Posts Tagged ‘Josienne Clarke’

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what a wet week we have had, there’s a good deal of lovely records this week to soothe the aches and (possibly?) time to dry the socks..

The Nick Cave album Ghosteen that everyone has been asking about is OUT! today, It sees Nick and band in fine form, but there’s no mistaking there is a measure of catharsis in both the words and overall tone, understandably. It’s a wonderful piece of work though, despite the sombre atmosphere and flows with Cave’s singular ability to craft a narrative. I am very excited for the deluxe CD reissue of Gene Clark’s opus ‘No Other’ with a lovely booklet inside and an extra CD of rarities and alternate versions, and I was particularly psyched for the wonderful new LP from fave Ryley Walker and superb jazz drummer Charles Rumback. If you liked Grails (or Holy Sons for that matter), then this is a great one for you. Psych folk guitar with hints of Americana and a languid acid jazz backline, Ghosteen

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen

Ghosteen is the new two part album from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Ghosteen is the seventeenth studio album from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, following 2016’s Skeleton TreeThe album was recorded in 2018 and early 2019 at Woodshed in Malibu, Nightbird in Los Angeles, Retreat in Brighton and Candybomber in Berlin. It was mixed by Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Lance Powell and Andrew Dominik at Conway in Los Angeles.

Ghosteen sees Cave restrained and introspective, half singing, half speaking over a mix of piano and slow drifting electronics. He sounds vulnerable but not beaten. There are a lot of mentions of love in the lyrics, soft supportive backing vocals and an attractive warmth to the way Galleon Ship’s high synth sounds open the song wide, or the surprise falsetto he acquires late on in Sun Forest.

It’s a double LP with one album of conventional length songs then on the second – one short song and two of 12 and 14 minutes. They are more complex and grand. There’s a lot to take in but it’s totally absorbing.

2019

Lucy Dacus – 2019

Recorded in here-and-there studio spurts over the last two years, 2019 is made up of originals and cover songs tied to specific holidays, each of which has dropped / will drop around their respective date: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day (and Taurus season!), Independence Day, Springsteen’s Birthday (not an official holiday, though we’re told Chris Christie often took that day off), Halloween, Christmas, and New Year.

Dacus uses her gift as a songwriter to help understand and cope with the world around her, including making sense of national holidays, often more geared towards social media boasts and manufactured consumerism than authentic celebration. “What is going on,” she asks herself on these days, retreating from the heightened expectations of holidays to figure out what to make of them and to find her own meaning. “I’ve collected some songs from trying to answer that question,” she says, and “this EP seems like the right place to put them next to each other. These songs are self-contained, not indicative of a new direction, just a willingness to do something different and sometimes even out of character.”

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Pond – Sessions Live

There are very few of this live album from one of our favourite current bands Sessions is the first ever live album from Australian adventurers Pond. Featuring recent singles Paint Me Silver, Sweep Me Off My Feet and Daisy from both their last two albums, Tasmania and The Weather, as well live versions spanning their whole career, including fan favourite Don’t Look At The Sun (Otherwise You Will Go Blind) from their hard-to-find debut album Psychedelic Mango. This release has been two years in-the-making and underlines their reputation as one of the most exciting live acts around.

“We wanted to capture how the band has been playing live lately and commit that to tape while we were in the middle of a long tour,” reveals Pond’s Jay Watson. “As you play the same song for years, or even as a single tour rolls on, the way you play the songs mutates. Little inflections and fills become part of the song, and the structures and even the overall feeling and intent of the songs change. I always loved listening to my favourite bands’ Peel Sessions and wanted something of our own in that vein.”

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Josienne Clarke – In All Weather

In All Weather is a new collection of songs, in which Josienne Clarke goes it alone; musically, as this is her first solo record, and in her own life, laid bare and played out in the leave-it-all-behind-and-start-anew nature of the lyrics. The songs were written in on the Isle of Bute in 2018, where Josienne relocated for a year, overlooked by a snowy Ben Nevis.

