THE MULTI FORMAT RELEASE OF THE AURAL & VISUAL CINEMATIC LIVE EXPERIENCECOMING 27 AUGUST 2021 ON KSCOPE.
In December 2020, TesseracT invited fans to join them in P O R T A L S – an ambitious concept created to offer an escape in a time of isolation. The live cinematic experience fused live performance with beautiful lighting and striking effects, brought together by chaptered screenplay. By taking their most daring steps as a creative force, the band offered the viewer a completely new and unique experience.
The show was a phenomenal success and garnered praise from fans and media worldwide after the band performed 14 songs spanning their entire catalogue in a performance that lasted over 2 hours, with one of the highlights being the track “Nocturne”.
Bass player Amos Williams “Nocturne has been a firm fan and band favourite since it was released ahead of the ‘Altered State’ album cycle. As such, we threw a lot into the performance, which was matched by our production team, who really pushed the envelope with what they achieved during this track. The laser effects and lighting is powerful and emotive, and Rich’s cinematography really hits the mark.
Every tour produces a slightly different version of this track, as our mindset waxes and wanes, but this version of Nocturne is a real high mark for us we feel; it was just so much fun to perform after not performing it for a year. So, why didn’t we close the show with this song if it was so fun? The thought did cross our minds, we figured everybody would want that. But, we wanted to sit outside our comfort zone with an ‘encore’ of real deep cuts and fan favourites. Thus, Nocturne (P O R T A L S) was the perfect handover between the desired and expected, as well as an excellent guide for everyone as we turned to face the weird and wonderful direction of the final act. “
Kscope will present this unique event to a wider audience for the first time. The film and soundtrack will be issued on an array of formats including Blu-Ray, Triple LP soundtrack and as a limited edition deluxe 4 disc book edition on 27 August 2021.
LIMITED EDITION DELUXE 4 DISC BOOK EDITION includes:
Blu-ray & DVD includes: P O R T A L S main feature • Behind the scenes documentary • Live In The Lockdown • P O R T A L S hi res audio only version (all BD/DVD audio 48/24 PCM Stereo)
2CD P O R T A L S soundtrack
All presented in a lavish set with 40 page book containing exclusive pictures, extensive liner notes from Amos Williams and individually numbered art print
The band webstore will exclusively sell a limited number of this set with the art prints signed by TesseracT
BLU-RAY EDITION includes: P O R T A L S main feature • Behind the scenes documentary • Live In The Lockdown • P O R T A L S hi res audio only version (48/24 PCM Stereo)
3LP Gatefold / 2CD Edition / digital – the soundtrack to the stunning cinematic live experience P O R T A L S featuring tracks spanning the band’s career to date including Nocturne, Seven Names & King
Along with the release of the livestream event, the band will be playing their first live shows in almost two years this November and December special guests to Trivium in the UK and Europe, as well as returning to North American shores in 2022 (see the band’s website for details).
Taken from the forthcoming new album Departure Tapes released on Kscope on 2nd July 2021
With his new album Departure Tapes released this Friday, 2nd July, on Kscope,, UK based Italian composer, multi-instrumentalist and visual artist Giancarlo Erra has revealed the 3rd single and video for ‘Previous Tape’. He comments,
“Whatever music I write, whether for a soundtrack or for a rock band, for me, song writing and melody are always something that must be there (I grew up listening to Beatles so I can’t escape that!). At the same time I’m not a big fan of solos, but I’m obsessed with vocals, even if synthesised. I own a couple of synths dedicated almost exclusively to that.
So on Previous Tape, I used a Seaboard (keyboard/synth) because it allows me to play instruments and sounds without quantised pitch, like a vocal (or a theremin), while at the same time with a dynamically controlled expression of other parameters, exactly like I would while I sing.”
The new studio album Departure Tapes, the follow up to 2019’s Ends I-VII, consists of 6 contemplative recordings, written while travelling between the UK and Italy and reflect the extremely difficult year Giancarlo experienced due to the death of his estranged father. Erra comments “In 2019 my first solo album was just being released, and I already had the view that I wanted to be more experimental with the second one, but no precise idea how at that point. Then my father suddenly got ill with cancer, and everything changed. I found myself taking care of this man, someone who I have been distanced from for so long. During this time both of us to came to terms with many things. I wanted to get closure, but a positive one, for him and for me.
