As a thank you to fans for the warm reception they received after their return earlier this year, Manchester’s The Maple State are pleased to reveal their new single ‘The Motorbike and The Closest of Calls’ which comes bundled as a surprise EP of the same name containing several unreleased tracks from the last few years.
In Spring 2014, The Maple State front man Greg Counsell was walking to work when he was run over by a motorbike. When the police visited him in hospital they told him that the only thing that stopped him from breaking his neck was the rucksack that cushioned his head when he hit the road.
“It was all pretty gruesome and I ended up needing some serious surgery on my leg,” says Counsell of the story behind the track. “I spent the next few weeks in hospital and most of the summer trying to walk again. As with any brush with death it made me reflect on things a little. Soon after, I quit my job and started working towards a career in wildlife conservation, I also started writing songs again; sowing the seeds of what would become The Things I Heard At The Party.
“This song started out as a poem, I had pages and pages of verses that I just added to each day. I might release a director’s cut at some point with all the cut lines put back in. Richard and I worked on the song for weeks, we were conscious of trying to capture that feeling of the later The Streets albums, where Mike found that perfect balance between poignancy and hope. He always had a clear message, that’s what I was going for here in the chorus, a simple clean line that speaks so much more. I believe this to be the best song we’ve ever written.”
The B-sides that make up the rest of the new EP were all written and recorded by Counsell over the years between their Say, Scientist EP and the new album. ‘Bones’ is a recording from the session with producer Al Groves that would have been the band’s debut album back in 2008, ‘Anne-Sophie’ was a song Counsell wrote and demoed in 2010 when he stepped out of his comfort zone and hit the road, and ‘Little Swede’ was a labour of love, recorded in 2012 with David Coyle at The Royal Northern College of Music, with the band going all out on the production, bringing in brass and strings to build the ending.