Song Deconstructed: ‘Here We Are’ by O&O
Find out how Orian Peled and Obadiah Jones took inspiration from their own romantic relationship on this pop-infused folk number
O&O are the Israeli-American duo of Orian Peled and Obadiah Jones. Having met at Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Insitute for Performing Artists (LIPA), the duo forged their musical partnership living and performing on cruise ships for two years. Now settled in London, Peled and Jones have embraced the UK’s ever-growing Americana scene, adding something of their own pop sensibility along the way.
O&O’s debut EP, Truth Comes Out, came out in 2018 and last November saw the release of new single Here We Are, which the pair have given the deconstructed treatment to for us…
With the release of our debut EP in September 2018, we found ourselves very busy promoting the songs and playing shows, which left our songwriting wells dry. We were used to writing to strict, self-imposed recording-date-deadlines, so, after taking some time off in December, we started writing again at the beginning of 2019 purely for the sake of writing, without any plans to record. Here We Are was the first song to emerge in that period of relaxed writing, which is possibly reflected in its mellow vibe.
The title Here We Are was inspired by a line in the Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton duet We’ve Got Tonight, which fit the melody we already had for the chorus. As we were riffing on the chorus melody we started singing the first line, “Here we are now…” We then asked ourselves, “Here we are, what?” to try and discover the story we were trying to tell. We are often inspired by the intricacies of a romantic relationship and we have much to draw from, since we are involved in one.
There are many songs written about falling in love and many more written about breaking up, but we wanted to delve into the grey area and complexities of being in a long-term relationship. The starting point of the song is unexpectedly falling in love and the second verse explores the first disillusionment. The chorus expresses that all relationships are far from perfect, which is normal, and how, even after enduring heartbreaks, we all want another shot at love.
As many melodies tend to do, the beginnings of the chorus melody came to Obadiah in the shower. I remember singing it to myself and thinking it was quite catchy. When I got out of the shower, I picked up my guitar, dried off (not in that order) and worked it out. We pieced the chorus section together with the intro section and the verse and pre-chorus were the last parts of the music we wrote. The sounds of 70s songwriters and bands continue to inspire us and this opening guitar riff is a knowing nod to Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac.
We struggled to smoothly transition from the end of the pre-chorus into the first line of the chorus and originally we had a long guitar riff and pause. When we took our demo into the studio to begin recording the master version, our co-producer/engineer, Alec Brits, suggested that we simplify that transition and, in addition to cutting down the intro and an additional chorus, really helped to make the song more efficient.
In The Studio
Here We Are was cooked up in The Cabin, our favourite recording studio in Liverpool. We love going back to Liverpool, where we first met and studied music at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. The track features a host of layered guitars from the studio’s collection including a Gibson J45 acoustic, Fender Telecasters and one-of-a-kind, custom Palfrey Guitars from the luthier next door. While Obadiah covered the guitars and bass, we had some incredible musicians add their magic: Alec Brits (drums), Henry Burnett (keyboards/organ) and Scott Poley (pedal steel).
Obadiah takes the lead vocal for this song, but we wanted the chorus to have a duet feel to reflect the lyrics, so the pre-choruses and choruses feature Orian singing a close harmony – our favourite vocal sound. We thought the track had a pop/commercial appeal to it and we liked offsetting that with bursts of old-school pedal steel licks.
Here We Are is a song that evolved for us over time. Although the initial inspiration and ideas came quickly, the final song is a result of refining and developing over the course of multiple writing sessions. Although sonically it sits comfortably alongside our previous releases, Here We Are feels like a progression for us as artists and songwriters.
Here We Are is out now. For all O&O’s latest news and gig info head over to oandoduo.com