I'm playing solo and signing copies of my new album in a handful of small indie record shops at the beginning of February. Come and see me in Marlborough at Sound Knowledge, Brighton at Resident Music, Whitstable at Gatefield Sounds, and Leeds at Jumbo Records.
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My new single Summer Ghosts is out today. It addresses issues of mental health and memory and change and the strength you need to survive shit - stuff you grew up absorbing, stuff you still live with. The title comes from the Japanese tradition of ghosts appearing in summer not - as we often imagine here - in winter. It struck me as a beautiful inversion, how thoughts can haunt you when you least expect. The last verse is then set in Hull where I first met Tracey. I revisited the city in 2017 and was hit by the optimism surrounding its year as City of Culture, but was also moved by the clear scars of economic austerity and my own memories of the place. The track was also first thing I wrote for the album where I pictured the whole production concept - the driven piano trio, the trap-influenced drums, the synth drones, the cut-up samples, the dense lyrics.
Figures in the Landscape is the 4th upfront track from my imminent album Storm Damage. Stream or download audio and watch the video.
The lyrics are a call to action in response to feelings of powerlessness. I wrote it in a period of personal crisis and political upheaval. The random nature of both can leave you feeling insignificant, lacking agency in the world, but in the end I guess you have a simple choice: to get up and celebrate what you have, or get out and take issue with it.
The song is accompanied by another powerful half-lit performance video directed by photographer- film-maker Edward Bishop, and shot at RAK Studios in London, where the album was recorded in April 2019.
Artwork is by John Gilsenan at iwantdesign.
Hope you get into it. Happy new year, folks.
'Balanced on a Wire' is the latest track to be shared from my upcoming album 'Storm Damage'.
Premiered this morning on Lauren Laverne's BBC 6 Music morning show, it is accompanied by a performance video filmed in RAK Studio 2 in London where the album was recorded.
My kids were teenagers leaving home for the first time when I wrote this song. I was moved by their mixture of anxiety and determination. It reminded me of being nineteen myself, standing on the edge of something new, how you cope, how you need to open up when the other half of you is screaming 'no'. Perhaps that feeling never really leaves us.
The video - first shown earlier today on New York music and culture website Black Book - is directed by photographer and film maker, Edward Bishop, who has documented much of my work since 2014.
I'm excited to return to Japan in April. The perfect time for cherry blossom, of course. Two shows in Tokyo and Osaka. I really cherish the support from my Japanese friends, ever since the affection they bestowed on North Marine Drive. Tickets on sale on Nov 16. Thanks, all.