Nad Sylvan – launches new single & video for “You’ve Got To Find A Way”

Straight from his hygge home in Sweden Nad Sylvan is happy to be announcing the release of his brand-new single “You’ve Got To Find A Way”, sending  some hope and love out into this pandemic-ridden world to warm our hearts all over the globe.

After concluding the Vampirate’s trilogy, Nad now changes course on his upcoming fourth album by converting the poems of WB Yeats into music. The new album, entitled “Spiritus Mundi”, is due for release in early April 2021. “You’ve Got To Find A Way” will be a bonus track on the new album. The track functions as some kind of link between the trilogy and the new work. It’s a standalone track, not related to Yeats”s poems, but it very much showcases the new musical direction Nad has chosen to take. 

Nad comments: 

“A pandemic love song; sprung from strumming my guitar for about a year, always returning to this tune. During this time, I had met that someone while being on the road right when the pandemic hit and I abruptly had to go home. I usually don´t write on guitar, which makes this song all the more special to me.”

TRANSATLANTIC – launch video for ‘Overture / Reaching For The Sky’/ first single from ‘The Absolute Universe’

TRANSATLANTIC – the Prog Supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas – are pleased to announce their fifth studio album ‘The Absolute Universe’, set for release on the 5th February 2021. Representing the band’s first new music since 2014’s ‘Kaleidoscope’, with ‘The Absolute Universe’ the band have done something unique and created two versions of the record: ‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’ & ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’.

Today they have launched the video for ‘Overture / Reaching For The Sky’, taken from ‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’. 

Mike Portnoy comments: “’Reaching For The Sky’ is the first single off Transatlantic’s latest Magnum opus ‘The Absolute Universe’. It’s a great introduction to this epic album as it sets the tone in traditional TA style: proceeded on the album by an extended Instrumental Overture and then launching into this upbeat first song.

I love that it features one of my favorite qualities of the band in the sharing of the lead vocals…in this case: Neal singing lead on Verse 1, myself singing lead on Verse 2, Pete & Neal sharing the Chorus with myself and Roine on backups and Neal taking the glorious Bridge…all leading to Roine’s distinctive guitar solo. 

 Also interesting is that this version exclusively appears on the Abridged 1CD Version of TA5 (“The Breath Of Life”) while the Extended 2CD Version of TA5 (“Forevermore”) opens with the alternate version ‘Heart Like A Whirlwind’ which has different lead vocals and lyrics .”

Each album will be available on CD, LP & Digitally. But there will also be what has been called ‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’, which collects both versions together in one lavish package that includes 5LP’s, 3CD’s & a Blu-ray that includes a special mix that combines both versions into a third unique version in 5.1 surround sound with visuals and a behind the scenes documentary. All editions have artwork created by Thomas Ewerhard featuring the airship by Pavel Zhovba. 

As Mike Portnoy explains: “We’ve got two versions of this album. There is a two CD presentation, which is 90 minutes long, and a single one – that’s 60 minutes. However, the single CD is NOT merely an edited version of the double CD. They each contain alternate versions and even in some cases, new recordings. We wrote fresh lyrics and have different people singing on the single CD version tracks as compared to those on the double CD. Some of the song titles have also been changed, while others might remain the same, but compositionally what you’ll hear has been altered. You must appreciate that what we have done is unique. We revamped the songs to make the two versions different.” Pete Trewavas adds: “We did write some new music for the single CD, what’s more, there are also differences in the instruments used on some of the tracks across the two records.”

The full list of formats is below, and you can pre-order now here: https://transatlantic.lnk.to/TheAbsoluteUniverse

The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’

Available as:

Single CD Edition, Gatefold 2LP+CD, or Digital Album 

Track-listing:

1.     Overture

2.     Reaching For The Sky

3.     Higher Than The Morning

4.     The Darkness In The Light

5.     Take Now My Soul

6.     Looking For The Light

7.     Love Made  A Way (Prelude)

8.     Owl Howl

9.     Solitude

10.  Belong

11.  Can You Feel It

12.  Looking For The Light (Reprise)

13.  The Greatest Story Never Ends

14.  Love Made A Way

 ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’

Available as:
2CD Edition, 3LP+2CD Boxset, or Digital Album

Track-listing:

Disc 1:

1.     Overture

2.     Heart Like A Whirlwind

3.     Higher Than The Morning

4.     The Darkness In The Light

5.     Swing High, Swing Low

6.     Bully

7.     Rainbow Sky

8.     Looking For The Light

9.     The World We Used To Know

Disc 2:

1.     The Sun Comes Up Today

2.     Love Made A Way (Prelude)

3.     Owl Howl

4.     Solitude

5.     Belong

6.     Lonesome Rebel

7.     Looking For The Light (Reprise)

8.     The Greatest Story Never Ends

9.     Love Made A Way

‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’

Limited Deluxe Clear 5LP+3CD+Blu-Ray Box-set – contained within a foil-finished lift-off box with extended 16-page LP booklet & 60x60cm poster. Includes both versions of the album over 5LP’s and 3CD’s, plus a Blu-Ray with 5.1 mix & documentary. 

