Breaking Away (2012)

by The Sick-Leaves

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about

The Sick-Leaves' 4th studio album, Breaking Away was released on January 23rd 2012.

Breaking Away is a jubilant, victorious, uplifting experience.

Breaking Away was originally envisioned to be an EP but once completed clocked in at an explosive thirty minutes following the inclusion of the most recently written song and first radio single Catfights In Bushes.

Over the course of 2011 six tracks off Breaking Away were tracked at SABC’s M5 and Openroom studios with Darryl Torr and the remaining two tracks were recorded at Sting studios with Matthew Fink. Matthew Fink, who had produced The Sick-Leaves SAMA nominated first & second albums, mixed and produced Breaking Away.

According to Jacobsz the recording process for Breaking Away was definitely the most difficult to date. “The writing process was very easy and the songs were written quite fast, but recording took much longer than what I anticipated.” Tracking was done at Openroom Studios from January to March.

An extra track, Crying (Roy Orbison cover) was recorded during this period but is not included on the album. This cover is available as a digital download from The Sick-Leaves website.

The natural progression is for Jacobsz to produce the next Sick-Leaves album due to the experience gained through the recording process for this and the previous three Sick-Leaves releases. Jacobsz reflects on how as a solo artist it was, quite frustrating to get the sounds, arrangements and mixes right for the demo album in a relative short amount of time, but then the recording and mixing process took many months to reach completion.

This was the first album where Jacobsz had the album title ready before any of the songs were written. The phrase Breaking Away represented to him escapism. What motivated Jacobsz when he wrote this set of songs was that there would be no constraint placed on the songs as to whether they should be short enough for radio play, whether any record label would be interested to pick it up or whether it would make sense to mainstream critics compared to previous releases. A big criterion was that the songs would be allowed to follow their own path to completion during the songwriting process.

With the album title, Breaking Away, playing around in his head, Jacobsz searched for images to personify the words and make a bold, powerful statement.
He stumbled across the cover photograph online and immediately knew it was exactly the image he was looking for. Jacobsz explains his excitement at finding the photograph, “I couldn't believe my luck that the photograph hadn't been used before apart from in National Geographic's Space issue.

Space and especially the space shuttle program have always fascinated me. I knew the Space Shuttle program was coming to an end at the time and that it would be an even more iconic and historic picture to use for a Sick-Leaves album cover.”

The striking album artwork features a photograph of space shuttle Endeavour blasting off from Kennedy Space centre, Florida on March 11th 2008. It was captured by US photographer James N. Brown (www.ov-103.com) in fitting with the power, boldness and energy of the songs on this fourth release.

The photograph has been featured in the special National Geographic "Space" issue of November 2008 (bit.ly/tn6OW9) and is one of the photographer’s personal favourite photos to date with no post editing having been done at all.

After turning the volume dial a notch down on ‘Last Dance Of The Sugarplum Fairy, Jacobsz felt that he wanted to record an album that sonically combined all the elements of the previous three Sick-Leaves releases. “Breaking Away might very well be the loudest set of songs I’ve recorded thus far. It was my full intention when I went into the studio and I’m so pleased with the variety of tones and the feel that came to be for each song. This might be due to the fact that recording went on for such a long time compared to the shorter time spent on recording for LDOTSF”.

Jacobsz asserts “Breaking Away is for me a culmination of the past 7 years' experience I've gained through recording music, playing it live and living.
For me it is the most enjoyable Sick-Leaves album to listen to and also the most representative of the sound I am after. It also closes a chapter in my musical career as I feel that on the next album I will go for a totally different direction and feel than the previous four.

I don't want to fall into the trap of repeating myself consequently I have set myself the challenge to re-invent my own sound and to experiment with other alternative genres. If it takes a few years or even a decade to find it, then so be it.”

credits

released January 23, 2012

Album title: Breaking Away
Catalogue number: TSLCD004
Music & lyrics composed by Eksteen Jacobsz
All guitars, vocals and bass performed by Eksteen Jacobsz
Drums performed by Wayne Kennith Pictor
Produced, mixed & mastered at .45 by Matthew Fink
Tracks 1-3 & 6-8 recorded at M5 and Openroom Studios at SABC, Auckland Park, SA January - March 2011.
Tracks 4 & 5 recorded at Sting Studios, Johannesburg, SA September 2011.
Guitar overdubs for tracks 1-3 & 6-8 recorded at .45

Album cover photograph by James N. Brown
Album artwork layout by Sean Brand

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about

The Sick-Leaves Pretoria, South Africa

The Sick-Leaves is the solo project of singer/songwriter/guitarist/bassist Eksteen Jacobsz.
The Sick-Leaves have released three albums with the first & second albums being nominated for South African music awards in 2007 & 2009 respectively.
Fourth album Breaking Away is to be released in January 2012 to follow from critically accliamed 2010 released 3rd album Last Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
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Track Name: The Other Way
Been told / many times / this is all you gonna find
Whoever drove here / must have been blind
Stand still / in line / this is gonna be fine
I wanna run for miles

I remember the day
we hit the end of the line
It was the other way
It was the other way

Switch kill / special deal / this is all you’re ever feel
It was never meant to be real
Hey man / they will call / some will settle others fall
Down a landslide

