The 12 Weeks of Fate Line (aka Fate Line Friday) – Your Touch is Deep
The seventh song on our album is “Your Touch Is Deep.” This was one of those pull-it-off-the-shelf songs that I had written a while ago and was uncertain about until it was fleshed out with the band and transformed! It is another little fave, with lyrics and a guitar duet with John that make this one special for me.
It is a bitter-sweet love song that is as much about human frailties and failings as connections and compulsions in love:
Don’t want a balm
A numbing salve applied in haste,
To soothe love’s sting
When left to waste
Don’t want mirages
These things are keeping me from sight
A blinding view
That blacks the light
That second verse and the use of “somnabulated state” in the first verse reminds me of the songwriting fun I had on this tune. Michael-taking bandmates are often heard asking: “numbing salve,anyone?”
Musically, the sliding guitar duet with John is always a sound and challenge I have enjoyed when playing this song. Carmen’s haunting piano part that book-ends the piece, written by John and realized by his wife, is another musical stand-out. That, Blair Packham’s moaning lap steele, and Jonathan’s double stop violin part that I ordered and he delivered makes this a lush musical soundscape. Top it off with the sweet call-and-response from the Shiners and what was a once neglected song idea has blossomed into a shining little country gem.
Your Touch Is Deep is a favourite song of mine from the album. The song has many dynamics and textures to convey the uneasy feeling of stumbling and faltering through love and life … as we inevitably all do.
Blair Packham’s extra guitars and Carmen Wieb’s piano in the chorus add to the bands instrumentation, there are some interesting and quite challenging to sing response backgrounds in the chorus, which I remember really crystallized the song’s creation when the band started playing it.
I remember it was one of the easiest tunes to come together in the studio… And always feels a joy to perform.
The good doctor John says:
During the recording of the album, Simon mentioned to me that he would like some kind of piano part in the background of the choruses and referenced Weather With You, one of my favourite Crowded House songs. In it, a piano tinkles away very simply, providing some atmosphere during the breaks between verses. With that in mind, I set about creating a part for the song.
The chorus basically alternates between an E chord and a D chord (with some embellishments in how we do the guitar parts). So I came up with an arpeggiated piano pattern that plays around these notes. It is actually closest to the opening of Springsteen’s She’s the One (so a nod to Roy Bittan), but there is obviously some influence from Tony Banks from Genesis, who also frequently used similar arpeggiated patterns.
Once I created the part, I realized quickly that I couldn’t actually play it, at least not accurately enough to record it (without a lot of heavy surgery to correct my flubs). So I asked Carmen, who with a Bachelor in Piano Performance has vastly better chops than me, to play the part. Unlike me, Carmen needs a part written out very exactly. So I laboured to create a few bars of sheet music for her, using some free software I found online. The result adds a subtle texture and colour to the choruses and also serves as an intro and outro (played backwards via studio trickery).