Creatively it was an interesting period for me – writing this album without realising I was actually writing it, as it is so intrinsically linked to one of the hardest and yet more healing parts of my life. The end result is the most experimental, and at the times, the darkest material I have ever written, without compromise or set plan. It contains all the elements of my music in a very unconscious free flowing way. “
Departure Tapes sees Erra using a wide mix of analogue synths and digital plugins though he is keen to highlight the unsung hero of many of his albums,
‘The 1979 monophonic Korg MS10, deserves a mention because this synth has a wicked filter, a squelching and screaming one that can really do some unique stuff once you use it with the modular part of the synth. In Departure Tapes and in possibly all of my albums, any bass synth part is performed on the MS10, and I believe is the one sound I use it for most of the times. Once you manually tune down the synth and then you tune and move the filter at resonant peak around the notes you need, this thing is able to make not just walls shaking bass sounds, but also ones that contain enough upper medium frequencies to cut through the mix: I would be lost without this little gem.’
Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and the more electronic / ambient recordings of Brian Eno may offer a reference point by which to enter Erra’s world, but the depth within his recordings is truly original.
After their lauded 2017 album ‘Atone‘, White Moth Black Butterfly return with their new studio album ‘The Cost Of Dreaming‘.
Created by Daniel Tompkins, the collaborative project features a team of songwriters & producers based worldwide, all at the height of their own scenes. Collaborating with Tompkins are New-Delhi based Skyharbor songwriter and producer Keshav Dhar; US based producer and string arranger Randy Slaugh, drummer Mac Christensen and the line up is completed by ethereal vocals of UK singer & lyricist Jordan Turner.
Daniel Tompkins explains why he sees White Moth Black Butterfly and ‘The Cost Of Dreaming‘ representing the dichotomy between peace and conflict within a life full of chaos. “Our new album ‘The Cost of Dreaming’ is something we feel just about every human being on the planet that’s been affected by life changing disruption will relate strongly to. Our nature is to always be planning, dreaming about an ideal future in which we will have ticked various boxes that define our ideal lives, often at the cost of the present. And when control over that future is seized away from us and all we are left with is the present, we realise just how much we took for granted. Life is surely a gift to us all throughout which we experience moments of soaring bliss and happiness, and then in a heartbeat sink into states of great trouble and suffering. Often our struggles can serve as momentous opportunities for growth, but the balance of life can often hold us back from seizing the day. We believe that this album is our greatest achievement – it’s an outpouring of love and a cry for help.”
The album is a very clever integration of contemporary pop with the stylistic flourishes of progressive rock and ambient, experimental music. Catchy hooks abound along with lush orchestral notes and edgy keyboard infused electronica. All the songs are short, like perfect little gems of musical wonder, never outstaying their welcome.
The ethereal strains of opener Ether blend perfectly into the harder, staccato notes of Prayer For Rain and this is followed by the gorgeous wistfulness of The Dreamer where Turner’s vocals stand out perfectly.
The exquisitely refined tone of Heavy Heart bleeds melancholic nostalgia and the lush Portals would grace any modern club scene. Use You is deliciously dark, almost malevolent in its sinister delivery and segues seamlessly into the powerful, funky edginess of Darker Days, given added sparkle by Kenny Fong’s glorious saxophone.
The album builds superbly with each track, an audio experience that draws you in piece by piece. Sands of Despair mournfully washes over you with its plaintive vocal and contemplative piano note before the thoughtful mood of Under The Stars grabs you in its embrace, Jordan’s dreamy vocals imbuing a sense of calm serenity. Soma is a super smooth slice of jazz/pop that is as classy a piece of music that you will hear this year and Liberate takes the art of writing contemporary pop muisic to another level.
There’s a insistent demanding feel to Unholy, an anticipation building of something enigmatic and ominous before heartfelt vocals and the addition of Eric Guenther’s keyboards introduce an emotive emphasis to the sumptuous sounds of Bloom. The album closes out with Spirits, a wonderfully uplifting piece of music that continues to resonate long after the final note dies away.
