Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland, better known as the Lost Brothers, write new songs as rich and evocative as old favourites. Their fourth album, 'New Songs of Dawn and Dust', is a collection of lovingly crafted, gently polished gems that affirms the duo as writers of rare talent.

Recorded in a seven-day sprint in Liverpool with ex-Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones producing (with a little help from Nick Power) the album, which is out 22 September on Lojinx Records, is packed with haunting harmonies and deft, four-minute sagas of love and melancholy.

Pennyblackmusic made a long-distance call to Ireland to discover the Brothers' song writing secrets. Here's what Oisin had to say...


1. Songs start with an image or emotion

"You build around that original thought. Sometimes Mark and I could hear a certain sound in our head, and we'd go looking for it on other people's records. If we couldn't find it, it drove us nuts. So we'd have to do it ourselves."

2. Grab songs as they come

"Ideas find you. You can't find them. Little ideas, images, inspirations will jump out at you from simple everyday things, everyday life. When the ideas come it's hard not to write."

3. Great song writing is about instinct rather than intellect.

"You're going on gut instinct all the time. The hardest thing is learning to trust your instinct and really listen. From listening, you know which songs are worth pursuing. Initially we may think we have a great song and a week later, it's like 'Nah'. Though we might take a couple of lines and use it to build a new car."

4. There's nothing easy about writing a great song

"Even if you're a Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen, even if some genius song falls on you, you put effort in. Your legs get tired."

5. You have to do the apprenticeship

"I spent years busking in Sicily then went to Liverpool and met Mark. We had to write songs to survive. If we wanted to make records we loved, we had to write songs. One day I picked up the guitar and started singing lines and melodies without knowing where they were coming from. That's when the magic started. But you have to keep working."

"Mark and I are really proud of the new album. We know it's our best so far because we chiselled away at the songs for three years. Every song had to bring magic to make it on this record."

6. You have to let the Force be with you

"Song ideas can jump at you at the most unexpected times – watching sunset or boiling a kettle. When the initial idea comes it's like a giant hand picks you up and throws you down the hill. Everything you see, whether a hectic city street or a gallery full of beautiful paintings, will eventually come out in song. But it is going to appear on the page when things quiet down and your pen is in your hand."

7. If you get stuck, stop

"The minute you start over-thinking, it's home time. The more you push the more frustrated you get. Songs are like sunsets. You watch one get away but you know tomorrow there'll be another. Go for a beer, go for a walk, read a book, come back next year."


The Lost Brothers Recommend... Five Great Songwriters

1. Bob Dylan - “Arlo Guthrie said: "Songwriting is like fishing in a stream; you put in your line and hope you catch something. And I don’t think anyone downstream from Bob Dylan ever caught anything.”
2. Shane McGowen - “Raw like rocks and gravel.”
3. Leonard Cohen - “Genius!”
4. Hank Williams - “One of the all-time greats.”
5. Van Morrison - “Sublime.”


'New Songs of Dawn and Dust' is available in physical and digital formats on 22 September 2014 ia Lojinx Records. They are also touring – visit their website for info and & tickets.


Web: www.thelostbrothersband.com.
Buy the album: http://www.lojinx.com/releases/the-lost-brothers/new-songs-of-dawn-and-dust
Tour and ticket information: http://thelostbrothersband.com/tour/













Related Links:


http://thelostbrothersband.com/
https://twitter.com/thelostbrothers
https://www.facebook.com/thelostbrothers


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