Father John Misty Announces 2023 Tour

Father John Misty has announced news of additional UK and European live dates for February and March 2023. In late February Father John Misty has added shows in Oslo and Gothenburg while in March he’s added new UK shows in Brighton, Portsmouth and Leeds. Upcoming UK and European live info below…

Last week Father John Misty released Live At Electric Lady, a Spotify exclusive EP that features alternate versions of Chloë and The Next 20th Century highlights “Goodbye Mr. Blue,” “The Next 20th Century,” “Buddy’s Rendezvous,” “We Could Be Strangers,” “(Everything But) Her Love,” and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever).” The session was recorded in May 2022 at the famed Electric Lady studios in New York.

Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra Sign To Bella Union

Bella Union are thrilled to announce the signing of Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra whose new album Racing the Storm is due out next year via the label. As a first taste of the LP, Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra have shared an uplifting video for beatific lead single “Right Here”. Additionally, an extensive UK /EU tour has been announced for March 2023 including a performance at the Union Chapel in London (dates below).

There’s something almost magical about a great collaboration. When two artists are able to synchronize on an infinitesimal level, where each note and breath and strum aligns to create a perfect whole. The Colorist Orchestra know how to do this — in fact, they’ve made it their speciality. Since 2013, the Belgian duo, comprised of multi-instrumentalists and long-time friends Aarich Jespers and Kobe Proesmans, have made a career out of reimagining the discographies of a wide array of artists, using their background in pop, electronic, and world music to transform the songs. Recently, they have reconnected with acclaimed Icelandic singer-songwriter Emilina Torrini, with whom they first collaborated in 2018 on the album The Colorist Orchestra & Emiliana Torrini. This time, however, their project exceeded even their own expectations. 

Next year Emiliana and The Colorist Orchestra will release Racing the Storm, a collaborative record that takes both artists to towering new heights. An album of all original material, it melds TCO’s classical chamber pop roots with the power and fragility of Emiliana’s understated songwriting. 

The album’s first single, “Right Here”, is also one of its most immediately ear-grabbing tracks, an atmospheric and arresting pop song that gives a delightful taste of what’s to come. Commentating on the track Emiliana says: “Lyrically, the song comes from a daydream space, a safe haven from the everyday craziness of the world — and ends in the silence and serenity of the night. A love song, it speaks about what it’s like to endure and then finally thrive in a long-term relationship.”

Of the song’s inception Kobe adds: “It’s funny that this song, which was one of the first demos on the work table, became the song that moved last from the work table to the mixing table. So many versions of this song have been made, even a collaboration with the Japanese KODO in a search for the right angle. Time and again it remained an inspiring search but when this version, very close to the original, finally saw the light of day, a kind of enlightenment fell over us. Sometimes you have to travel far to know what’s in front of you.”

Emiliana Torrini & The Colorist Orchestra live dates:

Saturday 11th March 2023 – Brussels – Ancienne Belgique

Thursday 16th March 2023 – Dortmund – Konzerthaus

Friday 17th March 2023  – Hamburg – Elbphilarmonhie

Sunday 19th March 2023  – Frankfurt – Zoom

Monday 20th March 2023  – Berlin – RBB Sendesaal

Wednesday 22nd March 2023 – Schorndorf – Club Manufaktur

Thursday 23rd March 2023 – Munich – Freiheitshalle

Friday 24th March 2023 – Fribourg – Fri-SoN

Saturday 25th March 2023 – Maastricht – Muziekgieterij

Tuesday 28th March 2023 – Amsterdam – Paradiso

Wednesday 29th March 2023 – Antwerp – De Roma

Thursday 30th March 2023 – Ghent – Handelsbeurs

Friday 31st March 2023 – London – Union Chapel

Fiona Brice Debuts “Nocturnal”

With her new album And You Know I Care due out 21st October via Bella Union, and having previously shared a Rankin-directed video for the title track followed by “Through Her Eyes”, Fiona Brice today shares new single and album highlight “Nocturnal”. This haunting and hypnotic multi-layered track is about the process of recovery from pain, the slow process of healing, and daring to trust again.