In ‘The Cost of Dreaming’, White Moth Black Butterfly have created an utterly captivating and beautiful collection of songs where nothing has been held back. It contains every piece of their heart and soul and, just as Daniel Tompkins says, it is a perfectly conceived outpouring of love and cry for help, one that I hope everyone takes heed of…
FIRST TRACK & VIDEO PREMIERED “PAVLOV’S DOG KILLED SCHRODINGER’S CAT”
Trifecta, a new addition to the Kscope roster, features 3 of the contemporary music scene’s most lauded and revered musicians – bassist and songwriter Nick Beggs, keyboardist extraordinaire Adam Holzman and completing the line-up, Craig Blundell – one of the world’s most celebrated drummers.
Having performed together as part of Steven Wilson’s band, the three would jam together after soundchecks, forming what they referred to as “jazz club” and from these sessions the fledgling ideas for Fragments were born, Nick Beggs comments “after the last tour with Steven finished, we had a handful of tracks ready to work on and as we moved through our various separate projects we agreed to work on Trifecta.”
The record primarily leans toward a fusion of jazz rock, imaginatively described by Beggs as “Fission! It’slike Fusion but less efficient and more dangerous ..with fall out.” andbeing mainly instrumental with the exception of one track, the wonderfully titled and first single “Pavlov’s Dog Killed Schrodinger’s Cat”. The lyrics of which, Beggs states “are written from the perspective of a layman trying to understand quantum mechanics…and failing”. The track also features drum programming from Russell Holzman.
The brilliantly animated video was devised and created by Beggs himself – he comments “The film clip is a new take on the lyric video concept I guess? I made it one afternoon in my home studio using my i-phone and a writing pad!.”
Each band member completed the recording and engineering of their own contributions in their various home studios which helped in bringing their individual production ideas to each track. Adam Holzman mixed the record at his New York home studio and the mastering was handled by Andy VanDette (Rush, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Porcupine Tree, Beastie Boys) in New York.
The title for the debut came about as Nick Beggs explains “We discussed early on, the idea of each piece having a Fragment number and track title, for example – ‘Fragment 10– Pavlov’s Dog Killed Schrodinger’s Cat’. As all the compositions were written as jams or in our home studios this idea seemed even more prescient. So, we titled the album ‘Fragments’”.
First single & video for track “Departure Tape” premiered
Departure Tapes is an album consisting of 6 contemplative recordings, written while travelling between the UK and Italy. The majority of these 6 tracks were improvised in the studio by Erra, so for the most part, are totally unique and hold a sincerity which cannot be replicated. It is the follow up to 2019’s acclaimed album Ends I-VII, with the new recordings reflecting what, has been an extremely difficult year for Giancarlo, with the loss of his father to cancer. Erra comments “In 2019 my first solo album was just being released, and I already had the view that I wanted to be more experimental with the second one, but no precise idea how at that point. Then my father suddenly got ill with cancer, and everything changed.”
Erra, having had a fractured and conflicted relationship with his father since his early teenage years found a way to turn this distressing time into a cathartic experience, “he left when I was 14 and since then he wasn’t really part of my life. Then I received the news of his terminal illness and somehow, I found myself in a situation where I was taking care of this man, someone who I have been distanced from for so long. During this period, I realised it had become a time for both of us to come to terms with many things. I wanted to get closure, but a positive one, for him and for me, and I think he was the same even though he maybe didn’t know it; this was hard but at the same time ‘healing’ and in a painful twist, it was possibly the most close and positive few months I had with him since I was a small child.” He explains the influence this had on him creatively“It’s the first album I have created without realising I was actually writing it, as it is so intrinsically linked to one of the hardest and yet more healing parts of my life. The end result is the most experimental, and at the times, the darkest material I have ever written, without compromise or set plan. It contains all the elements of my music in a very unconscious free flowing way.
Watch the video for Departure Tape here:
The first single to be taken from the new album is the extremely poignant and personal “Departure Tape” with the video dedicated to Erra’s father, he explains “This track was written I think when I came back from my first visit to Italy to see my father after he had been diagnosed. It really just began as a live experiment – born and finished within one afternoon. I remember I didn’t really want to do anything; I was exhausted and down, but then, when I started playing the track took shape. I discovered there was much more going on inside my head that needed to be faced. For me, music has been always the only way I can do that, and from this introspection ‘Departure Tape’ was born. It’s almost as a free subconscious stream of thoughts and feelings while recording everything that was happening.”
Giancarlo Erra began his musical career in 2005 with one man studio project Nosound. 2008 saw him signing with Kscope and released a string of albums under the Nosound banner before recording his debut solo ‘Ends I-VII’. Departure Tapes sees Erra play and record every instrument himself along with taking on full production responsibilities at his own studio (https://widescreen.studio).
