Blue Luminaire shares “Held” featuring Lucky Lo

Blue Luminaire, aka Copenhagen-based, British-born composer, Nick Martin (they / them), has shared the otherworldly video for ‘Held’, the latest track to be released from their debut album, Terroir. The debut is set for release on Bella Union on 12 August 2022 on ltd edition clear vinyl, CD and digitally.

The video, featuring Blue Luminaire and Lucky Lo, was directed by Benjamin Tarp and filmed in Møn (an island in Denmark) using only the magical light around sunrise and sunset. Tarp explains, “Held is a very personal song for Nick, and giving visual life to their words and sounds was an amazing task to be given. Nick wanted the video to be filmed at Møn, which is a very old place with roots back to the dawn of time, and the nature there is truly inspiring to say the least. It was magical to experience and work with the light in these twilight hours during Scandinavian summer.”

Nick Martin expands, ‘Held’ is a song about trying to look after oneself, of being there to carry oneself, particularly through difficult times. It is a song that whilst it addresses the listener, is really written for myself – those caring words of affirmation are gentle reminders… “have self-compassion”.

The landscape personifies that deeper presence inside of us, one that is there to hold us when we fall. And since we are of the earth, not separate from it, as we’d like to believe… “we are held by ourselves”

Blue Luminaire is Nick Martin’s latest project, marking a transition from their previous EPs – where they were composing and directing – to step into the spotlight as a performer, creating a sonic universe stretching across time to create an ever-moving, cyclical experience. Hovering between worlds, Blue Luminaire is the sound of the in-between.

The debut release, Terroir, utilises their classical music training – Martin grew up in Bedford surrounded by classical music before studying in London – to create a unique and otherworldly sonic experience where past selves collide, and the universality of heartbreak, familial patterns and grief permeate.

The album title stems from the word terre (meaning soil) and connects to the idea that we carry the weight of our original, formative environments and relationships. Martin wanted to interrogate how they shape our sense of self, and impact our ability to connect with one another, while navigating a new path in the wake of a difficult break-up, and confronting their complicated relationship with their family.

Nick Martin wrote Terroir while working as a cleaner and assistant at a music venue in Copenhagen. Inspired by the performances they witnessed, on nights when no one was scheduled to appear, they took to one of the hall’s pianos and started sketching out the melodies and lyrics that would soon become the album. The album was recorded two years later, with 14 instrumentalists and sound engineer Pape Arce, at the music venue where it all began.

Terroir’s expansively meditative, mantra-like exploration of the self opens a soothing portal that urges connection in a world that aims to distract and deter. While working on the album, Martin was focused on the beneficial effect of music for mental well-being, and found a certain solace through Terroir’s benevolent and exploratory nature. “Many of us are drawn to music, art and writing because of the need to get something out,” they explain. “That thing you might carry around and feel like is this huge, dark, horrible thing you don’t want anyone to see or hear. And yet when you do it, it feels good.”

BC Camplight returns with “I’m Alright In The World”

Following huge acclaim for last year’s Shortly After Takeoff album, which was hailed by The Guardian as a 5-star “masterpiece” and featured in a number of Best of 2020 lists, BC Camplight returns with a brilliant new single, “I’m Alright In The World”. Of the track Brian Christinzio aka BC Camplight says: “This song title is taken from a mantra I’ve used for years to bring myself down from my emotional boiling point. I turned the mantra into a song and for the first time in my career I’ve created something that speaks to me, reminding me to breathe and be alright in the world… even if that world is on fire”.

Additionally, BC Camplight has announced extensive live plans for Summer and Autumn of this year and early 2022. These include festival appearances at the likes of Green Man and Standon Calling as well as numerous headline shows including a Manchester Ritz performance in December and a London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in April next year. Dates/info HERE.

BC Camplight’s Brian Christinzio was already considered one of independent music’s most distinctively gifted minds when he released 2020’s Shortly After Takeoff, a masterful exhibition of darkly humorous storytelling and uniquely twisted musicality. The album, hailed by The Guardian as a five-star “masterpiece”, capped off a what Christinzio called his “Manchester Trilogy”. This was a trio of albums released after his emigration to the UK from Philadelphia where the songwriter had endured a decade-long stretch of homelessness and bouts of severe mental illness. “I needed to change my life so I packed my bags and essentially threw a dart at a map” said Christinzio.

His arrival in Manchester prompted an eruption of creativity which resulted in his first album for the label Bella Union, How To Die In The North. However, two days after its release Christinzio’s story turned even more cinematic when an immigration issue resulted in his deportation and ban from the UK. After attaining Italian citizenship he defiantly returned to Manchester and released Deportation Blues, an icy take on the political landscape. Word-of-mouth about BC Camplight’s immense live shows had been building and resulted in a considerable increase in the artist’s audience. The final record of the trilogy, Shortly After Takeoff, written after his father’s sudden death, had all the markings of an album that would be Christinzio’s breakthrough. Obviously 2020 had other plans.

“I think I relied on the wisdom I gained from all of the brutally dark periods of my life. I found myself repeating this mantra over and over… “I’m Alright In The World”. Every time the demons came close to the surface I’d say it again. Eventually I figured out that the mantra’s power was magnified tenfold as a piece of music”. The song was originally intended as a guided meditation (if you listen closely you can hear Christinzio saying “Breathe In And Out” in the choruses) but morphed into a call and response between dark and light, defeat and victory. Ultimately the light wins and leaves us awash in melancholic contentment, a place we all need to visit right now.

Happy Release Day To The Flaming Lips

Today The Flaming Lips release King’s Mouth, their fifteenth studio album, via Bella Union in the UK/Europe and Warner Bros in the US. The album has been widely acclaimed as their finest collection of songs since The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. To coincide with the album’s release, a video for the track “How Many Times”is also released today. In typical Lips–ian fashion, the video is lysergically colorful and completely joyous in its simplicity. It was shot in the band’s hometown of Oklahoma City and directed by Wayne Coyne.

“The songs here are a total joy… More straightforwardly appealing than anything the Flaming Lips have come up with in years.” The Guardian – 4 Stars **** (Album of the Week)

“The Flaming Lips remain masters at creating an irresistible sense of sheer awestruck wonder that demands its own emotional reaction from the listener. Age has not withered their magical weirdness. Whatever far–flung universe they now inhabit, these inner–space explorers are clearly never coming home.” Uncut – 8/10

King’s Mouth is possibly The Flaming Lips most upliftingly utopian work since Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, an album whose themes of heroism and sacrifice it echoes, and whose symphonic space–pop it revisits.” Q – 4 Stars ****

“A successful return to the melodic charm of Yoshimi… It hangs together beautifully, and richly rewards the listener who stops to hear it as a single, moving piece” Metro – 4 Stars ****

“Outstanding… King’s Mouth is as close as the Lips have got to reproducing the sci–fi fairytale feel of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, as well as matching it for moments of sheer joy.” Record Collector – 4 Stars ****

“Heady instrumentals and psychedelic pop nuggets are intertwined with swelling strings and a story narrated by The Clash’s Mick Jones… The album climaxes with the elated closing ballad ‘How Can A Head’ with not a step misplaced on the journey to get there.” DIY – 4 Stars ****

“A gorgeous, ethereal concept opus evoking The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots. There’s no one in this or any other universe quite like the Lips.” The Sun – 4 Stars ****

“A charming release… King’s Mouth demands your attention, the medieval fantasies of King Crimson colliding with the interstellar scope of David Bowie.” The i (Album of the Week)

“Based on the exploits of a child with the cosmos inside his head, it’s tuneful psychedelia is bolstered by shimmering synths and Beatles–like twists.” Daily Mail – 4 Stars ****

“Enthralling… Like their peak albums, King’s Mouth marries perky wide–eyed optimism with heft and gravitas… A laudable leap into something different and fresh.” PROG

“Sepia–tinted keyboards immediately transport us and a quaint magic unfolds, Lipsian splashy drums, mellotron chorales and flower–power melody all part of the spell.” MOJO

“Some of their loveliest tunes in years… King’s Mouth is a return to the thing they do best: gloriously weird psychedelic concept albums with plenty of heart.” Electronic Sound

“A record that shifts between tones, textures and rhythms, unfurling like a dream… King’s Mouth adds another unique and unpredictable chapter to The Flaming Lips’ legacy” Long Live Vinyl – 7/10

King’s Mouth is alive with all the psychedelic irreverence, scuzzy beats and melodious pop that’s become The Flaming Lips hallmark all these years.” Loud & Quiet

Spiritualized announce Hackney acoustic show

Having recently performed at All Points East, and soon to appear as one of the headline acts at the End Of The Road festival, Spiritualized have announced news of a special one–off acoustic performance at London’s Hackney Empire on September 14th as part of the Somewhere Festival. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday 19th July.

SOMEWHERE, which launched in Tokyo in April, with performances from Phoenix, JUSTICE, Carl Barât, Friendly Fires and Basement Jaxx, takes up residence at London’s Hackney Empire for a run of shows in September. SOMEWHERE brings unique performances at special venues around the world with distinctive staging and the backdrop of their trademark 1001 candles. Having already received great acclaim in Japan, this London event will be the first international appearance of SOMEWHERE, before touring classic Art Deco theatres in major cities around the world in Paris, New York, Berlin and Moscow.