Monday 4 December 2023

If Today Begins A Day Too Soon

Bill Ryder-Jones is one of those artists whose name I'm familiar with but know very little of his work.
In fact, the majority of the songs in my collection featuring him are from his time with The Coral. Solo-wise, I have a paltry pair of songs: Two To Birkenhead from 2015's third album West Kirby County Primary; the other a cover of Pink Moon from a Nick Drake tribute CD, given away with Mojo magazine in 2018.
If Tomorrow Starts Without Me was released last week as the second preview single from the album Iechyd Da (translated from Welsh as "Good Health") and it's a beauty.
Starting off with juddering strings that remind me of the intro to the Stealth Sonic Orchestra remix of Manic Street Preachers' Motorcycle Emptiness, it soon breaks into a jaunty melody, strings vying for dominance with acoustic guitar, brushed drums and keyboard swirls. Bill's voice floats over the top, a slightly croaky hushed voice as if he means it just for you, only you, and doesn't want anyone else to overhear.

I feel like I'm underselling it, it's a lovely three minutes and immediately had me checking out the previous single, This Can't Go On.

The video for If Tomorrow Starts Without Me imagines the narrator's immediate post-death experience, taking the opening lyric as a literal cure for the character to shadow his partner as a ghost in the days and weeks that follow. Visually, it's beautifully done, with hand drawn animation overlaid against a real world backdrop. Incredibly moving.

Iechyd Da is out on 12th January, with a live performance at Rough Trade East in London, before Bill goes on a UK tour in March.

If tomorrow starts without me, I'm with you
If today begins a day too soon
I've a sense of shame when it feels alright
So I've played some games but it ends tonight
As I'm fading into blue
Let's just hope that somehow I'm with you

If the monsters call you names, then I'm with you
I've had monsters play games with me too
And if I told you just in time how you're the one
Would you come or just pass through my arms?

And that sense of shame names itself anew
Was it worth the wait? What's it worth to you?
And it feels alright to be passing through
Give it one more night
Give me somеthing true
Something you'll regrеt
In that way you do
Well, I've had a good one
And I've scored a few


  1. Nice song that, reminds me of a few things. There must be something in the air- got 2 BRJ related posts coming up shortly.

    1. I think that you, me and Walter in particular seem to be tuned to the same frequencies, going by our regular and serendipitous blog crossovers and complementary posts.

      Looking forward to the BRJ-related stuff, every day's a day to experience more great music.

  2. I took a detour and now can't stop listening to the orchestral remix of Motorcycle Emptiness!


    1. Ah, now if you're going down that particular rabbit hole John, you may already have guessed what the intro to the remix of Motorcycle Emptiness reminded me of when I first heard it...