Blu-Ray Track-listing:

1.     Overture (5.1 Surround Mix)

2.     Reaching For The Sky (5.1 Surround Mix)

3.     Higher Than The Morning (5.1 Surround Mix)

4.     The Darkness In The Light (5.1 Surround Mix)

5.     Take Now My Soul (5.1 Surround Mix)

6.     Bully (5.1 Surround Mix)

7.     Rainbow Sky (5.1 Surround Mix)

8.     Looking For The Light (5.1 Surround Mix)

9.     The World We Used To Know (5.1 Surround Mix)

10.  The Sun Comes Up Today (5.1 Surround Mix)

11.  Love Made A Way (Prelude) (5.1 Surround Mix)

12.  Owl Howl (5.1 Surround Mix)

13.  Solitude (5.1 Surround Mix)

14.  Belong (5.1 Surround Mix)

15.  Lonesome Rebel (5.1 Surround Mix)

16.  Can You Feel It (5.1 Surround Mix)

17.  Looking For The Light (Reprise) (5.1 Surround Mix)

18.  The Greatest Story Never Ends (5.1 Surround Mix)

19.  Love Made A Way (5.1 Surround Mix)

20.  The Making of The Absolute Universe (Documentary)

Initial tracking began in September 2019 when the band met up in Sweden to write and arrange the new material. As Portnoy explains: “Over a period of 10-14 days, we mapped out the songs. Then we all went back to our home studios and did the recording. That’s the way we always do it. At one point, though, it was suggested that instead of doing what was by that time going to be a double album, we should just be content to do a single CD.”

“What happened was that everything kept expanding and expanding,” recalls Stolt. “Therefore we decided it made sense to make it a double album. It was Pete and Neal who then came out and said they felt this would be too long, and we should reduce it to one…But we were already recording, and it didn’t seem feasible to cut it back. There were so many pieces that each of us loved in what we were planning and didn’t want to lose. That’s when we ended up in discussions over the best way forward.”

This album also marks a return to the concept album for Transatlantic. “Well, the idea of Transatlantic deciding to do a concept record this time around won’t shock anyone, right?” laughs Portnoy. “What we have is essentially one giant composition, split into chapters. The storyline is about the struggles facing everyone in society today.” “We didn’t start out with the idea of this being conceptual,” admits Stolt. “The way things work with us is that we have a load of ideas, and these are developed spontaneously when we meet up. Everything happens in the moment.”

So, how does this new ground-breaking album compare to Transatlantic’s previous four albums?

“I always try not to compare albums as much as possible,” insists Morse. “It’s very difficult when you’re trying to be creative, because your natural instinct is to constantly compare. But in order to create you have to kind of step away from that. Having said that, I would say this would have more in common with ‘The Whirlwind’ album  (the band’s third, from 2009) than others that we’ve created.” 

For Trewavas, ‘The Absolute Universe’ is a momentous project.“I think it is right up there with the very finest albums we’ve done. As the others have said, it compares very well to ‘The Whirlwind’, which I believe represents Transatlantic at our best. As on that album, we took our time to write and arrange everything, and that shines through. I am very excited for people to hear it.”

Transatlantic were originally formed in 1999, releasing their debut album ‘SMTPe’ the following year as well as its follow-up ‘Bridge Across Forever’ in 2001. Following a 7-year hiatus, the band reconvened to record and release the much-acclaimed epic 77-minute, single-track album ‘The Whirlwind’ followed by a world tour in 2010 which included an appearance at High Voltage Festival in London where they were joined by legendary Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. The band’s fourth album ‘Kaleidoscope’ arrived in 2014, going on to win ‘Album Of The Year’ at the Progressive Music Awards.

Anneke van Giersbergen announces ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ – Brand new solo album: out February 26, 2020

Lyrically, and musically, the award-winning Dutch artist lays her soul bare with the most evocative record of her career – captivating song-stories told with acoustic guitars, strings, horns, percussion, and Anneke’s hypnotic vocal harmonies

The new album’s title, ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’, refers to the idea that, when facing personal challenges, we are forced to find answers to life’s biggest questions. But, at this point in her near-three-decade-long music career, this solo album – and, crucially, the heartbreak that inspired it – was not something Anneke van Giersbergen ever anticipated writing.

In 2018, Anneke began working on new material for her metal band, VUUR. Although their debut album, ‘In This Moment We Are Free – Cities’, was met with a mixed reception, fans were warming up to their heavy, progressive sound. Therefore, a rapid follow-up album would surely establish Anneke’s return to fronting a metal band. However, behind the scenes, these were troubled times.

