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CHERRY GHOST

Following a two year hiatus, the Ivor Novello award winning songwriters Cherry Ghost have regrouped and with the help of Dan Austin (Doves, Massive Attack) they have recorded one of the most hopeful, beguiling, theatrical, and ultimately captivating albums of the year. With an eclectic repertoire of songs that go way beyond simplistic melodies and rousing choruses, Cherry Ghost create a musical world of their own that’s as strong and as all-encompassing as a fictional voice. Songs are sung about and from the perspective of a variety of characters (young and old / male and female / rich and poor), while themes such as loss, revenge, regret, blasphemy and disillusionment wrestle with romance, hope, optimism all wrapped within a wickedly dark humour; "Beneath This Burning Shoreline" unravels like a fine southern gothic novel. The album opens with "We Sleep On Stones". The malevolent locomotive rhythm of the track signals a move away from the idea of Cherry Ghost as a solo project, showcasing a more refined and assured sounding band. With Krautrock flourishes this murderous ballad illustrates both lyrically and sonically the Cherry Ghost sound in 2010.

Running the gamut of human emotion, the album moves quixotically from track to track, exploring new narratives in each one, take "The Night They Buried Sadie Clay", a funeral march that celebrates the life of a dying woman that never gave in or gave up hope, or "Only A Mother", a tale of domestic abuse and promises unrealised that’s straight out of Morrissey book of poetic social commentary. Meanwhile, recorded live and in one take, the blasphemous ballad "My God Betrays" sees Cherry Ghost collectively bestow one of the most sorrowful and contemplative tracks in annals of contemporary music.

Euphoria is never far away and with new lead single, "Kissing Strangers" it is there in abundance. The dusty crooned vocals of Simon Aldred are wrapped around psychedelic lullabies, Glen Campbell guitars and stately drumming. It’s an ode to wayward souls trawling the night skies "Kissing Strangers" is a 21st century song for swinging lovers: young hearts on the chase and well groomed weekend brutes. Further jubilation comes in the form of "BlackFang", a 4 minute romp that revives the spirit of The Velvet Underground and "Luddite" eschews progress in favour of a skiffle-beat lament to the emotionally stunted.

TRACK LISTING

1. We Sleep On Stones
2. A Month Of Mornings
3. Kissing Strangers
4. Conquered Part 1
5. Only A Mother
6. The Night The Buried Sadie Clay
7. My God Betrays
8. Barberini Square
9. Conquered Part 2
10. BlackFang
11. Luddite
12. Diamond In The Grind
13. Strays

Cherry Ghost

Live At The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge - January 25 2015.

    As the final act before their hiatus ñ coming after three critically praised albums in a decade - 'Live at the Trades Club Hebden Bridge' is Cherry Ghost performing an intimate, starkly arranged set at the 2015 Heavenly Weekender.Released now for the first time ñ on double vinyl and download ñ this is perhaps the best realised collection of songs from Cherry Ghost, the alias of the Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter Simon Aldred. The instrumentation ñ Aldred is joined on keyboards and light percussion by Christian Madden and Grenville Harrop ñ brings to the fore Aldred's peerless songwriting, his oak-aged, prematurely wisened baritone.'History' wrote the Quietus in 2014, 'will be kind to Aldred', and this collection proves exactly that ñ with a bit of time and distance, the songs presented here show a highly singular, highly accomplished songwriter, aspiring to the pop classicism of Glen Campbell or Bill Callahan. All of human life is here ñ tracking a drizzly Northern gothic of last bus loneliness, late-night Spars, solitary drinkers, factory floors and Gods that betray.And yet, there's more than meets the eye.There's magnetic renderings of his best known songs - '4AM', 'People Help the People', the soaring 'Mathematics' - but surprises reveal themselves.'All I Want' and 'Herd Runners' candidly examine Aldred's sexuality, whilst the seldom heard b-side 'Bad Crowd' reveals Aldred to be a much funnier songwriter than remembered. What runs right through Aldred's work, however, is a yearning ñ a much tested faith in romance ñ so no wonder that the album ends on its most optimistic notes, at the darkest point of winter nestled in the West Yorkshire valleys, promising clear skies ever closer.

    Cherry Ghost return with third album ‘Herd Runners’ on Heavenly Recordings.

    For the last couple of years, Simon Aldred has been in a state of wilful musical schizophrenia. Since 2007, Bolton-born Aldred has - to all intents - been Cherry Ghost, a band known for perfecting a kind of widescreen North Western country soul. Yet the third Cherry Ghost album, ‘Herd Runners’, arrives after an extensive period in which Aldred’s own music been pulled in multiple different directions.

    Firstly, as a songwriter-for-hire, Aldred has helped nurture the best of nascent British talent (including hugely tipped artists like Sam Smith and Kwabs). Latterly, he produced a set of critically lauded post-midnight electronic love songs under the Out Cold guise. Somewhere in the middle, there’s the small matter of the phoenix-like rebirth of Aldred’s Ivor Novello winning 2007 single ‘People Help The People’ as it went on to chart highly in fourteen different countries in 2010 when it was covered by the teenage singer Birdy.

    Far from muddying the musical waters, each of these diversions has only helped sharpen Aldred’s songwriting, providing a major spur for the finest Cherry Ghost album to date. “Exploring different styles has helped my own songs,” says Aldred, “Musicians need to stretch themselves and keep on learning.” · It was that exploration that has helped bring ‘Herd Runners’ to life. Shifting from soaring, symphonic pop (‘Clear Skies Ever Closer’) to melancholic lock-in blues (‘Drinking For Two’) via an almost uncompromisingly hopeful rhythmic shuffle (‘The World Could Turn’), ‘Herd Runners’ is a sublime collection, a reminder of Aldred’s singular skill as a composer; a skill that can twist bitter loss into teary optimism (and back) in less time than it takes to toss a coin.

    Lyrically, the album paints Edward Hopper-esque observations of the lives of others. Where previous records would have focused on the gloomy edges of the picture, ‘Herd Runners’ takes something of a longer view. “These songs aren’t as dark as those on previous records. This time round I thought it was important to keep a real empathy for the people I’m writing about.”

    Recorded in Sheffield with longterm Richard Hawley collaborator Colin Elliot and mixed in Bath with Dan Austin, ‘Herd Runners’ is ten perfectly crafted tales of heartbreak and hope. That musical schizophrenia is clearly working wonders for Simon Aldred. Long may it continue.

    TRACK LISTING

    Clear Skies Ever Closer
    Don’t Leave Me Here Alone
    Fragile Reign
    Sacramento
    The World Could Turn
    Drinking For Two
    Herd Runners
    My Lover Lies Under
    Love Will Follow You
    Joanne

    Cherry Ghost

    We Sleep On Stones

      Album standout "We Sleep On Stones" is given the rework treatment by San Fran label Stones Throw affiliate Mr Chop & features Heliocentrics Malcolm Catto on drums and Jake Ferguson on bass. Comes backed with a once-in-a lifetime cover of Ce Ce Peniston’s uber-hit "Finally".


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