ANDY BELL – ” EP’s “

Posted: December 11, 2022 in MUSIC

Ride’s Andy Bell has become a prolific solo artist, releasing EPs at a regular clip, the most recent of which is “Untitled Film Still”s that features lovely covers of songs by Yoko Ono, The Kinks, Pentangle and, best of all, Arthur Russell’s “Our Last Night Together.” The original, mostly cello and voice, is spare and ghostly but Bell turns it into something more full, atmospheric and enveloping. Or as Bell puts it, “‘World Of Echo meets This Mortal Coil doing Skip Spence’.”

“I Am A Strange Loop” EP. (Ltd clear/pink splatter vinyl 10”, 1000 copies only).

‘I Am A Strange Loop’ is a brief remix EP of tracks from ‘Flicker’, the 2022 solo album from Ride co-frontman Andy Bell. The prestigious David Holmes transforms ‘The Sky Without You’ into a lysergic epic, while there are other remixes from James Chapman (a.k.a. Maps), record producer Richard Norris and contemporary shoegaze band bdrrm.

David Holmes requested the opening track as he had formed a bit of a connection with it, and what he came up with turns the song from an introductory taster, into a hallucinogenic beast, taking pride of place here as the opening track but in a whole different way to how ‘Flicker’ opens.

James Chapman AKA Maps has taken ‘It Gets Easier’ to a bigger, brighter and shinier place, he’s given quite a downbeat track a euphoric and epic sheen. James is an absolute master of electronic production and he’s taken the same care and attention over this remix as he does with his own wonderful music.

I couldn’t put Richard Norris’s lovely widescreen take on ‘Something Like Love’ better than the man himself – in his own words he found the “hitherto undiscovered sweet spot between ‘Roscoe’ and ‘Outdoor Miner’” and he tapped into the melancholy euphoria at the core of the song.

Jordan Smith from bdrmm’s very first remix blows my mind every time I play it. It is as constantly inventive, infectious and frankly ace as the band he plays in. This is a remix for headphones, there are so many great moments to love, all held together by a bassline worthy of Jah Wobble (by way of Andrew Weatherall). If this is Jordan’s first remix imagine what he’ll be coming up with in years to come. Astonishing!

A Place to Bury Strangers take no prisoners on their mix of ‘World Of Echo’ which is pure psych-punk adrenaline. The song is almost unrecognisable. There are glimpses of the original, but more than anything it’s an incredible, if slightly unhinged, APTBS track which I enjoy very much indeed.

Claude Cooper takers ‘Sidewinder’ to a ’60s-themed house party and gives it a big tequila shot and some magic mushrooms, Which takes us back to where we started with David Holmes’ radical mycology!

Thanks to all of the above for their incredible work on giving these songs from ‘Flicker’ a new technicolour life. 

released October 7th, 2022

“The Grounding Process” EP. (Ltd clear/green splatter vinyl 10”, 1000 copies only).

Andy Bell (Beady Eye, Oasis, Ride etc) has been alarmingly busy recently making two solo albums ‘The View From Halfway Down’ and ‘Flicker’ which both showcase his abilities as a songwriter with neat psychedelic tendencies.

On my debut solo album ‘The View From Halfway Down’ I did all of my promotion via Zoom and pre-recorded interviews and acoustic sessions. I enjoyed making the acoustic versions and decided to do some more for this album.

‘Something Like Love’ is the most popular song from ‘Flicker’ and one of the oldest, starting life in the ’90s. It’s probably the only one that dates back to the Ride era.

The riffs for ‘World Of Echo’ were written while I was on tour with Oasis, at the height of my La’s obsession. It went through a few iterations from then onwards, but never had a final melody until last year.

‘She Calls The Tune’ was the first song I wrote after I joined Oasis, ending a period of writers’ block which I had started going through some time in 1999. The ’90s had caught up with me, and I ended up moving to Sweden, seriously considering leaving music behind and becoming a full-time dad. Then a quite random series of events happened, and I ended up being invited to join Oasis, which lifted me right out of the doldrums and gave me a brand-new lease of life.

The song is all about getting over writers’ block! Its very first performance was to an audience of Liam Gallagher, Gem Archer and Richard Ashcroft in a Milan hotel room on tour. No pressure! I don’t think I ever saw this as an Oasis song, it’s very introspective, but I have them to thank for the fact that I was able to write songs again at all.

‘Lifeline’ was another riff I came up with while on tour with Oasis and another riff which had to wait a decade or two for a song to fit. I remember being on an Oasis UK tour with Shack, and sitting around backstage somewhere, on acoustics with Mick and John Head jamming around the Simon & Garfunkel version of ‘Scarborough Fair’, to which Noel said, “We need one of those, Andy B!” It was around this time I picked up the nickname ‘Spider-fingers’ because I was always working out these kinds of tunes on guitar. The riff for ‘Lifeline’ followed soon after, along with the one from [Beady Eye’s] ‘Girls In Uniform’. It was always called ‘Lifeline’ but I never found the right lyric for it until very recently.

‘Love Is The Frequency’ is a riff I came up with around the same time as ‘Millionaire’ – late Oasis / early Beady Eye-era. Again, I never had the melody at that time. You can hear the influence of The La’s in this song for sure, but maybe more so The Coral and their sound on the album version. It’s a bit of a sea shanty. 

released November 4th, 2022

Here he makes some stripped down versions of tracks from ‘Flicker’ some of which were written back in his Ride days and on tour with Oasis.

“Untitled Film Stills” EP. (Ltd clear/blue splatter vinyl 10”, 1000 copies only).

The question is… does Andy Bell sleep? Not only is he releasing stripped down versions of tracks from his latest album ‘Flicker’ but this further EP sees him covering songs which inspired the album. Here the Ride, Oasis and Beady Eye guitarist showcases versions of tracks by Yoko Ono, The Kinks, Pentangle and Arthur Russell.

Andy says: “The ‘Flicker’ song ‘Jenny Holzer B. Goode’ refers to a few of the female artists from the music and art worlds who I find inspiring – along with Jenny Holzer, others referred to include Laurie Anderson, Yayoi Kusama, Elizabeth Fraser, Cindy Sherman and Yoko Ono. So, it felt right to cover ‘Listen, The Snow Is Falling’, my favourite Yoko song.”

“After doing a series of EPs we called ‘Ever Decreasing Circles’ last year, here’s this year’s retro TV reference, ‘Light Flight’, the theme tune from ’60s drama series Take Three Girls which was performed originally by Pentangle. The song came out in 1970 (the year I was born), and although I never knew about the TV show until recently, I’ve loved this track ever since I heard it on the 1997 folk compilation Transatlantic Ticket.

Nat Cramp, head honcho of Sonic Cathedral, requested a cover of ‘The Way Love Used To Be’ and, as he gave me the puppy dog eyes, naturally I couldn’t refuse. I’d never heard this song despite being a big fan of The Kinks and owning the album it’s from (Percy), but it’s lovely and it felt very natural to cover it. All hail Ray Davies!

Arthur Russell has been a big reference point for all my music away from ‘band world’. There is something impressionistic and open-ended about his records, and he was also unafraid of trying different styles, which I’ve found really inspirational. And there’s the fact that he worked alone, which is something I’ve got used to now, in-between band albums. I guess you could describe the production style I’m trying for on my version of ‘Our Last Night Together’ as ‘World Of Echo meets This Mortal Coil doing Skip Spence’.” 

Andy Bell under exclusive licence to Sonic Cathedral Released on: 2022-03-25

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