“I wanted to make a record that was meditative, compassionate, calm and reflective, as a reaction to the increasingly noisy, opinionated, aggressive and polemic tone of our daily environment,” says Brice. The British multi-instrumentalist, orchestral arranger and composer has drawn on her abundant talents to forge an exceptional record that fulfils the brief. Brice’s second solo album for Bella Union, And You Know I Care, is a deep listening experience that raises the post-classical bar, eschewing the genre’s default melancholia for wider and richer dimensions of uplifting and exultant bliss.

Brice has drawn on all her experience gained working with the likes of John Grant, Anna Calvi, Jarvis Cocker, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Katherine Jenkins, Elbow, the BBC Concert and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestras, Royal Northern Sinfonia and the London Mozart Players. She toured with Placebo for ten years, and more recently Elbow, so to say Brice is in-demand is an understatement. But she still has time for her own work. Her debut album Postcards From, a more minimalist, filmic set of instrumentals, was released in 2016. After two purer classical projects (String Quartet No.1 in 2018 and the lockdown-inspired Piano Preludes in 2022) And You Know I Care is a more wide-ranging, ruminating work, and showcases Brice’s voice, lyrics and choral arrangements – and what a gorgeous voice she has, strong and supple, able to hit the heights of a soprano.

To help her create this refuge from modern life, Brice (violin, piano) called on Vicky Matthews (cello), Benjamin Till (vocal on ‘Whose God Are You’) and co-producers Julian Simmons and Dimitri Tikovoï. “Every collaborator on this album is someone I’ve had a long-standing friendship and professional relationship with – including Simon Raymonde and Bella Union,” she says. “This is important to me because it gives the record a personal ‘retrospective’ quality.”

Renowned photographer Rankin is another friend (Brice initially featured in his famous Raw Nudes exhibition) who Brice asked to direct a video for the lead single – and title track after seeing his powerful portrait series Flora, juxtaposing flowers and flame. 

Brice also chose one of Rankin’s Flora images for the album cover. On the rear, she wears a formal black classical concert dress, lying in the (according to Alexander Technique and yoga practice) position known as ‘constructive rest’. “It promotes calming, tension release and relaxing the sympathetic nervous system,” says Brice, who trained as a yoga teacher in 2017 (how did she  find time?). “I hope the imagery shows the seriousness of the statement I’m making on this record.”  

The album is bookended by instrumentals, “to link back to Postcards From,” but each tells its own story. In the opening ‘Ascending’, a gentle piano prelude is slowly invaded by electronic sound, as if the world is intruding on Brice’s state of calm. The sombre strings of the closing ‘Retreat’ is, “a retreat back into instrumental music,” she feels, but it’s also a retreat into that state of calm.

That leaves six sets of lyrics. Seeking community and empathy in a world spinning out of control, Brice reaches out to a friend in hospital (the title track), understands another’s perspective (‘Through Her Eyes’) and encourages a troubled friend that life can improve (‘Today It Will Be Different’). ‘Nocturnal’ acknowledges emotional pain, “and how long it can take to heal.” ‘We Rise We Fall’ telescopes outward, to lament, “how the world is in perpetual flux. We progress and then regress, and never get to where we could be.” ‘Whose God Are You’ is the album’s darker, cynical chapter, addressing “those people who’ll have you believe they walk on water. It could be politicians, religious leaders, or someone I know being precocious… it’s me saying, I don’t believe you.”

In all cases, the lyrics are written as mantras. As Brice explains, “A lot of songs out there have an enormous number of words – just like people are talking all the time on social media. So, I wanted to break things down to the emotional core. Historically too, mantras in the yogi tradition of repetition soothe the mind and body.”