Josienne accompanies herself on pared-back acoustic and electric guitar throughout. She’s joined on the record by experimental piano prodigy Elliott Galvin, innovative jazz drummer Dave Hamblett, celebrated Scottish harpist Mary Ann Kennedy and guitarist / bassist Sonny Johns who co-produced the record with Josienne.

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White Denim – Last Day Of Summer

White Denim, dubbed the “last great rock n’ roll band” by The Guardian, has launched Radio Milk Records with a remastered reissue of their 2010 fan-favourite Last Day of Summer. Once impossible to find on vinyl due to a limited pressing of 500 copies, the album has been remastered by Joe La Porta at Sterling Sound, and pressed to heavy translucent green vinyl. This will be the first time the album is available in record shops! Recorded in a 1940s-era Spartan trailer in Driftwood, Texas, the self-produced album is full of “experiments, detours, and well- taken chances” [-Pitchfork]. The cuts on Last Day of Summer range from jazz instrumentals to folk to psychedelia, and showcase the band’s range better than any album in their catalog. Future Radio Milk Records releases will include live recordings from White Denim and other local and international bands.

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Giant Sand – Glum – 25th Anniversary Edition

1994s Glum was to be Giant Sand’s largest record and in order to make it so, Howe Gelb invited everyone along to the party. This carnival help create Giant Sand’s best record to date and Glum is now proudly re-issued by Fire Records.

A conceptual masterpiece, complete with a second disc capturing a classic KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic session just prior to the original album’s release in 1994. An epic windswept desert dry encounter with one of America’s greatest bands that traverses genres and styles to create a complete masterpiece.

John Fogerty  –  50-Year Trip: Live at Red Rocks

This concert was recorded on June 20, 2019 as part of John Fogerty’s 50 year celebration of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Woodstock performance.  The 19-song concert features such Woodstock highlights as “Born on the Bayou,” “Green River,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary,” “Keep On Chooglin’,” and “Suzie Q,” alongside later hits like “Centerfield” and “The Old Man Down the Road.”

The Nazz – Open Our Eyes: The Anthology

Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra reissue the 2002 double-disc, 35-song anthology from Todd Rundgren’s early band The Nazz, right down to the original foldout artwork.

Josienne Clarke

Back in September Josienne Clarke released her excellent single, “If I Didn’t Mind”, It’s stripped back and raw, be warned: there is a powerful emotional punch to this album. As an account of a life laid bare, there are also some remarkably tender moments – and some joyous ones too. “In All Weather” is undoubtedly an artistic triumph, and certainly Josienne’s most assured work to date.

The first taste of her debut album, “In All Weather”. With the album now out this week Josienne has shared the latest taste of it, the pleasingly titled, “Slender, Sad and Sentimental”.

Discussing the track, Josienne has suggested it’s a somewhat cerebral affair, “I was writing about writing a catchy single in the style of a catchy single. I’ve possibly hit peak self-reference!” Self-referential or not, there’s an undeniable catchiness to elements of the track, the chorus combining Josienne’s impressive, Martha Ffion-like vocal style, with a bass-line Girl Ray would be proud of. Yet there’s a restraint to the song’s pop tendencies too, just as it threatens to slip into purest-pop, it makes a detour into a melancholic folk breakdown or a minimal keyboard line. Slender, Sad And Sentimental never quite commits to being a full blown pop song, and is all the more intriguing for it.

Josienne provides vocals and sparse acoustic and electric guitar throughout the album, joined by Elliott Galvin on piano, jazz drummer Dave Hamblett and renowned Scottish harpist Mary Ann Kennedy. Additional guitar and bass is provided by Sonny Johns, who also co-produced the album with Josienne.

She writes, ‘I exiled myself, moved to an island, literally and metaphorically, broke up with everything but songwriting. To re-make myself, to learn to let it all go in peace.’ Personal and professional relationships cast aside – along with a physical relocation away from London to be isolated on the Isle of Bute – provides a powerful backdrop to the songs. And reveals that the themes of separation, independence, determination, dissolution and reawakening are not solely metaphorical…

In All Weather is out November 8th via Rough Trade Records.