Max Richter, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm and the more electronic / ambient recordings of Brian Eno may offer a reference point by which to enter Erra’s world, but the depth within his recordings is truly original.
The Pineapple Thief have announced they will be releasing an “on-demand” live performance event, entitled Nothing But The Truth
The show will be broadcast on 22nd April from 6pm UK time and available on demand until 6pm UK time on Monday 26th April and tickets are on sale now – full details below.
Having released their latest studio album Versions Of The Truth in September 2020, the band’s worldwide touring plans to support the release of the album had to be put on hold, but the band were eager to be able to still perform for and connect with their fans across the globe and so the idea for a full band performance event was hatched. The Pineapple Thief’s Bruce Soord explains “I’ve always said that The Pineapple Thief is equally about the studio and the stage so it was obviously disappointing that we haven’t been able go out on tour especially as we were excited to be able to perform the new album “Versions Of The Truth” live for everyone. So being able to do this film, especially under the circumstances, was invaluable.
We all knew we did not want to shoot a film of us standing on stage staring at an empty room. We wanted something special, something ‘cinematic’. So, together with George Laycock (from Blacktide Phonic/Visual who has filmed all our recent music videos) we hatched a plan. It was a lot of work for one show. But it was worth it. And it was great to be playing in the same room with the band again. We ended up making something unique and something very, very special that I am proud to have been a part of. I can’t wait for people to see it.”
Watch the trailer here:
Drummer, Gavin Harrison adds “Nothing But The Truth” is a highlight for this band in terms of captured performance.
After many months of planning and rehearsal we went to a top sound stage studio and recorded the show that we were meant to do in Covid times (but had to cancel).
Filmed and recorded in the highest quality under controlled circumstances it does represent the band and the songs in a way that is so different to a ‘live gig’ or ‘live album’. We thoroughly enjoyed the process of making it and hope you enjoy this one-off very special event.”
Fans can expect to see The Pineapple Thief at their very best performing songs from across their illustrious catalogue including for the first time live, the new album Versions Of The Truth.
GENERAL TICKET PRICE: Ticket Price $19 (or the equivalent in the local currency, the streaming platform supports every currency). Tickets will remain on sale until 4pm UK Thursday 22nd April – available here https://www.pineapplethief.com/thetruth
HOW MANY TIMES CAN I WATCH THE FILM? Ticket holders can log in and watch the concert as many times they wish within the on demand period.
The Pineapple Thief, one of the leading lights of Europe’s experimental rock domain, led by post-progressive mastermind Bruce Soord and reinforced by Gavin Harrison (King Crimson) on drums, released their latest studio album Versions Of The Truth on September 4th through Kscope.
Their 2018 anthemic release Dissolution garnered worldwide acclaim from both media and fans, earning them their highest UK album chart entry to date (#36), #1 UK Rock and Metal, #22 German album chart, #4 Netherlands Platomania album chart and #14 Finland album chart. It took them on two extensive European headline tours (including many sold-out nights), and their biggest headline show to date at London’s prestigious O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, plus a first ever and hugely successful tour of North America.
With the release of their new opus, The Pineapple Thief have raised the standard yet again by delivering, quite possibly, one of the most important albums of 2020. Versions Of The Truth created a conceptual progression from Dissolution – a contemplation on our ‘post truth’ world. Lyrically the album tackled a more personal reflection on how there can be more than one ‘version of the truth’, the impact it can have on our lives and the people we love.
Versions Of The Truth is Gavin Harrison’s second album as a full creative member of The Pineapple Thief alongside Soord, bassist Jon Sykes and keyboard player Steve Kitch. His presence has again helped bring writing and recording into sharp focus – a fresh dynamic added to the band’s previous creative process.
We are delighted to be able to announce that Trifecta have joined the Kscope family.
Trifecta features three of the contemporary music scene’s most lauded and revered musicians – bassist and songwriter Nick Beggs, keyboardist extraordinaire Adam Holzman and completing the line-up, Craig Blundell – one of the world’s most celebrated drummers.