Music that has inspired Brice along this illuminating journey include Alice Coltrane’s Universal Consciousness(“the sheer ‘otherness’, the way she claims her own soundworld”), Steve Reich’s Different Trains (“repetition, variation and lyrical minimalism creating a strong emotional impact”), Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister’s Planetarium (”the combination of song form and orchestral textures”) and Henry Purcell (“especially Dido And Aeneas and baroque compositional use of ground bass”).  

With a similarly questing spirit, rich composition and a commanding vision, Brice has created her own soundworld, and a place for everyone to find a shelter from the storm.

Father John Misty Releases “Live At Electric Lady EP”

Today, Father John Misty is releasing Live At Electric Lady, a Spotify exclusive EP that features alternate versions of Chloë and The Next 20th Century highlights “Goodbye Mr. Blue,” “The Next 20th Century,” “Buddy’s Rendezvous,” “We Could Be Strangers,” “(Everything But) Her Love,” and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever).” The session was recorded in May 2022 at the famed Electric Lady studios in New York.

Father John Misty’s touring in support of Chloë and The Next 20th Century is underway with a performance tonight, September 15th, at Louisville’s Bourbon & Beyond Festival. The North American dates currently end with a show on Sunday, November 20th at Mexico City’s Corona Capital Festival. The late summer and fall tour features support from Sub Pop label mate Suki Waterhouse and includes a stop at Radio City Music Hall with The New York Pops on Thursday, September 22nd, 2022. Father John Misty’s UK live dates follow in March next year.

Acclaim for Chloë and The Next 20th Century:

“Pop’s funniest storyteller is back at his best… Stunningly melodic, Tillman’s voice sounds fantastic throughout.” The Guardian – 4 stars **** (Album of the Week)

“Tillman’s writerly skills would have shone in any era… As Chloë and the Next 20th Century sees Father John Misty escaping into his own parallel Hollywood reality, it’s highly entertaining to slip in alongside him.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Another multi-faceted triumph… Chloë and the Next 20th Century contains songs that go right to the gut with their instant melodic charm, and are deeply striking thanks to their sumptuous arrangements, exceptional playing and emotional pull.” Uncut – 8/10

“Album number 5 from Father John Misty is his most widescreen yet… astonishing music full of big ideas… A triumph.” Shindig – 5 stars ***** (Album of the Month)

“An instant classic… Tillman has written his masterpiece.” Mail On Sunday – 5 stars *****

Chloë and the Next 20th Century  is his best yet. He still takes his cues from the great storytellers of the 1970s but is also in thrall to the glamour of old Hollywood. Pianos twinkle and strings swirl. The singing is warm and rich.” Daily Mail – 5 stars *****

Chloë.. is maximum Misty from tip to twinkly toe… His rich, warm delivery pulls you into the songs, barbed asides and beautiful melancholy impeccably balanced… Tillman’s writing brims with story-song riches, countering 21st-century cynicism with old-school romanticism.” Record Collector – 4 stars ****

“On Chloë and the Next 20th Century, Father John Misty is transporting himself to another world; it sounds pretty damn sweet over there.” DIY – 9/10

“Achingly beautiful melodies, lyrics embed with ennui and romanticism, vocals of extraordinary richness.” Sunday Times – 4 stars **** (Album of the Week)

“A ravishing magnum opus… he creates a world all his own.” The Sun – 9/10

“A talented and original musician stepping outside expectations…. Influences from past epochs of Los Angeles bohemia can be heard, but Tillman inhabits his Father John Misty persona so confidently that the songs transcend pastiche.” Financial Times – 4 stars ****

“Right from the start, Chloë raises the curtain on an MGM Tinseltown of muted trumpets and colourised aesthetic… a romantic and intriguing world to fall into.” The Telegraph – 4 stars ****

“Tillman has a gift for making past styles relevant. This is a real Hollywood album – emotional and intoxicating.”The Times – 4 stars ****

