I look at Branches as being a turning point in my songwriting, the moment I realised that I could write something that could hold it’s own against my peers - this isn’t arrogance I hope you understand but actually a new found confidence in myself and my own talents, I mean, if everything you write you think is below par (that saying has always confused me - isn’t being below par a good thing?) then maybe you should have a little faith in your own accomplishments.
Manchester United played Branches a couple of times in the 2014-2015 season and once in the 2015-2016 season and that was when I knew it was a song that people could relate to. The original Fireflys version (there’s a theme here - trust me they’re not all Fireflys songs) is nothing like The Far North’s version, in fact they’re not even in the same key, I think only the root chords and lyrics are what’s overtly similar. Nigel suggested a lap steel on the track and a more refined lead vocal - not to go belting it out, but build it up over the course of the song.
I think it really really works, the track now feels alive where maybe it was all on one level and slightly staid, where now its emotive and beautiful. Lyrically I really like how it faces inward at your little family, your little cocoon, your little empire and emphasises no matter how bad things appear, they’ll get better and it’s never too late to make a change and more sweetly, that love really is all you need.