Anneke shares, ”My belief in VUUR saw me spend all my savings on recording VUUR’s debut album and taking the band on the road. After completing our first touring cycle, I realized that more VUUR would mean yet more, huge financial risks.”

To make matters worse, in 2018, her long-lasting marriage, which had always been wonderful, unexpectedly saw a storm approaching.
Anneke adds, “I instantly knew I needed to write music about fixing my life. This creative endeavour would be far too personal for a VUUR album. And it would also require solitude.”

With just her acoustic guitar and basic recording gear, Anneke retreated to a small house near the woods, just outside her hometown of Eindhoven. She let go of the pressures of what VUUR’s future might be, and fell into the meditative process of writing a solo album. In 2019, work continued on the new songs. In 2020, Anneke asked her friend and producer, Gijs Coolen, to help finish the album.

Throughout the completion of the album, Anneke’s fragile, acoustic song-stories were fused together with an alchemy of panoramic strings, horns, and percussion. The resulting 11-track record has all the intimacy of Anneke serenading an audience of one, combined with surprising departures into swampier, foot-stomping grooves.

The Japanese art of kintsugi has inspired Anneke to use a repaired heart as the album’s symbol. Kintsugi teaches that bringing together the pieces of a broken object – with the use of a precious metal – adds value and uniqueness to it. And, instead of giving up on their marriage, Anneke and her husband decided to take the time to mend their bond. They now cherish the repaired heartbreak as something profoundly valuable. 

Their journey through this personal storm, and the album that Anneke created in the eye of it, proves that the darkest skies truly are the brightest. 

The album will be available as CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD & as digital album.

01. Agape
02. Hurricane
03. My Promise
04. I Saw A Car
05. The Soul Knows
06. The End
07. Keep It Simple
08. Lo And Behold
09. Losing You
10. Survive
11. Love You Like I Love You

‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ is Anneke’s 23rd career album. It proves, once again, that the award-winning Dutch artist defies being pigeonholed by any genre. 

After thirteen years as the front woman for melancholic metallers, The Gathering, she struck out on her own in 2007. Since then, her creativity has known no bounds. Anneke quickly solidified a successful solo career (initially under the moniker Agua de Annique), and has recorded and performed with Canadian metal genius Devin Townsend multiple times. She has also lent her serene yet powerful voice to the likes of: Anathema, Icelandic folk group Árstíðir, Within Temptation, Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen, Amorphis, and prog legend John Wetton.

2012’s ‘Everything is Changing’ was something of a milestone in Anneke’s solo career. The album, which was the first to be released under her own name, received two Edison Award nominations – Holland’s most prestigious music prize – in the categories ‘Best Female Artist’ and ‘Best Album’.

In 2015, Anneke van Giersbergen and Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) released their collaborative album ‘The Diary’ under the name The Gentle Storm.

In October 2017, Anneke’s progressive metal outfit VUUR released their much-anticipated debut album. ‘In This Moment We Are Free – Cities’ entered the Dutch Album Top 100 at number 2, Anneke’s highest-ever chart position.

Forever the unpredictable artist, in late 2018, Anneke released ‘Symphonized’, an 11-track live orchestral album. It was recorded at two career-spanning concerts alongside Residentie Orkest The Hague, and features rearrangements of songs from her entire back catalogue.

2019 saw Dutch music copyright organisation Buma Cultuur honor Anneke with the Buma ROCKS! Export Award. This is their award for the Most Successful Dutch Artist Abroad in Heavy Music.

In 2021, the release of her new solo album ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ will see Anneke surprise her fans all over again.

TRANSATLANTIC – invite you to enter ‘The Absolute Universe’ on fifth studio album

TRANSATLANTIC – the Prog Supergroup of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Roine Stolt & Pete Trewavas – are pleased to announce their fifth studio album ‘The Absolute Universe’, set for release on the 5th February 2021. Representing the band’s first new music since 2014’s ‘Kaleidoscope’, with ‘The Absolute Universe’ the band have done something unique and created two versions of the record: ‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’ & ‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’.

As Mike Portnoy explains: “We’ve got two versions of this album. There is a two CD presentation, which is 90 minutes long, and a single one – that’s 60 minutes. However, the single CD is NOT merely an edited version of the double CD. They each contain alternate versions and even in some cases, new recordings. We wrote fresh lyrics and have different people singing on the single CD version tracks as compared to those on the double CD. Some of the song titles have also been changed, while others might remain the same, but compositionally what you’ll hear has been altered. You must appreciate that what we have done is unique. We revamped the songs to make the two versions different.” Pete Trewavas adds: “We did write some new music for the single CD,” adds Trewavas. “What’s more, there are also differences in the instruments used on some of the tracks across the two records.”

Each album will be available on CD, LP & Digitally. But there will also be what has been called ‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’, which collects both versions together in one lavish package that includes 5LP’s, 3CD’s & a Blu-ray that contains a 5.1 surround sound mix with visuals & a behind the scenes documentary. All editions have unique artwork created by Thomas Ewerhard. The full list of formats is below, and pre-orders start on the 20th November:

‘The Absolute Universe: The Breath Of Life (Abridged Version)’

Special Edition CD Digipak

Gatefold 2LP+CD

Digital Album

‘The Absolute Universe: Forevermore (Extended Version)’

Special Edition 2CD Digipak

3LP+2CD Boxset

Digital Album

‘The Absolute Universe: The Ultimate Edition’

Limited Deluxe Clear 5LP+3CD+Blu-Ray Box-set – contained within a foil-finished lift-off box with extended 16-page LP booklet & 60x60cm poster

Initial tracking began in September 2019 when the band met up in Sweden to write and arrange the new material. As Portnoy explains: “Over a period of 10-14 days, we mapped out the songs. Then we all went back to our home studios and did the recording. That’s the way we always do it. At one point, though, it was suggested that instead of doing what was by that time going to be a double album, we should just be content to do a single CD.”

“What happened was that everything kept expanding and expanding,” recalls Stolt. “Therefore we decided it made sense to make it a double album. It was Pete and Neal who then came out and said they felt this would be too long, and we should reduce it to one…But we were already recording, and it didn’t seem feasible to cut it back. There were so many pieces that each of us loved in what we were planning and didn’t want to lose. That’s when we ended up in discussions over the best way forward.” 

This album also marks a return to the concept album for Transatlantic. “Well, the idea of Transatlantic deciding to do a concept record this time around won’t shock anyone, right?” laughs Portnoy. “What we have is essentially one giant composition, split into chapters. The storyline is about the struggles facing everyone in society today.” “We didn’t start out with the idea of this being conceptual,” admits Stolt. “The way things work with us is that we have a load of ideas, and these are developed spontaneously when we meet up. Everything happens in the moment.”

So, how does this new ground-breaking album compare to Transatlantic’s previous four albums?

“I always try not to compare albums as much as possible,” insists Morse. “It’s very difficult when you’re trying to be creative, because your natural instinct is to constantly compare. But in order to create you have to kind of step away from that. Having said that, I would say this would have more in common with ‘The Whirlwind’ album  (the band’s third, from 2009) than others that we’ve created.” For Trewavas, ‘The Absolute Universe’ is a momentous project.

“I think it is right up there with the very finest albums we’ve done. As the others have said, it compares very well to ‘The Whirlwind’, which I believe represents Transatlantic at our best. As on that album, we took our time to write and arrange everything, and that shines through. I am very excited for people to hear it.”

Transatlantic were originally formed in 1999, releasing their debut album ‘SMTPe’ the following year as well as its follow-up ‘Bridge Across Forever’ in 2001. Following a 7-year hiatus, the band reconvened to record and release the much-acclaimed epic 77-minute, single-track album ‘The Whirlwind’ followed by a world tour in 2010 which included an appearance at High Voltage Festival in London where they were joined by legendary Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. The band’s fourth album ‘Kaleidoscope’ arrived in 2014, going on to win ‘Album Of The Year’ at the Progressive Music Awards. 

THE ANCHORESS CONFIRMS FOLLOW UP TO HER AWARD-WINNING, CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED DEBUT ALBUM

Photo credit: Isabella Charlesworth

ANNOUNCES NEW SINGLE ‘SHOW YOUR FACE’

New London Show: Queen Elizabeth Hall, London – July 10th 2021

‘The Art of Losing’, the second album from Welsh multi-instrumentalist The Anchoress (aka Catherine Anne Davies), will be released on March 5th 2021 (via Kscope). The first single ‘Show Your Face’ is available from today, following its radio premiere by Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music; a Depeche Mode flavoured retort to toxic masculinity that features guitar from Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield (who also sings a duet on the album) and drums from Sterling Campbell (David Bowie, Duran Duran). 

The new single weaves its dark synth magic following up on her sonically audacious debut, ‘Confessions of A Romance Novelist’, which was named amongst the Guardian critics’ Albums of the Year, nominated for the Welsh Music Prize, named HMV’s Welsh Album of the Year, and won Best Newcomer at the PROG awards. 

Written and produced by Davies, ‘The Art of Losing’ navigates the detritus of death. It’s a record made in the process of trying to climb out of grief about how we make something from the losses in our lives. Written in the aftermath of several years of huge personal loss, the album follows Dylan Thomas’ instruction to “rage against the dying of the light” – and there is nothing “gentle” about its enquiry. Despite the traumatic backdrop to its composition, it is a far from dour affair. Rather, all fourteen tracks create a technicolour eruption of emotions, firmly concerned with how to find purpose in the midst of grief: “Was there some purpose to losing my mind?”, she asks on the album’s title track: “What did you learn when life was unkind..?” 

The new album was written and recorded during an unfeasibly busy few years as Davies found solace and purpose in a range of projects whilst navigating her griefs. Most recently this came via the release of her collaborative album ‘In Memory of My Feelings’ with Bernard Butler (on Pete Paphides’ label Needle Mythology), duetting and touring with the Manic Street Preachers on their thirteenth album ‘Resistance Is Futile’ (which reached #2 in the UK charts), and being personally invited by The Cure’s Robert Smith to perform at his Meltdown Festival. She also brought a new generation of ears to legendary Scottish rock band Simple Minds, where she spent much of the last five years touring the world on keyboards, guitar and additional vocals. She joined the line-up in 2014, appearing on the Big Music (2015) and Walk Between Worlds (2018) albums before departing in 2019 after playing over 400 shows with the band.

Mountain Caller Release Epic New Video For ‘I Remember Everything’

DEBUT ALBUM ‘CHRONICLE I: THE TRUTHSEEKER’ RELEASED 6TH NOVEMBER (NEW HEAVY SOUNDS)

‘a stunning example of the band’s complete presentation. While many make the claim to have a balance of sight and sound, Mountain Caller underscore the totality of their talent with the video for “I Remember Everything.’ – KNOTFEST

Heavy, progressive, instrumental three-piece Mountain Caller, who are ready to engage hyper-drive and launch their debut album into the riff time continuum on 6th November (New Heavy Sounds) have shared the epic new video for ‘I Remember Everything’. Guitarist Claire Simson comments, 

The video for “I Remember Everything” was directed and produced by ridiculously talented friend of the band Tom Le Bon. It tells fragments of the story written in tandem with the album and even features The Protagonist. It’s not a literal dramatisation but the scenes are symbolic parts of the story and the film team did an outstanding job bringing it to life. We are beyond stoked with how it turned out and can’t wait to share it with the world.’

Recorded in January of 2020 at No Studio in Manchester by producer Joe Clayton of Pijn, and mastered by Magnus Lindberg of ‘Cult Of Luna’. For the band, it’s a labour of love; the fruit of three years of jamming, crafting, and conceptualising; a collaborative piece, where each instrument takes centre stage, within a heady mix of chasmic riffs and panoramic, reflective soundscapes.

If one needs a sonic ballpark, think the infectious jamming of Elder and the dynamic cinema-scapes of Mogwai, underpinned by the mantric riffs of Sleep.

Chronicle I: The Truthseeker is a feminist allegory created in tandem with the music. As the band describe it …

‘In The Truthseeker, we join The Protagonist at the edge of the Twilight Desert, compelled by an indefinable but urgent need to set forth on an Odyssean journey to rediscover her memory and her voice. Over the course of 42 minutes, we travel from barren wastelands to mysterious cities, encountering trials of both body and spirit.’

It is indeed a 6 track instrumental journey. Full of winding roads, brooding valleys and strange encounters, all vividly evoked by a canny grasp of dynamics, melody and heavy, but hooky riffs, executed with peerless playing.

Chronicle I: The Truthseeker is the beginning of the Chronicle saga, and also one senses, the beginning of a high-reaching career.

Set for release on November 6th 2020, the vinyl version comes in a lavish gatefold sleeve, with a full colour printed inner housing a 2 colour red/purple galaxy disc, also available on cd and download.Pre order now: 
https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/mountain-caller-chronicle-i-the-truthseekerhttps://newheavysounds.bandcamp.com

Mountain Caller are

Claire Simson, guitar. El Reeve, bass. Max Maxwell, drums.

Jon Gomm Announces Run Of Social Distance Shows For 2020

UK/EIRE TOUR DATES RESCHEDULED TO 2021

NEW ALBUM ‘THE FAINTEST IDEA’ OUT NOW ON KSCOPE

Jon Gomm, the UK based acoustic guitar virtuoso, who recently released his new album The Faintest Idea on Kscope has announced a run of social distance shows for later this year. Jon states,

‘It’s not unexpected, but I’m still crushed to announce that I’m having to reschedule The Faintest Idea UK/Eire Tour – New dates are all set up for Autumn/Winter 2021, and tickets on sale (if you already have a ticket for one of the gigs, it’s transferable).

However, I am desperate to play these new songs. They don’t feel completely born until I’ve physically felt a human reaction to them. So I’m doing a short run of very limited Social Distance Gigs in the coming weeks (there were more booked, but some have fallen to new lockdowns before we could even announce them), and an Online Album Launch Gig on November 15th.

I can’t help but feel angry with those governments who have let their ideological obsession with the free-market overrule public health, and so ruined both. It’s a macro version of the exact same heedless dollar-chasing which unlocked a vault of rainforest pathogens and spilled it into a city street.’

Online Album Launch Gig Exclusively at jongomm.com –  15 Nov 2020

Social Distance Gigs ​(tickets highly limited):

Nov 18 2020 – Bedford, Esquires 

Nov 19 2020 – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms 

Nov 26 2020 – Leicester, Firebug 

Nov 27 2020 – Blackpool Bootleg Social 

Nov 29 2020 – Leeds, Brudenell Social 

Jan 06 2021 – Bury St Edmunds, Apex 

Faintest Idea UK/Eire Tour

Oct 2021 

1 – Dublin, Academy 2 

8 – Haverhill, Arts Centre 

9 – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds 

10 – York, Crescent 

15 – Trowbridge, Emmanuel’s Yard 

16 – Swansea, Sin City 

17 – Cardiff, The Globe 

21 – Bristol, Thekla 

22 – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms 

23 – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms 

29 – Huddersfield, The Parish pub    

30 – Glasgow, Oran Mor 

31 – Newcastle, Cluny 

Nov 2021 

4 – Liverpool, The Leaf Café 

5 – Blackpool, Bootleg Social 

6 – Preston, The Ferret 

13 – Guildford, Boileroom 

14 – Southampton, Joiners 

15 – Brighton, Komedia 

27 – London, Bush Hall

Dec 2021 

4 – Manchester, The Bread Shed 

5 – Leeds, Brudenell Social 

16 – Runcorn, Brindley Theatre

All tickets / info: ​ https://www.jongomm.com/shows 

The Faintest Idea is out now on CD, double LP, digital and as a stunning limited edition deluxe 3 disc hardback book edition. The beautiful book features Lee Zimmerman illustrations, song descriptions, hand  written lyrics and full track tablature for the song “Check You’re Still Breathing”Jon’s reaction to the deluxe edition can be see in this latest unboxing video here.

All formats are available to order now https://jongomm.lnk.to/TheFaintestIdea

Derek Sherinian Launches Video For ‘Dragonfly’

World acclaimed keyboardist Derek Sherinian, (Sons of Apollo, Black Country Communion), one of the most significant keyboard players of the modern era, recently announced the release of his new solo album ‘The Phoenix’ on the 18th September 2020, his first since 2011’s ‘Oceana’. Derek comments: “I truly feel that this is my best solo record to date. Simon and I put a lot of energy into the writing, and I am grateful to all of the great players that contributed to this recording.”

Today he launches the video for the album’s second single, ‘Dragonfly’, featuring Sherinian joined by Simon Phillips on drums and Ernest Tibbs on bass. The video was directed by Vicente Cordero (Sons of Apollo, Ritchie Kotzen, Haken), and you can watch it now here:

The album’s first single, Empyrean Sky, which features Sherinian and drummer Simon Phillips joined by Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal on guitar & Jimmy Johnson on bass, and was called a “marvellous voyage of instrumental virtuosity” by Guitar World. Listen now here:

As mentioned, Sherinian has teamed up with drummer extraordinaire Simon Phillips, who not only plays drums but also co-produced and co-wrote the album: “It is always an amazing experience to be able to work with Simon. He’s been a hero of mine for ages, ever since I heard him playing on albums with Jeff Beck and Michael Schenker.  And he is such an invaluable part of the way this new record has come out.”

There are a number of top line guests featured on ‘The Phoenix’, as has been the case in the past for Sherinian, on both guitar and bass. Some have become regular contributors to his solo sessions. People such as bassists Tony Franklin (“He’s been on all my albums to date”), Jimmy Johnson and Billy Sheehan (Sherinian’s bandmate in Sons Of Apollo). Plus guitarists Joe Bonamassa and Zakk Wylde. In addition, others are welcomed into the fold for the first time. For instance, there’s master guitarist Steve Vai. “Steve Vai has always been on my hit list. But it was when I played keyboards on the Generation Axe tour of Asia in 2017 that I asked him to play on my record, which he gladly accepted” Also present are Sons Of Apollo bandmate Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (Sons Of Apollo) and Kiko Loureiro (Megadeth).

“Kiko and I have known one another for about 20 years. But this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to play with him.”

The album features 8 tracks, including a cover of Buddy Miles ‘Them Changes’, and will be released as a Limited Edition Digipak CD, 180g LP + CD & as Digital Album. Find the full track-listing below. Pre-order the album here: https://dereksherinian.lnk.to/ThePhoenix

1.     The Phoenix

2.     Empyrean Sky

3.    Clouds of Ganymede

4.     Dragonfly

5.     Temple of Helios

6.     Them Changes

7.     Octopus Pedigree

8.     Pesadelo

Derek Sherinian’s far ranging talents have been much in evidence through the music of Alice Cooper (who once called him “The Caligula of keyboards”), Dream Theater, Black Country Communion and current band Sons Of Apollo. Moreover, proving just how much he is demand to work with rock royalty, Sherinian has also toured and recorded extensively with KISS, and Billy Idol, proving his classic and hard rock pedigree, whilst also being voted #9 in Prog Magazines greatest keyboardists of all time.

Tim Bowness releases video and single, ‘I’m Better Now’ from forthcoming album “Late Night Laments”

On August 28th, 2020, Tim Bowness will release his sixth solo album, “Late Night Laments”, on InsideOutMusic. The album offers a collection of lush, atmospheric songs with a wide lyrical scope marking the most intimate yet universal of Bowness’s solo releases. As a first track, Tim Bowness decided to release the unsettling yet accessible ‘I’m Better Now’ (which presents an intriguing stylistic departure for Bowness). 

Bowness comments:

 ‘In some ways ‘I’m Better Now’ represents the flipside of the title song from my previous album, “Flowers At The Scene”.

‘Flowers At The Scene’ focused on the repercussions of a violent crime (the impact on the victim’s family and friends), while ‘I’m Better Now’ is written from the perspective of a perpetrator of a hate crime.

 For a variety of reasons, society has seemingly become increasingly polarised over the last half-decade and along with an rise in intolerance, there’s been a real sense of more and more people becoming disaffected and feeling ‘left behind’ or invisible. Sometimes, the consequences of that can be ugly.’

Peter Chilvers – who’s previously created visuals for Brian Eno – is responsible for the abstract video that superbly evokes the ominous and chilly mood of the lyric. The clip can be viewed here:

Musically, the track includes contributions from Knifeworld’s Kavus Torabi and Melanie Woods. Bowness says, ‘Kavus’s biting and twisting solo is a particular highlight of the song for me.’

Mixed by his longtime partner in no-man, Steven Wilson, and mastered by Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile, Prefab Sprout), the album – co-produced by Bowness and Brian Hulse – combines electronic soundscapes, acoustic instrumentation and unexpected rhythms in a tightly focused and emotionally charged opus. The artwork is once again by Jarrod Gosling. 

“Late Night Laments” will be released as Limited Edition 2CD digipak including five additional studio recordings, as Gatefold LP plus CD, and digital album. 

Pre-orders are available now:

https://timbowness.lnk.to/LateNightLamentsID

An exclusive transparent blue edition (600 copies) plus signed art print is available only at BurningShed.com.

https://burningshed.com/store/timbowness

About Tim Bowness:

Tim Bowness is primarily known as vocalist/co-writer with the band no-man, a long-running collaboration with Steven Wilson.  

In addition to releasing seven studio albums and a documentary DVD with no-man, Tim has worked with popular Italian artist Alice (on her Italian Top 20 album “Viaggio In Italia”), Mercury Prize nominated Banco De Gaia, Robert Fripp, Peter Hammill, Roxy Music’s Phil Manzanera and many others. 

Tim recorded the album “Flame” (1994) with Richard Barbieri (Porcupine Tree/ex-Japan), co-produced/co-wrote the acclaimed “Talking With Strangers” (2009) for Judy Dyble (ex-Fairport Convention), and has had a long-term collaborative partnership with Peter Chilvers (Brian Eno/Karl Hyde). 

Tim’s recent quartet of solo releases on InsideOutMusic/Sony have entered the official UK Top 5 Rock, Progressive, and Vinyl charts, as well as the official Scottish charts. Along with Steven Wilson, he is also the co-host of “The Album Years”, which has reached the Top 5 Music Podcast charts in over 25 countries (#1 in 10).

GAZPACHO, THE KINGS OF ATMOSPHERIC AND AFFECTIVE ROCK RETURN WITH NEW ALBUM FIREWORKER – DUE FOR RELEASE ON KSCOPE ON 18TH SEPTEMBER

For nearly twenty years, Gazpacho have reigned as the kings of atmospheric and affective art rock. That’s certainly no small feat, as the subgenre is full of wonderfully moody, ornate, and emotional artists; yet, none of them manage to achieve the same level of exquisite baroque resonance and hypnotically introspective weight as the Norwegian sextet. As a result, they never fail to provide awe-inspiring examinations of the human condition, and their latest observation, Fireworker, is no exception. It is undoubtedly among their greatest achievements, as well as one of the most profound pieces of music you’ll hear in 2020.

LISTEN TO THE TITLE  TRACK “FIREWORKER” HERE

Conceptually, the album follows the band’s tradition of blending grand philosophical quandaries, stimulating literary leanings, and haunting personal turmoil. In a way, it acts as the culmination of the themes and techniques that’ve decorated earlier collections, combining the fatalistic isolation of Night and Missa Atropos; the ill-fated narrative drama of Tick Tock and Soyuz; and the hefty theological/scientific contemplations of Demon and Molok. Beyond that, its central premise (that humanity has always been controlled by an infallible and omniscient creature determined to propagate at any cost) means that Fireworker comes across like the overarching umbrella under which all of its predecessors occur.

Keyboardist Thomas Andersen elucidates: “There’s an instinctual part of you that lives inside your mind, separate from your consciousness. I call it the ‘Fireworker’ or the ‘Lizard’ or the ‘Space Cowboy.’ It’s an eternal and unbroken lifeforce that’s survived every generation, with a new version in each of us. It’s evolved alongside our consciousness, and it can override us and control all of our actions.

In order to get us to do what it wants, he clarifies, the “Fireworker” will silence the parts of our mind that feel disgust or remorse so that we’re unable to stop it. The conscious part of our mind, Andersen notes, will actually “rationalize and legitimize” those thoughts and actions so that we never discover the beast behind-the-scenes. No matter how we feel about ourselves in terms of identity, accomplishments, and value, we’re all just vessels—or “Sapiens”—that the creature uses until it no longer needs us.“If you play along,” Andersen explains, “It’ll reward you like a puppy and let you feel fantastic; if you don’t, it’ll punish you severely.”

Like NightFireworker is a single “trip” broken into five chapters but meant to be appreciated all at once. This time, however, Gazpacho’s recurring protagonist is investigating the labyrinthian hive of his own psyche to engage in a Bergman-esque confrontation with the “Fireworker.” This journey is even represented by the Wimmelbilder cover, which, as usual, was designed by collaborator Antonio Seijas and depicts “the billions of neurons that create the cave of the mind”.

Fireworker declares its mesmeric dominance right away via “Space Cowboy,” a side-long suite whose ominous lyricism (“The parasite / That lives in me / Murders words / From where I stop / And it breathes in / We’re biting our tail / The cycle begins”) is but one of many reasons why it’s among Gazpacho’s greatest compositions. From its heartbreakingly delicate first movement and chaotic centerpiece, to its mournfully symphonic penultimate phase and thunderous outro, it is a masterpiece onto itself, cementing how vivacious, evocative, and imaginative Gazpacho remain after all these years. 

From there, the sequence remains just as seductively eccentric and beautiful. In particular, “Hourglass” is a gorgeous piano ballad that evokes March of Ghosts in its fusion of welcoming melodies and gentle orchestral flourishes. That then make way for the feisty layers and catchy hooks of the band’s first single and title track “Fireworker.” Fittingly, “Antique” takes over with angelic mystery and the album closer “Sapien,” echoes the dynamic range and epic scope of “Space Cowboy,” resulting in an awe-inspiring finale that envelops you in luscious arrangements and poignant existential realizations.  

Naturally, Gazpacho’s career has been full of great performances and glowing praise. Outside of issuing three superb live LPs (2010’s A Night at the Loreley, 2011’s London, and 2015’s Night of the Demon), they’ve played festivals such as Be Prog! My Friend, Night of the Prog, Midsummer Prog Festival, and Cruise to the Edge, where they delighted audiences alongside exceptional brethren like iamthemorning, Anathema, Pain of Salvation, Caligula’s Horse, Riverside, The Neal Morse Band, and Steve Hackett.

Unsurprisingly, their records have been met with similarly enthusiastic reception; for instance, their previous statement, 2018’s Soyuz,earned superlative accolades from publications such as PROGEchoes and Dust and Louder than War.

Fireworker is truly life-changing experience, so you would be wise to turn off all of the lights, clear your mind as best you can, and prepare to meet the Fireworker.

 FIREWORKER tracklisting

1. Space Cowboy [19:43] 

2. Hourglass [04:15] 

3. Fireworker [04:41] 

4. Antique [06:24] 

5. Sapien [15:22]

Fireworker will be released on Kscope on 18th September, on CD, a gatefold 2LP on 180g black vinyl  (3 sides audio, 1 side art etching) and digitally (digital pre-orders receive the title track “Fireworker” as an instant download) and is available to pre-order HERE

GAZPACHO LIVE

Sadly, due to the current covid-19 situation the band’s European and UK dates scheduled for October 2020 have been postponed to October 2021, but as the band didn’t want to disappoint their fans Gazpacho are planning to play Fireworker in its entirety via a livestream, alongside a Q&A about the concept plus will play a few favourites from their repertoire. Details of the streaming event and the rescheduled tour will follow soon.

In the meantime, they suggest, you should internalize the record as much as possible to eventually “research your own ‘Space Cowboy.’” Anderson adds: “It’s an attempt at a safe way of looking at something highly dangerous because the animal does not understand music or poetry. We’re trying to outsmart it by writing around it, as music can go places words can’t and there’s a magic to it all.”. 
Gazpacho are:

Thomas Andersen – keyboards, programming

Jan-Henrik Ohme – vocals

Jon-Arne Vibo – guitars

Mikael Krømer – violin, additional guitars

Kristian “Fido” Torp – bass

Robert R Johansen – drums