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Jason Singh & The Banwasi Collective

Travellers

    Whatever he touches - whether that be composing for Sir David Attenborough's Green Planet, creating immersive sound installations at Kew Gardens or vocally recreating birdsong and natural environments - sound artist and composer Jason Singh brings sensitivity, nuance and soul

    With diverse collaborations that include George Ezra, Rokia Traore, Sarathy Korwar, Talvin Singh and Shabaka Hutchings, his work is an ongoing exploration of the natural world and music technology. Travellers, with The Banwasi Collective is Singh's latest undertaking; an exciting project from an artist who we've come to expect anything but the ordinary.

    'Travellers' is a collection of 8 tracks recorded and produced by Singh featuring a collective of master musicians and vocalists, most of them from the Manganiyar community of hereditary musicians based in Rajasthan, northeast India. The album embraces multiple genres, faiths and languages and pays homage to the natural environment of Rajasthan. 'Travellers' deeply inhales the landscape, stories, flora and fauna of this rich desert state, and exhales soul-searing songs of travel, love and longing.

    Featuring traditional instruments such as the ancient khartal, morchang, bhapana, dholak kamaicha, harmonium, dhol and dholak, the album focuses on Sufi culture and the significant impact of climate change on that part of the world. 'Travellers' was recorded entirely on location at Anokhi Farm in Jaipur, Rajasthan with additional recordings made in London. It is interwoven with references to the natural environment, making the landscape of Rajasthan the crucial seventh member of the Banwasi Collective.

    All the songs on 'Travellers' are based on different raags, the Indian music system of notes and moods, each evoking different seasons, times of day and references to nature. It is extraordinarily diverse - with references to Sufi poetry, Hindu mythology and Sassi Punnun, one of the four popular tragic romances of the Punjab. Songs are in Hindi, Urdu, Marwari, Sindhi and Saraiki and take the listener on an immersive journey across religions, water and dry arid landscapes, between Bhakti and Sufi, mortal and divine.

    TRACK LISTING

    Runalayo
    Prem Diwani
    Gypsy
    Memories Of You
    Doonghar Dukham Dhey
    Pir Jalani
    Banwasi
    Maru

    Steven Adams & The French Drops

    Virtue Signals

      Anger seldom sounds as enticing as it does on Virtue Signals. Steven Adams’s first with his new group, The French Drops is an album that rails against the iniquities of the world and meshes the personal with the political, without ever smacking the listener around the head. Adams (former songwriter/singer/guitarist with The Broken Family Band and Singing Adams) can’t help but be witty and empathetic even as he rages, and the fury is wrapped inside his characteristically sweet melodies.

      The album’s tone is set from opening track, “Bad Apples”, a song addressing flag-waving, aggressive patriots. The lyrics are alternately playful and oblique, in the spirit of songwriters like John Lennon or Britt Daniel from Spoon. Where Adams aims to remove ambiguity and play with metaphor, as with “Ex Future”, the opacity of his writing means he doesn’t descend into cliche.

      Following a few years of performing and recording solo, Adams says he wanted to put together “a band where everyone was following their noses. I’ve been calling the shots for ages now, and now I can lean on these people, make more noise. It’s fair to say we share a lot of the same thoughts and feelings about the state of the world. But mostly we talk about food.” Laurie Earle (Absentee, Dan Michaelson & The Coastguards, Wet Paint) plays guitar with a loose, intuitive touch; Michael Wood - who had played bass with The Singing Adams - switches to keyboards here, while Daniel Fordham (drums) and David Stewart (bass) from The Drink complete the band.

      Produced by Ben Nicholls (Nadine Shah, Cara Dillon). Mixed by acclaimed producer and engineer (and Hudson Records supremo) Andy Bell. Adams tours the UK through May and the summer.

      For fans of: Field Music, Pavement, Spoon, Grandaddy, Teleman.

      Hannah Read

      Way Out I'll Wander

        Much anticipated second album from Brooklyn-based Scottish singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. Way Out I’ll Wander was produced in New Hampshire and upstate New York by Charlie Van Kirk and features a cast of musicians including Jefferson Hamer (Anais Mitchell), Jeff Picker and Sarah Jarosz.

        The recordings capture Read’s formidable songwriting in intimate arrangements which reflect her background in traditional Scottish and English folk while also calling to mind the ice-cool delivery of Mary Lorson or Nina Nastasia. The songs set characters in a finely-drawn geography of wooded slopes and crisp, clean air - city lights flickering on the horizon - to explore time and place from Hannah’s migrant perspective.

        Hannah spent her youth playing fiddle and singing in the rich traditional music scenes of Edinburgh and on the Isle of Eigg, a remote Island off the west coast of Scotland. With musical training at The City of Edinburgh Music School, The American School of Modern Music in Paris and the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Hannah gathered the musical tools, vocabulary and experience that propelled her into the thriving Brooklyn music scene.

        She has performed throughout the USA, UK, Canada and Europe with her own self-titled project, as well as with the likes of Julie Fowlis and Grammy Awardwinning Sarah Jarosz. In 2017 - as part of the Songs of Separation project alongside Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart - Hannah won a BBC Folk Award for Best Album. “One of the finest singers of our day” - MOJO

        For fans of: Songs of Separation, Nadia Reid, Julie Fowlis, Mary Lorson, Nina Nastasia.

        TRACK LISTING

        Moorland Bare
        Ringleader
        Interlude 
        I’ll Still Sing Your Praises 
        Alexander
        She Took A Gamble 
        Way Out I’ll Wander
        Boots 
        Campsea Ashe

        Lyrics that deal with the contrasts and contradictions of life to romantic melodies as hopeful as they are melancholy, McSweeney’s finely crafted songs have been championed by his peers as well as across national radio and mainstream and specialist press. Since the release of his last album, Cargo, McSweeney has made increasingly big waves on the English folk scene picking up main stage festival appearances and collaborating with the likes of Jon Boden and Fay Hield.

        March 2017 sees the release of McSweeney’s fourth album, A Coat Worth Wearing, the second release for new imprint Hudson Records. Produced by award-winning folk producer Andy Bell and building on the success of its predecessor, A Coat Worth Wearing shows a marked development in Neil’s sound and approach. Its nine songs were conceived as a piece and subsequently recorded together, largely in full-band live-takes, over seven days in the beautiful Welsh countryside. McSweeney has toured extensively throughout the UK as well as in mainland Europe on his own and as support for the likes of Richard Hawley and Bellowhead. He will continue to tour around the release of A Coat Worth Wearing then throughout 2017 and beyond.

        TRACK LISTING

        Old Glory Blues
        Forlorn Hope
        Danse Macabre
        Land Of Cockaigne
        Atlantis
        Strangers Of Maresfield Gardens
        Waving Not Drowning
        Night Watchman
        The Call


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