With an elegant, nuanced and emotionally affecting singing style (Cerys Matthews described her as having a voice that can “trickle back over centuries”) Josienne Clarke has frequently been compared to the great Sandy Denny, but present too are elements of Nina Simone and Gillian Welch; all three are important influences on her work.

In recent years, Josienne has supported the great Richard Thompson on a dream-come-true tour of the UK and opened for the legendary Robert Plant across Europe, as well as performing at some of the UK’s best-loved festivals, including Latitude, Larmer Tree and End Of The Road. She also found herself in demand as a writer and broadcaster, contributing to Standard Issue magazine and appearing on BBC Radio 3’s The Verb to discuss her pet subject melancholy, alongside poet Simon Armitage.

Expanding beyond the folk music for which she was first known, Josienne has partnered with rising star jazz pianist Kit Downes to release the Such A Sky EP. And her friendship with London-based Scottish singer songwriter Samantha Whates bloomed into the group PicaPica, whose debut album was released by Rough Trade in 2019.

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Her latest solo album In All Weather is the result of an enormous upheaval in Josienne’s life. Putting an end to toxic personal and professional relationships, she moved to a Scottish island to write and record 13 songs that stand as a manifesto of how to leave and how to change. Music critic Tim Cumming described the new work as “not so much about heartbreak as about knowledge. There is no one to match her in that regard, perhaps in any genre.”

releases November 8th, 2019

All songs written and composed by Josienne Clarke

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The voice and the space between the words are unmistakably Josienne Clarke. ‘Things I Didn’t Need’ is a powerfully brittle love song. The arrangements of all the songs are barer than the chamber folk of SEEDLINGS ALL, Josienne’s stunning 2018 duo album with Ben Walker. There is room to hear every emotional syllable and nuance with voice, strummed electric guitar and some atmospherics to make the whole thing crackle. The effect is hypnotic, giving weight and power to every word.

Expect to hear these tracks soundtracking poignant moments in arty TV dramas soon. ‘Season And Time’ features a beautiful picked acoustic and Clarke’s wonderfully melancholic voice with some wonderful lyrics. ‘Never Lie’ adds some atmospheric textures and layers to Josienne’s fine voice and guitar, building a wonderful soundscape. Three tracks, individually sublime, also act as a starter, hinting at the rich treasures and sounds on Josienne Clarke’s forthcoming album that she describes as filled with misery, anger and a, longing for better.

Opening lines can be so crucial to a song, the way they set a mood, create a scene and instantly plant the listener squarely in the centre of proceedings. “You’ve got your problems but I’m the one that needs to change”, is how Josienne Clarke’s new single, If I Didn’t Mind, greets you. Instantly thrusting you into the centre of a failing relationship, a row so instantly real you feel like you’re going to be ducking flying plates and pulling your hands out of the ways of slammed doors. The track is lifted from Josienne’s upcoming debut album, In All Weather, a record about pulling yourself out and starting again, “I exiled myself, moved to an island, metaphorically and literally; broke up with everything but songwriting, to re-make myself and learn to let it all go in peace”.

Built around a fluttering bass-line, and rolling drum beat, most of the track’s melody is carried by Josienne’s vocal. Throughout there’s a calmness and a strength to the delivery, that doesn’t disguise the hurt underneath, almost if Josienne is steadying herself determined to make her point. Discussing the album as a whole, Josienne has suggested In All Weather is, “a manifesto of how to leave and how to change”, a series of songs about breaking-up and crucially about moving on, on this evidence one enthusiastic writers claim that these are, “the best break-up songs since Blood on the Tracks”, might actually have some legs.

In All Weather is out November 8th via Rough Trade Records.

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In All Weather is a new collection of songs, in which she goes it alone;  musically, as this is her first solo record, and in her own life, laid bare and played out in the leave-it-all-behind-and-start-anew nature of the lyrics.

