My Inspiration: Timmy – Who’s Sorry Now | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Gateshead music-maker Timmy releases his third solo single, Who’s Sorry Now a cover of a fifties hit that his grandmother suggested. The song features five and a half octaves of vocal range and sees Timmy adopt a variety styles from crooner, to rock star, to cabaret singer. It’s an unexpected but thoroughly enjoyable musical journey through avant-garde soundscapes that makes this track anything other than your average cover version. 

Here, Timmy tells us about some of the inspirations behind his version of Who’s Sorry Now…

I wanted to do a cover as it just felt like the thing to do, so many great albums have a cover of some sort. It also gave me a chance to write using fifties aesthetics. 

What’s funny is that the idea for this cover actually came from my Nan. I knew I wanted to do an old 50s tune, but was having a hard time picking the right track. I was looking at artists like Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra – the song Witchcraft was a contender for a while (which will make sense as to why when you hear the album). However, for fun, I called my Nan and asked her for suggestions, which seemed like the move with her being from that era. On the call, she mentioned Connie Francis, along with a few others. I specifically wanted to cover a song by a female artist. Being male, I knew it’d give those lyrics a different perspective. Also key wise, it meant I’d be able to sing it 2 octaves lower as well as on the original pitch, for the flex. You can do a lot with female singing keys when you have range…. With that being said, when I heard Who’s Sorry Now – I did just genuinely fall in love with the song. The chords are so satisfying. 

So, my main goal was to really emphasise each part of the song. I wanted to bring in some drama with dynamic changes, slower tempos, extended chords and tempo shifts, though I was set on not overproducing it. Nowadays the usual thing with these types of cover songs is – pile on the orchestra and make it sound pretty and perfect…. I wanted something extreme and rough around the edges. 

Every choice I made in the production was “how far can I take this?”. I intentionally annihilated the Outro with the clipper when mastering, and during recording, I clipped the mic on the Outro backing vocals to give them this cool guitar-like quality. And for the guitars? Full volume pushing as much signal through the preamp as possible. Every transition was crafted to take you on a journey, with a wide range of dynamics, just like a classical piece. “Nice” wasn’t right for this track, It needed to be something that makes me feel anxious and uneasy whilst listening, and I’ve achieved that. Narratively on the album, this track falls on the back end at Chapter 8, after the protagonist has trauma-dumped you on all the previous songs. A “perfect mix” would be wrong as that doesn’t represent the emotions whatsoever, it’d be unauthentic to the story and concept. Imagine scoring  Requiem for a Dream with the songs for Disney Cars ….. exactly. The artwork is faded rusty old gold for a reason, but I’ll leave that up to people’s interpretation as to why, same with the card. 

Vocally, Connie Francis sounds beautiful in her version. There’s a sense of sassiness in her delivery that just works so well. However, I wanted to draw a completely different emotion from the lyrics (as I’ve said previously).

Ironically the way I usually sing in this type of area note-wise is very similar to her, a bright pingy tone. But I knew I had to do something different for this cover, so I sang with as much weight as possible. It ended up having a real thick screamy tone.

It’s worth mentioning that the acapella intro was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to sing. Those extended jazz chords are not meant to be sung…… It took forever to get it that tight and I’m proud of it. I managed to get each track to phase with each other like Freddie Mercury did back in the day.

Releasing a single with my “real singing voice” feels good. People probably thought my whole album was just going to be fast-paced songs, sung in character voices.

With that being said, I got really into the retro Disney vibe for this one. “

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