“He jumps between musical styles with ease… Dreamy melodies and bewitching vibes abound.” Daily Mirror (Album of the Week)

“The classiest record of the year.” DORK

“He gets the balance right here, letting his smoky croon melt into the background, behind strings and woozy brass.” Rolling Stone UK – 4 stars ****

“Spectacularly evocative and full of sardonic charm… a cinematic score which is abundant in its echoes of old Hollywood and the dark romanticism of film noir.” Loud & Quiet

“Dazzling… We have seventies-style ragtime, ballroom-inflected tracks like Chloë and Funny Girl, and epic, string-drenched ballads like Q4.” HiFi Choice – 5 stars *****

“Brilliant and moving… His vivid, imaginative fifth album swerves between lounge jazz and romantic reveries.” PROG

“These are smart, amusing songs with sumptuous instrumentation.” The New Stateman

A.A. Williams Debuts “The Echo”

With her new album As The Moon Rests due out 7th October via Bella Union, and ahead of her London Queen Elizabeth Hall performance this Saturday, A.A. Williams today shares a powerful video for epic new single “The Echo”. Commenting on the track Williams says: “The Echo is a dialogue between a person’s heart and the head – the head trying to persuade the heart that what they need is to take time for themselves and prioritise their own well-being, not seek verification of one’s worth through their relationships with others. Originally titled Forever Blue, The Echo was begun in 2019 but wasn’t completed in time for inclusion on my debut album. Renamed and reworked, it is a song of yearning, sorrow and beauty.”

The compelling accompanying video directed by Fraser West depicts a young man’s dark odyssey around night-time London before reaching an unexpected ending.

“Traditionally, your second album is the worry; where there’s the weight of expectation,” A.A. Williams contends. “But I must create music I like myself, and I’ve had more time on this record; I’ve felt more confidence and conviction. As The Moon Rests is both heavier and softer, there’s more texture and weight, and a string ensemble. It’s Forever Blue times ten!”

Released in July 2020, Forever Blue was the London-based singer-songwriter’s album debut, a brilliantly dramatic, unique and intimate walk on the dark side that fused bold and smouldering hues of post-rock and post-classical. By turns, it was glacial and volcanic, blissful and violent, through moments of disarming quiet and explosive volume, equally appealing to alt-rock and metal camps.

“The shifts between moments of high drama and quiet tension point to her kinship with Chelsea Wolfe and PJ Harvey,” stated Uncut. “Stirring and evocative… The chances of a more heartrending and fully formed debut emerging this year are practically zero,” reckoned Metal Hammer.

As Williams contends, As The Moon Rests amplifies the scale of her ambitions, crystalised by ‘Evaporate’, the first track released from the sessions. It comes with a video that embodies the thrilling tensions of Williams’ world, where emotions walk a fine line between control and chaos. Likewise, the impact of William’s deep-trawling voice and lyrics that ask all the right existential questions throughout As The Moon Rests: who am I? What can I change? What can’t I change?

Forever Blue had already set in motion Williams’ quest for self-improvement, but the pandemic presented more challenges. As Forever Blue was about to be released, she started posting solo videos – cover versions suggested by her fans, such as Radiohead’s ‘Creep’, Nick Cave’s ‘Into Your Arms’ and Deftones’ ‘Be Quiet and Drive’, alchemised to fit her own crepuscular sound and vision. Songs From Isolation, as she called it, “was a positive experience to focus on through the overwhelming reports of bad news. And I could have a dialogue with my listeners.”

Songs From Isolation subsequently turned into a nine-track album of covers, a definite and heartaching document of solitude and fortitude. Next came arco, a re-imagining of Williams’ debut (self-titled) EP for just voice and strings. She’d played the string parts (as well as guitar and piano) on Forever Blue, but here she wrote the arrangements for a ten-piece ensemble, transposing the rhythm and low end of a rock band into sumptuous and elegant orchestrations.

