“Sailing for the Sun” was the last tune I wrote for the album bearing its title. Most of the other tunes were already written and recorded by then. On the musical side, it was probably the most harmonically adventurous song I’d written to date. It was all composed at the keyboard where I was experimenting with basic I-IV grooves with extended harmonies thinking of that funky groove for Dave and Adrian. I listened to an interview with Donald Fagan about composing from a blues perspective as the core of the tune but sneaking into more unexpected chords in the chorus. Adrian masterfully layered the rhythm section on this recording.
I was also listening to a lot of Radiohead at the time so the slow intro/outro with all the chromatic movement was a bit out of that school as well. I wanted it to be based on that funky bluesy groove in F minor to create the basic melody and tell the story. The chorus moves into a different key with a lift of hope before coming back to the groove. Adrian and I wrote the horn lines for Steve (Bernstein) and Erik (Lawrence) on this one which is definitely Steely dan inspired.
From a lyrical perspective, I wanted to write about a feeling/state that I wanted to experience as a way of manifesting it in a sense…finding the right person to share a life journey with. “I’m Sailing for the Sun..and I want to take you there with me…” seems a great space to be in to meet the right person.
For the video, Kristina Zaidner filmed the whole band at Euphoria Studios where we would always rehearse in NYC. And I asked my daughter, Noa, to choreograph and film the dance section in London. She is a master of modern dance and selected an undisclosed rooftop for the location.
The sunset painting for the cover is a watercolor by my mother, Gracia, who has had a prolific career as an artist and had actually done this one for my nephew based on a landscape photo he had taken in Uganda.
"Sailing for the Sun" also denotes a musical artistic journey and commitment to keep expanding. In short, the collaborative effort with Gracia and Noa gave the final seal to tie together this album and give it its title.