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Selfish Bachelor I don’t have a wife and I don’t have a husband. I don’t have any children I know of. I don’t have a life and I don’t have a band anymore, or many friends to speak of. I’ve had too much time just pleasing myself; Now I am too stuck to please anybody else. I’m a selfish bachelor with only myself to blame for another night slumped on the sofa, but I do know being loved, like I know being alone. I was free to do anything, so I didn’t know where to begin. You try to take it all in and you wind up with nothing, but I do know being loved like I know being alone. I get up when I want to, eat breakfast in my dressing gown. We can’t all be as glamorous as you. Put jokes in the chorus to make it less serious, but the pay-off line always rings true. I don’t have a wife and I don’t have a husband. I don’t have any children I know of. I don’t have a life and I don’t have a band anymore, but I’ve got all these songs.
In Bloom The wisteria's finally bloomed in the dream as I walk home on the last day of the last term of the year. The estates are well groomed, springtime in South London. Thoughts turn to the summer before. Once I kissed the most beautiful I've ever seen. How could a mind be quite so unlike the body in which it resides. All the years with nothing and no one rewarded and then some. I was all set to give up and go. And you know, cos I told you over and over on that first sweet night in my room. Once I kissed the most beautiful I've ever seen. How could a moment be quite so unlike the life in which it resides. But there's always one still in thrall while the other one pulls away. I'm the bicycle thrown on the ground at the end of a long evening's play. I'm the bicycle left on the pavement at the end of a perfect day. You doubted me when I said I'd always want you. Well it's a year on now.
Our Lovely Afternoon I am baffled and envious that our lovely afternoon was not all that unusual to you, not something you’re going to need again and again. I’m too far gone, and so ready to have waited all along for someone I am overwhelmed to be with, to while away this funny time of day with, again. It just feels right, like you’re someone I’ve always known. Don’t send me back on my own. But I knew halfway through the afternoon, I wouldn’t see you again. Like I knew in the quiet of my room, I had to see you again. I want to see you again.
Between Eros and Agape When you always want that which doesn’t want you by definition, you are screwed. When you always try to catch the eye that would sooner be left alone, you’re doomed. Strung out between Eros and Agape, I never find them in the same place. As the perfect line shimmies into place there’s a moment when the longed-for embrace seems a little less like the be all and the end all. But as a pretty melody besieges you with its fingernails, it never fails to remind you of the petty hopes that rise and fall endlessly. On my first date in four years a young man told me I was the most unsociable socialist he’d ever known (in all his twenty-three years!) and how really he was looking for someone more his own age but would I like to see him again anyway? What could I say? If no one’s on your side, I am.


Hello there

'Old Joy' is a set of new versions of some of my old, and not so old, songs. Somehow, it's already five years since I started making music under the Ice Caps name. I'll try to explain how this new collection of recordings came about...

In the Spring of 2012, I found myself with a gig booked but without a full compliment of band members. Rather than cancel the show, I decided to attempt a solo set using backing tracks, which was, after all, how the live Ice Caps experience had started back in 2008.

At first I thought I would use the existing backing tracks. But when I dug them up from somewhere deep on my old laptop, I changed my mind. I set about recreating from scratch a few of the old songs for the solo gig. It's from those re-arrangements that I've ended up with the version of 'Selfish Bachelor' that appears here.

Later in 2012, although rehearsed up as a full band and gigging every month or two, the Ice Caps were asked to play an acoustic set at the Stop Look Listen club. Aurora Sommer, Rob Hart and I worked on that set, but then through no one's fault, the event didn't go ahead and couldn't easily be re-scheduled. (We finally managed to play the acoustic set at a gig in January 2013.) I knew though that some of the songs were working particularly well in that format, and I wanted to capture them. Thus Rob, Aurora and I recorded the acoustic versions of 'Our Lovely Afternoon' and 'In Bloom' that appear on 'Old Joy'.

That just leaves the new version of 'Between Eros & Agape'. I can't exactly remember the story on this one, but I must have made the new arrangement some time during the seemingly endless winter of 2012/13, which possibly explains the weird, dark flavour of the arrangement. Sampled strings, bleeps, medieval recorders and timpani seemed a good combination at the time, and there it is.

Once I had the idea that these four tracks would form a release (can we call it an E.P.?), there immediately followed a title that seemed to fit a collection of new versions of favourite old songs: 'Old Joy'. This is fairly obviously nicked from the US indie film of the same name, which itself plays of course on the aphorism 'sadness is just old joy'.

Big thanks go to Rob and Aurore, and to Sina Shamsavari for the fittingly wistful cover art.

I don't plan to make a habit of re-recording my old songs, but you never know. I think there's something to be said for the 'never look back' mentality, but on the other hand some tunes are worth buffing up and shoving out into the world a second time around.

If you like 'Old Joy', please tell your friends about it through the myriad modern methods at your disposal. If you're new to my music, a good place to catch up is www.themeltingicecaps.co.uk

As ever, thanks for listening.

David Shah
London, June 2013


released June 10, 2013

written, performed and produced by David Shah, except:

piano on 'In Bloom' and 'Our Lovely Afternoon' by Rob John Hart

guitar on 'In Bloom' and 'Our Lovely Afternoon' by Aurora Sommer


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