Stevie Scullion believes in weirdness. Having a couple of kids, it was important to let them know a few things. “I was thinking of a way to tell them its okay to be weird and that sometimes it’s our weirdness that makes us cool and unique.” Being okay with who you are informs Malojian’s Let You Weirdness Carry You Home. A new expanded edition comes with seven extra tracks. The added Weirdness, especially ‘Beardness’, mashing up ‘Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home’ with ‘Beard Song’ is essential listening. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The back-story to Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home is highly intriguing. Contacted by Northern Ireland Screen about playing a gig in a coastal location with coastal visuals got Stevie Scullion’s juices flowing. Demos started taking on a life of their own, “low and behold, like an ugly duckling or something, they grew and took on a life of their own”.
From there he started contacting other musicians.
Gerry Love from Teenage Fanclub was a natural. Malojian had supported them in Dublin. Teenage Fanclub opened for REM on a US tour and that led to getting Joey Waronker on board, especially since Stevie had just finished up working on his last album with Steve Albini, a Waronker hero. Northern Ireland’s Linley Hamilton provided horn parts, especially the fugelhorn solo that follows Scullion’s ‘Beard Song’ admission, “Just because you grow a beard, it doesn’t make you cool, anyone can do it, there’s really nothing to it, you fool.”
The balladry of ‘The Purity of Your Smile’ is leavened with cello, providing gravity to a moment while Stevie sings to his daughter: “All I know is that you’re never going to be anything like me if I can help it.” Good luck with that, children seem to have a mind of their own.
The seven additional tracks on this version of Weirdness paint a picture of Scullion demoing ‘Between The Pylons’ and ‘Damp’. Live versions of ‘Ambulance Song’ and ‘Beard Song’ place Stevie the performer front and centre. ‘Purity Of Your Smile’ is performed at the Ards lighthouse. Closing the record is the aforementioned ‘Beardness’.
Stevie Scallion and Malojian have created something essential. This music, which came out at the end of last summer, works just as well with the winter of 2018 coming upon us. A warm embrace for the cold months ahead, renewing our souls while we celebrate the creativity at the heart of a true artist.