“Learning to sail in all weather, the line from which the album title comes, is what we are all trying to do,” Josienne explains. “To right ourselves when things feel turbulent and uncertain. How to correct your course and stay true to the things you believe and need and let all the rest go.” Fans of Josienne Clarke’s previous melancholic chamber-folk duo will recognise her uniquely sorrowful and jewel-like vocal style. But these new songs were sung and played by Josienne in the manner they’ve always been written; emotionally raw, immediate and unvarnished. Gone are the duo’s grandiose arrangements; Josienne accompanies herself on pared-back acoustic and electric guitar throughout. She’s joined on the record by experimental piano prodigy Elliott Galvin, innovative jazz drummer Dave Hamblett, celebrated Scottish harpist Mary Ann Kennedy and guitarist/bassist Sonny Johns (best known for his work with Fatoumata Diawara & Polar Bear) who co-produced the record with Josienne at Watercolour Studios in Fort William, Scotland.

Singer and songwriter, BBC Folk Award winner. Committed harbinger of melancholy. “Sings like a haunted angel”

Taken from Josienne Clarke’s forthcoming solo album ‘In All Weather’, out 8th November.

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It’s very rare that you’ll ever get such an established, talented and all-round beautiful songwriter releasing their debut solo single at such a stage. Josienne Clarke’s collaborations have elevated her to a certain level but she now steps out on her own and to be perfectly candid, she’s shining brighter than ever.

On ‘Things I Didn’t Need’ Josienne Clarke is so hauntingly angelic that you feel as though you’re sucked into her world, feeling what she feels. As though you’re some sort of impersonating body snatcher, it’s so wonderfully poetic and yet heartbreaking at the same time. The acoustic guitar takes a backseat in the track in place for Josienne’s wonderful voice to pull the song through and it ultimately elevates it to easily become one of the folk songs of the year. The release features new song “Things I Didn’t Need” – with barely more than voice and the Twin Peaks-like echoes of her guitar, the focus is centred on the song. Plus two new b-sides that further Clarke’s embracing of a less-is-more approach to her music and a resolve to sing it as she sees it.

B Side ‘Season And Time’ is just as beautiful, creating a world that is represented as being so beautiful but she’s just running out of “notes” to describe her feelings for her love and it’s so beautifully told it’s almost self-insulting for her to refer to music as “singing is just talking to a tune” and ultimately that is how personal these songs feel to the listener, as if Josienne is speaking directly to them, telling her own personal tale in, sometimes, a hauntingly dark way. It’s truly wonderful.

Track listing

A- Things I Didn’t Need, B1- Season And Time, B2- Never Lie

PicaPica - Together & Apart

PicaPica’s debut album “Together & Apart” was recorded at the end of 2018 and is produced by Mobo / Mercury Nominated Producer Sonny Johns who also plays bass on the record. Together & Apart” is about health and heartache, spring and shade, love and loss and life, PicaPica are able to balance life’s joys and sorrows beautifully, effortlessly, and in continuous harmony, viewing life’s coloured photographs as imagined through their silvery negatives.

‘Together & Apart’ is about health and heartache, spring and shade, love and loss and life. PicaPica are able to balance life’s joys and sorrows beautifully, effortlessly and in continuous harmony, viewing life’s coloured photographs as imagined through their silvery negatives.

PicaPica features the vocal interplay of Josienne Clarke and Samantha Whates, dual front women who create powerful harmonies atop layers of texture created by Adam Beattie and Sonny Johns, a tiding of magpies picking shiny moments of tone and timbre from 60s West Coast, sunshine pop and indie folk. Josienne and Samantha met on the London acoustic music scene several years ago and immediately shared a love of singing and writing. They have been unofficially collaborating for years, often singing backing vocals for each other’s projects or just singing harmonies together for the pure enjoyment of it.

The other half of PicaPica, Adam Beattie – Scotland’s king of soft-spoken chanson – brings gently morphing textures and detailed guitar playing to every bar, while Sonny Johns is a Grammy, Mercury and MOBO- nominated producer / engineer. Sonny’s bass playing and production give PicaPica’s otherworldly compositions a seriously grounded sound.

The band first appeared on the scene with their debut EP Spring and Shade back in 2016 and are now returning with this new 12” featuring delicate yet empowering new track Cast in Stone. The release also features two remixes from Seb Rochford – best known for drumming with the legendary Patti Smith – who has also performed on PicaPica’s upcoming debut album.