The string ensemble returns for As The Moon Rests, bolstering the album’s cinematic dimensions and underlining the palpable drama of Williams’ quest to forge a more liberating path. The album’s opening track ‘Hollow Heart’ sets out the emotional terrain: “Give me time and I will learn / that I am only human,” she sings before the instruments begin their slow climb to boiling point. Williams’ voluminous guitar and keyboards are embellished by co-producer (and husband) Thomas Williams’ bass guitar, Geoff Holroyde’s drums and engineer / mixer Adrian Hall at his London studio Clever Pup (as opposed to the Williams’ two-bedroom flat for Forever Blue). “We had better equipment, and more experience at hand,” says Williams. When they were finished, As The Moon Rests clocked in at a mighty 62 minutes. “I was expecting to take a few recordings away after we’d finished, but the consensus was that everything was good, and worked as a collection.”

The album takes its title from the closing track. “For me, ‘As The Moon Rests’ jumped out as evoking a change in direction in the lyrics,” she explains. “It’s a love song, not necessarily romantic, but between two people with an unwavering bond. It seemed poignant and prominent enough to work as the title.”

That unwavering bond could equally exist between two conflicting parts of the self. “Most of Forever Blue’s text was quite insular,” she recalls. “I was trying to understand myself, trying to cure, or eradicate, parts of myself. But I realised that if you remove things; you might remove parts of your personality too. You just need to learn how to manage things, to be kinder to yourself. It’s all a journey, a progression.”

Williams would rather not specify any incidents, triggers or memories behind each individual song. “It’s all part of an overriding arc,” she says. “With hindsight, some songs I figure things out, others I disappear into a hole. For example, in ‘Evaporate’, I’m trying to keep a lid on fizzy complicated thoughts, which just explode. Other times, I’m more relaxed. Mostly, writing is more retrospective, not about the here and now. The lyrics are the place where I figure things out.”

Now Williams and her live band – Thomas Williams, Wayne Proctor and multi-instrumentalist Matthew de Burgh Daly – get to figure out a proper headline tour in support of an album, since lockdown meant that their first headline show on London’s South Bank in early 2020 became her last for well over a year, until a short headline tour in Autumn 2021 that at least gave them the chance to commune with fans and feel the white heat and spark of performance. In August of this year, they’re supporting Japanese post-rockers MONO, Williams’ collaborators for the 10” vinyl single ‘Exit in Darkness’; in September, to launch As the Moon Rests, comes their biggest headline show yet at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. Following that, Williams will undertake her first comprehensive headline tour: a 6-week trek across the UK and Europe, taking in 34 shows over 12 countries. Williams’ journey may have been held up by events, but in all other aspects, everything that culminates in As The Moon Rests is incontrovertible proof that it continues to build and thrive.

Jambinai Announce Apparition EP

JAMBINAI today announce the release of Apparition, a new 4-track EP, out 11th November via Bella Union and available to preorder here. To celebrate the announcement the band have shared an intense live performance video for “Once More From That Frozen Bottom”, the EP’s incendiary opening track, filmed last winter at the ARTE museum in Yeosu. Additionally, JAMBINAI have been announced as one of the headline acts at the Portals Festival at EartH in Hackney on 27th May 2023.

For JAMBINAI, South Korea’s maestros of intense folk-infused post-rock, it has been the best of times and the worst of times since the release of their third album ONDA in 2019. 

In February 2020, the quintet won Best Rock Album for ONDA and Best Rock Song for the title track at South Korea’s Music Awards, but then came the pandemic. The quintet’s brilliant new four-track EP Apparition captures the depth and range of emotions that JAMBINAI have felt these last few years, from anxious lockdowns and thwarted plans to the thrill of renewed creativity, hunger and hope. 

As co-founder and band spokesman Lee Il-woo recalls, “After ONDA we saw 2020 as a new opportunity to work on a bigger stage. I personally wanted to release a new album and tour to exhaust the energy of ONDAand find new inspiration, but it didn’t work out that way. We didn’t find enough energy to make a full album yet, so for now we are releasing four songs.”

