Distant Doubloon

Album: Which Bitch? (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • On this song, sea-shanty harmonies are underpinned by an orchestra. Kyle Falconer (vocals/guitar) told The View Are On Fire that he and producer Owen Morris were inspired by the work of 19th century Austrian composer Gustav Mahler. He explained: "Me and Owen were listening to this composer, Mahler. It's meant to sound like death. So we became obsessed with that in the studio, we used to listen to him all the time. That was the inspiration for the start of that. It's sort of comparing Dundonians to these classic characters in Treasure Island. Just these stereotypes, chasing the doubloon. Everyone went to see their girlfriends and I was sitting with Owen just listening to the tracks. We had nothing else to do so we just kept putting the album on over and over. And then I just started writing bits down about Jim Hawkins and everything. Owen said, 'Well give it a bash' and he started playing this piano which brought the tune into itself. We did 18 takes, recorded it live, picked the best one and then sent it to Olly [Kraus] for strings."
  • The chorus mingles the Treasure Island era and modern times and includes lines about bassist Kieren Webster getting his bike stolen in [Dundee estate] Kirkton.

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