Pete Astor has been a staple of the British indie scene since the early ’80s, fronting a diverse number of outfits including the Loft, the Weather Prophets, the Wisdom Of Harry and Ellis Island Sound. He launched a solo career in 1990, as well, and is also a senior lecturer in music at the University of Westminster. Astor’s latest release is One For The Ghost (Tapete). He’ll be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week, writing about the origins of these songs and how they relate to the LP’s theme of past and future, complete with illustrations he created with Susanne Ballhausen.
Astor: My favourite words are those that give up meanings with more listens but which also function in an abstract way—you might relate to the chorus, most of the best choruses are bumper stickers. But if a song snares you, then the verses and all the rest start to snare and seduce you over time and repeated listens, while you understand what the songwriter is saying but make your own meanings at the same time.
On One For The Ghost, after written-out versions of the lyrics, it says, “All resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental”; that, of course, protects the innocent and the guilty, and makes me feel less uncomfortable about telling the truth. Because I know, in the end: “Songs tell truths, but not the truth.”
More songs not telling the truth: