Kaoru (written 2019):
I was listening to the music on my phone on shuffle and this came on.
It's got quite a complicated story.
I originally recorded it as a demo for my first band Six Inch Killaz way back in 1998. It was basically one of the last songs we wrote. The lyrics were by Jasmine, our singer who died in 2010. She would give me and Mona (the other songwriter) scraps of paper with lyrics on them and we'd go off and edit them and hone them into songs.
I took these lyrics away and wrote this music when the band was already falling apart due to drug use mostly. This was the last thing that Six Inch Killaz recorded. Actually it was only me, on guitar and voice, laying down a demo on Mona's four track in October 1998 for Jasmine to learn.
The band fell apart shortly afterwards and I forgot about this until Mona found the four track tape and mixed some of the demos, a few years later. She also added the toy piano that plays mournfully over the last verse and chorus. I was pleased to be reacquainted with it but that was that, or so I thought.
As I mentioned, Jasmine died in 2010. She was a complicated person, a transgender prostitute who harboured dreams of fame as a singer or any kind of celebrity. We got on well until the heroin changed her. Things started to go missing. She became brittle and angry. We fired her just before the band disintegrated and I told the complex story of her death at length here https://www.thedragnet.org/blog/music/killaz/jasmine.html and here https://www.thedragnet.org/blog/music/killaz/killaz_09.html
I won't dwell on that now.
I found out about her death several years after it happened. 2014 I think, around this time of the year. It caused me to revisit the song and hear its melancholy and lovely melody in a new light.
I thought about re-recording it but that didn't seem quite right so I took the mix that Mona had done, toy piano and all, and overdubbed a backing vocal, the percussion and the organ. In a sense it was a duet with myself of more than a decade before.
Listening now I think it's one of the best things I've written. I hope you like it.
Guitar, lead vocal: me, 1998
Toy piano: Mona, 2001 (?)
Organ, percussion, backing vocal: me, 2014
Music by me, lyrics by Jasmine Salomé (RIP)
Kaoru (written 2019):