The title Apparition stems from Lee’s perception of the band he has steered since 2011. “JAMBINAI have been making intense music for an intense group of devotees in invisible places,” he says. “Overall, I have tried to express a message of comfort to everyone living in a difficult time due to the pandemic and what’s going on in the world.”

Lee’s projection of comfort starkly contrasts with the energy force that carries it: a unique combination of primary rock colour (electric guitar, bass, drums) and Korean folk instruments: the piri (bamboo oboe), the yanggeum (hammered dulcimer), geomungo (zither) and saenghwang (reed mouth organ). 

Apparition’s four song titles alone nail the otherworldly sensations that define the JAMBINAI experience. Lead track ‘Once More From That Frozen Bottom’ instantly conjures up a landscape that feels volcanic as well as icy. At other times, JAMBINAI  employ the slow burn, establishing a mood of serenity before the volume blasts upward and the atmosphere turns supremely dark, such as ‘Until My Wings Turn To Ashes’ and a live version of ‘Candlelight In Colossal Darkness’ which closes the EP with a sense of reflection and acceptance.

That leaves ‘From The Place Been Erased’, featuring the guest vocals of K Pop legend swja (also known as sunwoojunga, well known for working with 2NE1, Black Pink, and BTS). “I thought swja’s voice would go well with our music,” says Lee, “so I asked her for help. I am honoured that she willingly participated. Despite our heavy and strong sound, she understood its inner emotions.”

Apparition proves that JAMBINAI are not just alive and kicking, but more energised than ever, making up for lost time and momentum. Playing the 2018 Winter Olympic Games closing ceremony in their home city of Seoul had set up the forward momentum that produced ONDA. The South Korean awards similarly upped the ante for the follow-up. Though JAMBINAI also won the Asia category at global music bible Songlines’ annual awards at the end of 2020, only the thrill and thrust of new music and performance would truly count. First, money reserved for airfares for a cancelled tour in 2020 was used to film online performances for the digital TV channel Audiotree. Then in the spring of 2021, JAMBINAI played at the ‘virtual’ SXSW festival, from which the performance video for the aptly named ‘Time Of Extinction’ was taken, followed by a show for the Tiny Desk (home) Concert series. 

By the end of 2021, JAMBINAI were finally recording what became Apparition, but they didn’t stop there. Through April 2022, the band released four acoustic performances. There was even a collaboration with Soojung Baek’s boutique Craft Codes, combining two of her scents, “that seemed to match our music the best,” says Lee.

The urge to create has only driven JAMBINA’s members further on. In September, Lee will be working as a concert master of the traditional Gyeonggi Sinawi Orchestra for performances in Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic then collaborating with hardcore rock trio PAKK at London’s annual K-Music Festival in October. He also wrote the music for the first series of the BBC’s Korean-set crime podcast “The Lazarus Heist”. 

JAMBINAI other two co-founders have been busy too. Kim Bomi and Sim Eunyong co-wrote the music for a modern art piece in South Korea’s National Museum of Contemporary and Modern Arts; having released a solo album at the end of 2019, Sim wrote and performed the music for a piece by choreographer Jinyeob Cha in June 2022. Kim also currently DJs for a Korean traditional music radio broadcast.

The three members, with JAMBINAI drummer Jaehyuk Choi and bassist B.K Yu, will join forces for a tour starting in May 2023, and “when there’s an empty space, I want to make a new album,” Lee confirms. Not being able to celebrate the band’s tenth anniversary in 2021, “was a very disappointing moment,” he says. “But it’s okay. We will release more albums and become a better band until the 20th anniversary show.”

Apparition tracklist below…

1. Once More From That Frozen Bottom

2. From The Place Been Erased (featuring swja)

3. Until My Wings Turn To Ashes

4. Candlelight In Colossal Darkness