Release Date: 7th June 2019

Picapica 1

One for sorrow and two for joy. PicaPica features the vocal interplay of Josienne Clarke and Samantha Whates, dual front women who create powerful harmonies atop layers of texture created by Adam Beattie & Sonny Johns, a tiding of magpies picking shiny moments of tone and timbre from 60s west coast, sunshine pop and indie folk.

Josienne and Samantha met on the London acoustic music scene several years ago and immediately shared a love of singing and writing. They have been unofficially collaborating for years, often singing backing vocals for each other’s projects or just singing harmonies together for the pure enjoyment of it. PicaPica represents a long-held ambition to write, record and perform new material together and to join with like-minded musicians to explore what it’s like to be in a band. When writing, Josienne and Samantha (AKA “Pica One” & Pica Two”) take two versions of the same idea and the songs are built around that concept in various ways, they sometimes even have two titles for each song, one by Josienne, one by Samantha. Good music loves a contrast. Spring and shade, harmony and melody, brightness and deadpan… So do PicaPica. As writers, they compose songs that hold the sadness closer, yet let the joy fly higher.

“Pica Three”, aka Adam Beattie, Scotland’s king of soft-spoken chanson, brings gently morphing textures and detailed guitar playing to every bar, while “Pica Four” is Sonny Johns – a Grammy, Mercury and MOBO-nominated producer/engineer. Sonny’s bass playing and production give PicaPica’s otherworldly compositions a seriously grounded sound.

Their first EP, “Spring & Shade” contains four songs freely- designed to bewitch the listener until its fifteen minutes are over. This is music for memories that creep in under the door. Songs that wear their cares lightly, shining in the dark. Simply, beautiful, beguiling, elegant sounds.

Seedlings All

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have revealed heavenly new track “Bathed In Light” from their upcoming new album ‘Seedlings All’ due to be released 23rd March. the release also includes a Bonus CD of three previously unreleased tracks.

Josienne explains the background to “Bathed In Light”: “As a performer I’ve always been torn between my need for attention and my fear of how exposing it is, especially as a songwriter. In that 30 seconds before the first note when the audience is silent and the lights are on you, I’m gripped with nerves and I ask myself ‘why do you put yourself through this?’ This song is basically the narrative that runs through my head as I sweat and panic. I want it to go well, and my stage fright has always come from a fear that I’m not really made of strong enough stuff for a performing career but I’ve gone and wasted my life trying to do it and what else would I do and by the second or third note I love it…..”

Picapica 1

One for sorrow and two for joy. PicaPica features the vocal interplay of Josienne Clarke and Samantha Whates, dual front women who create powerful harmonies atop layers of texture created by Adam Beattie & Sonny Johns, a tiding of magpies picking shiny moments of tone and timbre from 60s west coast, sunshine pop and indie folk.

Josienne and Samantha met on the London acoustic music scene several years ago and immediately shared a love of singing and writing. They have been unofficially collaborating for years, often singing backing vocals for each other’s projects or just singing harmonies together for the pure enjoyment of it. PicaPica represents a long-held ambition to write, record and perform new material together and to join with like-minded musicians to explore what it’s like to be in a band. When writing, Josienne and Samantha (AKA “Pica One” & Pica Two”) take two versions of the same idea and the songs are built around that concept in various ways, they sometimes even have two titles for each song, one by Josienne, one by Samantha. Good music loves a contrast. Spring and shade, harmony and melody, brightness and deadpan… So do PicaPica. As writers, they compose songs that hold the sadness closer, yet let the joy fly higher.

“Pica Three”, aka Adam Beattie, Scotland’s king of soft-spoken chanson, brings gently morphing textures and detailed guitar playing to every bar, while “Pica Four” is Sonny Johns – a Grammy, Mercury and MOBO-nominated producer/engineer. Sonny’s bass playing and production give PicaPica’s otherworldly compositions a seriously grounded sound.

Their first EP, “Spring & Shade” contains four songs freely- designed to bewitch the listener until its fifteen minutes are over. This is music for memories that creep in under the door. Songs that wear their cares lightly, shining in the dark. Simply, beautiful, beguiling, elegant sounds.

From PicaPica’s EP ‘Spring & Shade’: