Club Kuru Guides CLASH Through ‘Before The World’

With this track-by-track breakdown...

It’s been a long time coming but Club Kuru is back. The project is led by Laurie Erskine, a producer and multi-instrumentalist who has always had a penchant for originality.

New album ‘Before The World’ takes him back to his roots. Working from his home studio, Laurie built the material over lockdown, a sense of introspection creeping into his work. Innately personal – it deals with loss, recovery, and love – it yearns towards optimism, the analogue warmth of the recording techniques smothering you in emotion.

He comments…

“I feel like ‘Before the World’ is a very introspective record. Much of it came out of me sitting alone in the studio and just feeling quite sad. I would ask myself difficult questions and worry that there weren’t any resolutions coming to me. Lyrically, I started to move towards themes of life and death after a terrible loss in my family…and then around the same time, the lovely arrival of new life. Amidst these sombre and worried reflections, there’s a vague yet prevailing sense of hope weaving its way through the record. I definitely felt the weight lift when I finally completed it. Hopefully this sense of renewal shines through to the listener.”

Out now, the record was constructed alongside some close friends mainly gathered from the jazz world. Working together as one in the studio, the results are a startling fusion of pop, psychedelia, and the freedom of improvisation. He adds…

“Most of my favourite albums were recorded to tape, so it gets you closer to the sound you first fell in love with. I wanted one band, doing one record, in one period of time. When I listen back to the album, I can remember everything.”

Check out the album below, then find a track by track from Club Kuru after the jump.

WHO AM I

This one started as a vamp over a pedal…I was just staring into space singing random things. ‘See the baby’s eyes, see the blue skies, see the hand of god…etc’. It started to feel like a flashback of moments in my life. I tried to fit loads of different scenes into the song from images that are up close and detailed to scenes that are large and universal.   

The repeating bass pedal and vamping chords is kind of akin to more spiritual stuff I was listening to, like some traditional Indian stuff I’m into. At the end it goes from 3/4 to 4/4 time and gets more rocky. Here I sing ‘Who Am I?’ over and over…I guess I was thinking like…Who is the self? Who is the one who knows, that he knows, that he knows? 

GONE LIKE A FLOWER 

The song focuses on loss, grief and the temporariness of life. The song features a guitar riff and layered vocals in the chorus, aiming to evoke a sense of a funeral or religious ceremony. To achieve this, I combined gospel choir-like vocals with a rock-inspired backdrop instrumental. The verses are small and intimate telling the story of the departure of a loved one. 

BEFORE THE WORLD

This track kind of ended up being spiritual jazz meets classic rock with a tinge of prog-rock in there. It’s kind of Don Cherry meets Deep Purple. I’m really into those out of time sections where we play in an open kind of way, improvising our parts and fitting in around each other. 

SUNSHINE KISS THE WATER 

I’m always looking towards sublime imagery. I love this idea of something so huge and beyond compression that it’s scary. Like when you look out at the stars or an expansive ocean at night… I was sitting by a lake watching the sunshine hit the water and I thought “wow, the sun has been hitting the water for a long, long time, an unfathomable amount of time”.  It gives you a sense of awe and also that feeling that really you’ve got no idea what’s going on. 

MORNING BIRD 

After losing someone very close to me, I was grieving and searching for ways to say goodbye. Each morning, a little robin would visit me, and I couldn’t help but feel it was carrying messages from the other side. Although the robin eventually stopped coming, I never stopped looking for signs.

THE SOUND OF WINGS

This is the softest tune on the album. I was imagining the moment a soul leaves the body. Can they still hear sounds from our reality? Or are they soaring on a different plane altogether? I was imagining what that experience might be like—what one might see or hear.

This song began years ago and I found the demo on my hard drive and played it to the band. It’s got a delicate and unusual melody and that’s all I had at first just the main two chords with the melody repeating round and round. To me it sounds like someone yearning to reach the other side wishing for there to be more than this physical body. 

WHITE DOVES 

I like the imagery of angels weeping at the vastness of human grief and white doves on their shoulders with tears rolling down their feathered cheeks. Do doves have cheeks? I suppose they do. The chords in the verse are inspired by Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata— great chords. By adding organ to the track, I aimed to create the feeling of listening to a hymn, evoking a liminal space between this world and the next.

BLUE SKY 

I found myself reflecting on the strangeness of death—how someone leaves this world and that’s it. Yet, perhaps their absence can still teach us something. This song feels like a conversation with that person, asking for guidance. In the chorus, I appeal to the universe, wishing them safe passage to wherever they might be going.

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