Having performed together as part of Steven Wilson’s band, the three would jam together after soundchecks, forming what they referred to as “jazz club” and from these sessions the fledgling ideas for Trifecta were nurtured, Nick Beggs comments “soafter the last tour with Steven finished, we had a handful of tracks ready to work on and as we moved through our various separate projects we agreed to work on Trifecta.” Asked what fans of the musicians can expect from Trifectahe states “Fission! It’slike Fusion but less efficient and more dangerous.”
Kscope will be releasing the band’s debut album in Summer 2021, look out for more details coming soon
The band have new social media – for updates & news follow them here:
THE DELUXE 4 DISC HARDBACK BOOK EDITION WILL BE RELEASED 16TH APRIL
Over the last half-decade, The Pineapple Thief, led by Bruce Soord and bolstered by the involvement of master drummer Gavin Harrison, has rapidly ascended to the upper echelons of Europe’s Alternative Rock scene.
To acclaim from the worldwide media and fans, September 2020 saw the release of Versions Of The Truth, the latest instalment in the band’s discography. This was due to be followed, almost immediately, by an extensive live campaign which sadly due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation has been postponed until 2021.
Bruce Soord, not wanting to disappoint fans, announced he would perform a solo acoustic live streamed performance of songs from across The Pineapple Thief’s illustrious catalogue. Due to the success of the initial performance, 1 session turned into 4 across the summer.
Bruce Soord explains “Back in the spring of 2020 I decided to perform a live acoustic show from my attic studio.I figured I could set up something with a bit more production than just a face peering down a mobile phone. I created a little haven of guitars, pedals, loopers, microphones and webcams and mixed them all together ready to send out to the world.”
Bruce Soord had never streamed a live show before and most of the songs he had never performed solo before – some he had never performed at all.
“I played my first show, diving head first into the unknown and I soon learned how many people had enjoyed it and that resulted in another 3 sessions over the following weeks, playing songs from the 20 years I had been writing with The Pineapple Thief and more recently my solo work.
”The Soord Sessions Volumes1-4 will be released as a deluxe 4 CD hardback book edition. With the 4 CDs covering 36 tracks from The Pineapple Thief discography & Bruce Soord’s solo albums. The 48-page book features an extended forward and notes on each session by Bruce Soord plus previously unseen photos from the attic studio and images from the live streams along with technical and personal information on the equipment used.
The Soord Sessions Volumes 1-4 will be released on Kscope on 16th April and is available to pre-order HERE
The Pineapple Thief will be supporting the release of The Versions Of The Truth live worldwide in 2021 & 2022, the dates having been rescheduled from 2020 and more are due to be announced. For details see www.thepineapplethief.com
The man whose illustrious career began in the late 70s with synth-pop visionaries Japan and more recently as a member of influential art-rock band Porcupine Tree follows up 2017’s Planets + Persona with new album Under A Spell.
Richard Barbieri didn’t plan to make an album like Under A Spell, originally intending his fourth solo album to be a direct follow from its predecessor, 2017’s Planets + Persona.
That record, made in different studios across Europe and heavily incorporating live performances from a range of musicians, was adventurous and bold, showcasing Barbieri’s endlessly inventive song writing and mastery of electronic music. The follow-up would pick up where it left off, journeying further into the expansive terrain he mapped out on the previous record. And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and everything changed. “I wrote and recorded it in my studio at home, with all this strangeness going on outside,” says Barbieri of Under A Spell. “It became something completely different: this weird, self-contained dream-state album.”
On Under A Spell, Barbieri was intent on capturing the atmospheres and moods that his disconnected brain was conjuring rather than slaving over arrangements and melodies. Songs such as ‘Flare’, ‘Serpentine’, ‘Sleep Will Find You’ and its companion piece-of-sorts ‘Darkness Will Find You’ are sharply defined despite their dream-inspired genesis. He points to the evocative opening and closing tracks, ‘Under A Spell’ and ‘Lucid’, as the keys that unlock the album. “Those two tracks have the whole meaning within them,” he says. “The first song, ‘Under A Spell’, is leading you down a path, moving into places where you’re not sure what’s going on. There are whispers in the background, spells being cast in a deserted wood. Then the final track, ‘Lucid’, is the opposite. You’re in this comforting lucid dream, but then you’re drifting further away from it, trying to come out of it. There are voices saying: ‘Wake up, wake up, come back alive…’”
Listeners will be able to make out those voices but there are no vocals, these voices, collaborators, include Marillion frontman Steve Hogarth and Swedish singer Lisen Rylander Love (who co-wrote ‘A Star Light’).
