IF IT’S ALL THE SAME was written a long time ago by frontman Kabaal klankbaan, and was inspired by a time he played a lot of shows and traveled to many interesting venues. 

“Combine the gigging lifestyle with Jeff Bridges’ character Bad Blake in the movie Crazy Heart, my love for Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Nick Cave and my sense of humour, and you’ve got IF IT’S ALL THE SAME.”

Floris Groenewald

A somewhat traditional ballad, the song tells the story of a troubadour, or travelling singer-songwriter, who writes and sings about romance every night, but has never found someone to settle down with. It’s about romantic desires, even when you can’t offer the happily-ever-after that most romantic partners might crave. Despite its somewhat cynical narrative, If It’s All the Same is a sincere offering that many people can connect with, or just enjoy from afar. 

Kabaal klankbaan released a previous version of the song on their last EP, I’m Not Good with Promises. Strongly believing that songs are never finished or final, and there’s always something different to be found in a reinterpretation or rearrangement of a song, Floris decided to get a little help from his friends and release a second, collaborative recording. The result: Fans can experience the intimacy of a crooning piano ballad showing off a completely different side to the upbeat drums-and-trumpets used before.

Regularly hearing Franco Prinsloo‘s musical work, he was a natural choice for a piano version. For vocals, Floris looked for the perfect voice to inhabit the character he envisioned – someone older than himself, who can sound weary yet energetic, cynical yet romantic. Michael Canfield ticked all these boxes. Each person left their unique stamp on the song, and creatively participated in making it their own. Because of that, and the freeform production process, If It’s All the Same is a coming together of three creatives.

When Floris contacted me to be the voice of If It’s All the Same I was initially quite flattered. My realisation, as I was tracking the performance, was that the feeling described in the song were actually not just personal, but universal. The desire for connection, however fleeting in a lonely world, is something many people will relate to.

It’s All the Same, like the best songs, speaks the truth of many hearts and lets us all know we are not alone. And isn’t that one of the purposes of all great songs?

Michael Canfield

If It’s All the Same was mixed and mastered by Louise Eksteen at The Backline. Check it out for yourself on your favourite streaming service.