Where’s My Family Gone is the third single from Novocastrian singer-songwriter Andrew Cushin. It follows on from the critically well received It’s Gonna Get Better and Waiting For The Rain. It was written in a Leeds hotel room during a period when Cushin was having difficulty communicating with friends and family. It’s a poignant, heartfelt story of familial conflict and relationship breakdown.
I’ve heard the song live with just Cushin and his guitar and it was a raw, emotionally dark experience. His performance was captivating. Cushin lays his soul bare to the audience. Before taking up songwriting, Cushin wrote poetry; his lyrics are vital, precise and imaginative. He sums up his feelings of isolation brilliantly with lines like ‘The only friend I have is here, He’s built with strings and listening ears’.
Since gaining the support of Noel Gallagher, Cushin’s recording output has changed course. Cushin has stated that he’s hoping to break through in the same way as another Geordie artist, Sam Fender. With a bigger, fuller sound he’s certainly moving in that direction.
Gallagher’s influence can be seen all over this version of the song. He produced it, played guitar on it (including a solo), sings backing vocals, and enlisted the help of trusted musical lieutenants Paul and Jeremy Stacey, and Mike Rowe. Consequently it has the feel of a late period Oasis or Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds song.
Cushin’s original haunting melodies are there along with his passionate vocals, but there is a greater depth to this song. The addition of drums, layers of guitars and keyboards, have changed what was a beautifully haunting, stark song into an anthem.
Of the actual recording process Cushin has said ‘There were moments when I did have to pinch myself and think that’s Noel Gallagher standing over the mixing desk planning how the drums should sound’. Gallagher’s input has essentially created a silk purse out of what was already a decent silk purse.