The album’s title perfectly encapsulates the haunting, evocative world Barbieri has created. Songs such as the skittering, billowing ‘Clockwork’ and ‘Sketch 6’s dub-inspired soundscape hang suspended in that strange half-world between sleep and waking – a subconscious reflection of the surreal state the planet has found itself in over recent months. “I was having a lot of bizarre, recurring dreams that were hanging around after I woke up,” says Barbieri. “They were based around this woodland pathway, which is really summed up by the album cover – this surreal, deserted, Blair Witch Project type of environment. You’re going through these woods, heading towards this light, almost like you’re leaving life.That’s where the title Under A Spell came from – it was a feeling of not being totally in control. Almost as if your dreams are pointing you in directions that sometimes you can control and sometimes you can’t.”
As ex-founder of Japan, the new-wave pioneers and one of the most ground-breaking bands of their era, Richard Barbieri helped spark the electronic music revolution that followed, his synthesiser sound not only defined the band but influenced the likes of The Human League, Duran Duran, Gary Numan and Talk Talk. Following Japan’s split, Barbieri joined Steven Wilson to form the legendary progressive outfit Porcupine Tree, that saw him play on nine of the band’s albums, including 1999’s Stupid Dream, 2002’s In Absentia and 2007’s acclaimed Fear Of A Blank Planet. Following PT’s hiatus Barbieri has pursued a solo career, releasing albums that include 2005’s Things Buried, 2008’s Stranger Inside and 2017’s Planets + Persona, as well as his recent EP series, Variant.1-5.
Barbieri’s willingness to constantly redefine his own musical boundaries are never more evident than on the brilliant, hypnotic Under A Spell – the latest milestone on this utterly unique journey.
Under A Spelltracklisting 1. Under A Spell [07:19]2. Clockwork [02:33]3. Flare 2 [08:51]4. A Star Light [03:50]5. Serpentine [06:22]6. Sleep Will Find You [02:51]7. Sketch 6 [06:30]8. Darkness Will Find You [04:58]9. Lucid [06:14]
Under A Spell will be released on Kscope on 26th February, on CD, gatefold double black vinyl LP, limited edition gatefold double red vinyl LP (exclusive to the Kscope store) and digitally with pre-orders available HEREhttps://RichardBarbieri.lnk.to/UnderASpell
UK HEADLINE TOUR FOR 2020 / 2021 CONFIRMED 1st Single – Cocoon released – video here
Jon Gomm, the UK based acoustic guitar virtuoso, has announced the details of his new album The Faintest Idea, due for release on Kscope on 16th October 2020, with this new album he has found new emotional depths in immense melodic pop landscapes.
When most people look at an acoustic guitar, they see exactly that – a wooden box with strings. As one of the pioneers of the modern fingerstyle sound, however, Jon Gomm has a rare gift for turning one instrument into what feels like an entire orchestra…
The Blackpool-born singer-songwriter’s 2003 home-recorded debut, Hypertension, was nothing short of a musical revelation: drumming beats, tapping chords and striking harmonics on his acoustic underneath that warm, soulful voice. Things changed for Jon with landmark single Passionflower racking up 17 million plus views on YouTube and other media platforms in 2012 – with British legend Stephen Fry describing him on mainstream television as someone “playing the guitar in a way I’d never seen it played before” and “an all-round genius”. Follow up album Secrets Nobody Keeps arrived in 2013, further cementing his stature as one of the driving forces behind an acoustic revolution – but now, having signed a label deal for the very first time in his career, he’s managed to truly refine the pop sensibilities and emotive expression within that unmistakable wall of sound. Latest full-length The Faintest Idea is set for release this October.
“I didn’t realise that my songs were worth anything beyond the crazy guitar playing,” shrugs the songwriter reborn, who originally started out on ukulele at the age of two. “When people started getting my lyrics tattooed on them, I had to accept that they’re not doing that because they’re fans of percussive guitar”
Perhaps one of the greatest surprises with The Faintest Idea is how it contrasts the incredible human warmth of Gomm’s acoustic articulation with more icy affairs, thanks to the synth parts and production work from Australian musician Andy Sorenson. Instead of a war between man and machine, the collaboration delicately cross-pollinates simple honesty with more forward-thinking atmospheres. It is a contemporary masterpiece – rich in its sense of paths travelled and roads taken, while also daring to gaze into the unexpected future.