I remember the day
we hit the end of the line
It was the other way
It was the other way

The end / comes fast / so long / go home
The end / runs in / before / it’s over
Will you / stay young / and carry on?
Will you / come down / and send back the weather?
Will you / come down / the other way?
Track Name: I Know Your Name
The sound you make when you fly into my head
/ is a sound I never forget
It rides on the scent of a summers day
/ it hangs onto what you say
Yeah I wish we could slay that dragon
/ and I wish for your walls to fall
I intend to spend a lot of time in the sun
/ there’s no reason to worry at all

Yeah / I know your name

Some will wait for what they cannot have
/ assume I was here before
Assume I’m the one who’s coming to collect
/ coz I always want more
Assume it’s sometime before I’m coming down
/assume we have never met
Assume there are lines that you just don’t cross
/assume I’m the different kind

Yeah / it was in seventy nine
That you came / opened your eyes
What did you ever stand for?
What did you ever care for?

Sonny got beaten like love on the rocks
/ by waves you’ve rarely seen before
But we don’t call him down here where the city life lives
/ coz he might just want more
Assume there’s a gator waiting in my lake
/ assume you won’t get out alive
Assume I am the one who wish you all the best
/ I’m the one who made it right
Track Name: Fanning The Flames
The way you walk / tells me I’m not alone
There’s someone else / who’s not unknown
The way you talk / reassures me
That you are / safely on the ground

I didn’t wish for this to happen
To someone / to someone better
I looked down / I had a choice
The searing heat or two thousand feet

I know our time ain’t over
Clear a path / let me show yer
Dropping through a hurricane
The sky’s not for sale

Who thought this up? Who brought us crashing down?
Scarred our beliefs / fanning the flames
I’ll tell you this / it might get loud
Brace yourselves / for a different chase


The way you walk / the way you walk with me
The way you talk / the way you talk to me
The way you walk / the way you walk with me
The way you talk / the way you talk to me
Track Name: Breaking Away
What would you do if I had a fever to tell it all?
Would it make sense to listen to your every beck and call?
You can expect a lot of trouble to land up here
I recognize you are a souvenir

I’m breaking away
Soon I’ll be on my way
I’m breaking away
So set the date

To pass you over was certainly a big mistake
We mistook you for an insolent little fake
The ball and chain you carried here / was irrelevant
Unfortunately you weren’t innocent

Come on show me what you’ve got
Track Name: Catfights In Bushes
Catfights In Bushes

sometimes, it feels like I’m in your firing line
wait up, wait for your squeeze on the side, alright
high up, they’ll lean on your spirit to dig them a hole
lounge back, it’s about to spiral outta control

I don’t mind she said / before it expires come inside
hold the line / Dear Whoever, who’s in charge?
Step in / step out / cat fights in bushes

come down, it’s not as if you have a bird’s eye view, from up there
call in, but not if you can say I like the way that you are
don’t think for a moment you have what it takes in the bag
wake up, it’s a violent war that won’t end

all the love you had / over powered you / brought you down
all the tears / Dear Whoever, who’s in charge?
Step in / step out /cat fights in bushes

this time, cat fights in bushes won’t slow me down, let’s meet up tonight
I found a way, to suck them right out of their holes, not again, I’ll fall for their kind
hang on, whatever you do don’t let go / come on / settle in

come on settle in x3
Track Name: No Doubt About It
Here’s the thing
I know what you mean
I can see
A revolution
I was taken with you

I walked out
With a crossbow
A knuckle buster
And a riot shield
When they stormed / I thought of you

One for you / ten for me
It’s what you want / that doesn’t come for free
Wake up / the end of the day is here

I don’t think / there’s any doubt
I don’t think / we’ll make it out
I don’t think there’s any doubt / about it

Come / back / and / see me soon

All you have to do
Is put one foot in front of the other
Excuse me if I go
A little overboard with my point of view
For once it was all very proper and beautiful
Track Name: Not Unlike You
Soon I reckon there’ll be nothing left of what was before
Give me something I can’t ignore
When you are a trick of my mind
Go outside and leave us behind

It’s not unlike you / to let me in
It’s not unlike you / to shake deep within
It’s not unlike you / to know what you are
It’s not unlike you

I raised my eyes to the sky
I felt fine

Well / so / long

Come on we’ve got to move, there ain’t much time left
run from here / take what you can get
There’s so much more / some won’t believe
They were led on / they were deceived

Horses / couldn’t carry me
away into the distance
One damn call and it’s all over
You should have tried harder

It’s not unlike you x4
Track Name: They Died With Their Boots On
I’ve been waiting for
You to come around
It has been quite a while
Since you’ve gone underground

When you follow the signs
Don’t cross that yellow line
And come through to the other side and see me
Going out of my mind

Call on the night
To keep us alive
Remember the days
When they died with their boots on

And as the rain set in
You disappeared
They died with their boots on
To never be seen again

Running in
With it all to lose
A deafening sound
brought some bad news

Call on the night
To keep us alive
Remember the days
When they died with their boots on

Words don’t heal
And bombs don’t feel
I called your name
A sniper took aim

Coming out of the woods
They died with their boots on
Climbing over fallen comrades
They died with their boots on
Track Name: Noose Of Gold
Instrumental