Back in June 2020, the original version of ‘Thin (I Used to be Bullet Proof)’ premiered right here on AUK in the lead up to Our Man in the Field’s debut album, ‘The Company of Strangers’. It was one of the strongest songs from a very fine album and was nominated for the AMAUK UK Song of the Year Award in 2021. A highly-anticipated new album is on the way soon. While we wait, Our Man in the Field have released a new acoustic recording of ‘Thin’, which sounds just as beautiful as the original.
Guitarist, singer and songwriter Alex Ellis is the creative force behind Our Man in the Field, ably assisted by superb musicians, most notably Henry Senior on pedal steel and Dobro. On the new version of ‘Thin’, Ellis once again demonstrates his range as a singer, delivering a plaintive, vulnerable vocal that hangs on a lovely melody.
When he wrote the original, Ellis explained that the song could be understood as a letter to someone, perhaps his younger self: “I wrote it from the point of view of a person looking back at their life and recognising how time has changed them. At the beginning they are dictating a letter to someone. The words in the letter are the words of the chorus and the letter is to explain what the person is about to do. I wanted to leave that part open so the person could be leaving a job or a place or any situation and the listener can make it whatever they want.
To me the person in the song has realised that there is still time left to change their circumstances and get back to who they used to be. I’ve known a lot of people who have followed the traditional path of school, university 9-5 job – but then realised that they spend most of their life doing something they don’t like and missed out on so much. Most people don’t want to take a risk and change their situation and for some it’s impossible not to once they realise.”
Our Man in the Field have already recorded their upcoming album over in the USA with legendary GRAMMY-nominated producer Tucker Martine. Martine has worked with a host of revered artists, including The Jayhawks, R.E.M., First Aid Kit, Sufjan Stevens, Iron and Wine, Beth Orton and Mavis Staples. Anyone lucky enough to have seen Our Man in the Field on tour with The Delines recently will have heard some of the new songs. Further news on the new record will follow soon. In the meantime, enjoy this.
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