“Andy has taken my raw, intimate solo acoustic performances, and placed them in an artificially expanded landscape of his own creation. I feel like I’m playing a gig, but the venue is a synthetic reality dreamworld. I strum a chord, and it bounces off a cyan cloud releasing a shower of notes, I hit another, and it echoes through a crystal chamber” Gomm muses.
The album earned its title through the notion that all of us, to some extent, are just The Faintest Idea. The singer/guitarist notes how that everything is made out of vibrating strings of probability, and it’s this scientific and spiritual meaning – as well as the more literal translation of total guesswork – that felt like the perfect summation of album number four… “It’s an enigmatic title,” smiles Gomm. “There’s a fine line between a metaphor and a pun, so I guess it dances on that.”
The album is complemented by the delicate hand drawn pen and ink cover art created by Lee Zimmerman.
Often cited as one of the most naturally gifted acoustic artists of the modern age, a one-man band with seemingly no limit to expression, it’s little surprise that the new music drew from the musician’s own experiences over the last five or so years. And while there have been moments of joyous celebration, by his own admission there has also been plenty of personal upheaval “This album has been a long time coming,” he reflects. “I tend to write in a really painstaking way. The last few years of my life have involved a lot of personal trauma – from me and my wife losing a pregnancy, through to losing other people in my life.”
There’s a sense of reinvention that arrives in The Faintest Idea’s 11 tracks – documenting a musician coming to terms with the talents that got him recognised and choosing to evolve into the unexpected. Despite having already gone viral and established himself as one of the modern-day masters of acoustic, this could very well be the release that sees the virtuoso transition to a mainstream audience far removed from the guitar community he’s long been revered by… “People knew I could play, I didn’t need to write an album to make that point anymore,” summarises Gomm. “And being aware of that brought out my music in a better way. The technique side can feed into the ego after a while. This is still acoustic guitar music, but the sound, approach and experiences behind it are totally different. I didn’t need to force myself to follow any musical philosophy when I could just make a beautiful-sounding album that was totally immersive and more emotional.”
Indeed, it’s as immersive and emotional as music gets. And while these are the most expansive recordings of JonGomm’s career so far, it still really just boils down to the magic of one man with his guitar and voice. And what a powerful magic it is.
The Faintest Idea is due to be released on 16th October on the following formats: *CD *Double gatefold LP with D-side artwork etching * Digitally *As a stunning limited edition deluxe 3 disc hardback book edition which will feature: CD1 – The Faintest Idea album CD 2 – The Naked Artist Mix – a stripped back version of the album a DVD containing6 exclusive performances filmed in a medieval church Guitar technique presentations A 35 minute Jon Gomm interview Song description videos The Faintest Idea in high resolution stereo audio. The beautiful book will feature Lee Zimmerman illustrations, song descriptions, handwritten lyrics and full guitar tablature for the song “Check You’re Still Breathing”.
The Faintest Idea – UK & Eire headline tour – tickets on sale now December 2020 Sat 5 – Huddersfield – Parish Pub Sun 6 – York – The Crescent Thu 10 – Trowbridge – Emmanuels Yard Fri 11 – Cheltenham – Frog And Fiddle Sat 12 – Swansea – Sin City
Jan 2021 Mon 4 – Southampton – Joiners Tue 5 – Brighton – Komedia Wed 6 – Bury St Edmunds – Apex Fri 15 – Nottingham – Rescue Rooms Sat 16 – Bristol – Thekla Sun 17 – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds Fri 22 – Manchester – The Bread Shed Sat 23 – Liverpool – Leaf Fri 29 – Leeds – Brudenell
Feb 2021 Wed 3 – Runcorn – Brindley Theatre Fri 5 – Milton Keynes – Craufurd Arms Sat 6 – Haverhill – Haverhill Arts Centre Sun 7 – Reading – Sub 89 Thu 11 – Cardiff – The Globe Fri 12 – Blackpool – Bootleg Social Thu 18 – Preston – The Ferret Fri 19 – Newcastle – Cluny Sat 20 – Glasgow – Oran Mor Sat 27 – Dublin – Academy 2
March 2021 Fri 5 – London – Bush Hall Sat 6 – Guildford – Boileroom