An Olive Grove Facing the Sea
|"An Olive Grove Facing the Sea"|
|Song by Snow Patrol from the album When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up|
|Released|| 5 March 2001
24 April 2001
|Recorded||2000 Substation, CaVa Studios, The Stables, Rage|
|Writer||Gary Lightbody, Snow Patrol|
|Producer||Snow Patrol, Michael Brennan, Jr.|
|When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up track listing|
|"An Olive Grove Facing the Sea (2009 Version)"|
|Single by Snow Patrol|
|from the album Up to Now|
|Released||4 December 2009|
|Recorded||July 2009 at The Garage (Kent, England)|
|Snow Patrol singles chronology|
"An Olive Grove Facing the Sea" is a song from Snow Patrol's second album When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up. A re-recorded version featuring only vocalist Gary Lightbody's singing and guitar was released on the bands' 2009 compilation album Up to Now, and was later released digitally as the second single from the album.
The lyrics to the song were written by vocalist Gary Lightbody, and the music composed by the whole band, then consisting of Lightbody, Mark McClelland and Jonny Quinn. The original album version was recorded by Snow Patrol during the sessions for their second album, When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up. Recording took place at two different studios: The Stables (in Lincolnshire, England) and Substation (in Rosyth, Scotland). The final mix was done at Substation. The song was produced by Michael Brennan Jr. and Snow Patrol. The song has been described as possibly being "a dream", "a hymn to an imagined presence" and also a "mermaid fantasy", because of its lyrics: "She was an angel / I saw her swimming there". It has also been compared to the Big Star song "Thirteen" and called its "Stalkers Handbook" version. The start of the song features acoustic guitar, whose strings are "brushed gently" and the cymbals played for "reverberation and resonance", instead of being "struck for impact", according to Stylus' writer Nick Southall. He has noted that the drumming is "slow and deliberate", and repeated, because "dreams repeat". As the song reaches the chorus, the acoustic guitar stops and an electric one takes over. The end of the song features a trumpet solo as cadenza. Lightbody's vocal on the song invited comparisons to Nick Drake.
Gary Lightbody re-recorded the original version in July 2009 at The Garage in Kent, with Jacknife Lee acting as producer. The new recording was called the "2009 Version" and featured Lightbody singing over an electric guitar. Lightbody called his new version "shamefully self indulgent".
Snow Patrol filmed a music video for the song on 24 May 2001. It was created with mneTV as a part of the @ìre series, which was broadcast on BBC Two and STV. mneTV's Cailean Collier wrote that since the song had been described as a dream, the video interprets this by "blurring the borders between fantasy and reality".
Release and reception
Snow Patrol's recording was released on their second album When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up in 2001, and 2006, when the album was re-released. Lightbody's re-recording, the "2009 Version", was released on Snow Patrol's first compilation Up to Now. It was later released as the second single from the compilation on 4 December 2009. A digital only single, it was released on the UK iTunes Store. It was also given away as a freebie for a day on the 1st day (26 December 2009) of iTunes' 12 Days of Christmas.
"An Olive Grove Facing the Sea" has been mostly praised by critics. It has been called "pretty" and "affecting" and been praised for employing an orchestra. It has also been called an example of the "lo-fi rustic beauty" of the band's early records. In a negative review, RTÉ said that the downbeat nature of the song was eerie. It was criticized (along with the whole album) for being "ill-timed" and having "misspent emotions". In later years, it has been called a "stone cold classic" and "a bonafide tear jerker". UK magazine Drowned in Sound in 2009 named it the song to be played to anyone who didn't have enough respect for Snow Patrol as a band. Scott Juba, writing for website The Trades, praised it as "the real highlight of the two LPs" (Songs For Polarbears and When It's All Over We Still Have To Clear Up). He went on to describe it as "one of the best songs" he'd ever heard, and that it "paints a beautiful picture of love's yearnings and contains enough quiet drama and soothing emotion to completely engross the listener in every word of the eloquently penned lyrics".
- UK iTunes:
- "An Olive Grove Facing the Sea" (2009 Version) – 4:59
- Snow Patrol
- Other personnel
- Fly by Heart – choir
- Rob Dillam – acoustic guitar
- John Todd – trumpet
- When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up (booklet). Snow Patrol. Jeepster. 2001. pp. p. 7. JPRCD 012.
- When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up (booklet). Snow Patrol. Jeepster. 2001. pp. p. 2. JPRCD 012.
- Southall, Nick (17 July 2006). "Snow Patrol: An Olive Grove Facing the Sea". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- Southall, Nick (16 March 2007). "Top ten musical signifiers (almost) guaranteed to make me fellate a record regardless of its quality". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
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- Up to Now (book). Snow Patrol. Fiction. 2009. p. 15. 272201-1.
- Coyne, Wayne. "Interview - Gary Lightbody". Hot Press 33 (17): 13.
- Collier, Cailean. "EXCLUSIVE Snow Patrol Vid". mneTV.
- "When It's All Over We Still have to Clear Up". snowpatrol.com. Archived from the original on 10 January 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- "An Olive Grove Facing the Sea - Snow Patrol". Allmusic. Macrovision. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- "An Olive Grove Facing the Sea (2009 Version) - Single". Apple Inc. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
- Spence, Nick (26 December 2009). "Day 1: iTunes 12 Days of Christmas - Free Snow Patrol digital recording". Macworld. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
- Bergstrom, John (23 June 2006). "Snow Patrol - When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up". PopMatters. PopMatters Media, Inc. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- Jelbert, Stephen (13 March 2001). "Snow Patrol - 'When It's All Over We Still Have To Clear Up'". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- Langager, Ross (30 November 2009). "Snow Patrol - Up to Now". PopMatters. PopMatters Media, Inc. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- Guerin, Harry. "Snow Patrol - When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up". RTÉ. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- Renshaw, David (12 November 2009). "Snow Patrol - Up to Now". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 12 November 2009.
- "Music Review: Snow Patrol, "Songs For Polar Bears" and "When It's All Over We Still Have To Clear Up"". Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up (booklet). Snow Patrol. Jeepster. 2001. pp. p. 6. JPRCD 012.