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WONDERFUL SOUND

The River's Edge is a mythical place. A scene of tranquillity or the start point of a journey. Nothing stays the same. Life passes by. The river widens then retreats. The River's Edge doesn't exist...

Nev Cottee is back with fourth solo album... 'After all these years it feels like I finally know what I'm doing. For some reason I had this image of the River's Edge in my head - a promised land where I wanted to be.'
The album oozes with confidence as Nev takes his low barritone vocal into new areas and - dare we say it - even breaks into song!

The dream-like Waitsian lullaby 'Nightingale' opens the record, perfectly setting the scene. Lee Hazlewood inpired doomed love duet 'Roses" follows featuring the mysterious Veronica - a Nicoesque chanteuse Nev discovered singing in the backstreets of Madrid. 'The minute I heard her voice I knew she was perfect. She has an ethereal quality. Not of this world'.

The classic songwriting continues with lush soundscape production once again provided by the great Mason Neely (Wilco/Edwyn Collins). Long time friends contributing their unique skills include legendary guitarist Nick McCabe (The Verve), pedal steel virtuoso Chris Hillman (Ethan Johns/Billy Bragg) & James Walbourne (The Pretenders/The Rails) to name but a few. Cellos and violins combine with vintage synths to create Nev's now familiar sonic landscape. 'To have Nick contributing was a real honour.. The guy is THE guitarist of his generation. Not many musicians have their own unique sound but Nick does.'

Inspired by the late Scott Walker, Neil Young and the aforementioned Waits, River's Edge is a unique sounding record blending beautifuly crafted songs with the cinema scope production values of Spiritualized and Morricone. It's a nod to the mythical Canyons of LA but through a very English lens. ' There is a pastoral quality to the songs on this album 'Local Hero', ' Hello Stranger' 'Scattered Leaves' they're all about the hidden places I love discovering in the English countryside.'

Describing the recording process Nev explains, 'For this album we met up in Manchester for 2 weeks and got it all down. We just went at it workman-like from 9-5 every day. I love the whole process - writing, demoing at home, the studio. It's very gratifying to see an idea come to full fruition.'

'I want to be unlike anything else out there at the moment. I don't see anyone doing what I do. I'm on my own. Good.'

So where is The River's Edge...?! 'The songs are my way of working out what's going on in the world. Finding some sense in all the crazy madness. I hope people can come and join me in this special place and find some repose.' 


STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: Another beautiful record from Nev Cottee with proper classic songwriting and one of the richest voices in pop at the moment. This record features the incredible Nick McCabe of The Verve!

The Hi-Fires

C’est Pour Qu-un Jour / Honest Lies

    Exploding on to WONDERFULSOUND from somewhere between the mid 90’s and the vinyl record diggers vintage soundtrack scene, The Hi-Fires drop their debut collection of musics, spreading their sonic Gris- Gris far beyond their own island life.

    The origins of this project lies deep within the man responsible for pulling The Hi-Fires together, respected vibester & go to drummer Rupert Brown. His drumming career has seen him work amongst such icons as Roy Ayers and his debut production saw him guide and launch the dust bowl soul of Angelina’s Vagabond Saint back in 2017 on WONDERFULSOUND. With The Hi-Fires his take on Hip Hop is obscenely forthright but his productions and arrangements pull each track through the continents of his experiences.

    “The record is set in an exotic world of “ French Kung fu “ in the 1970’s : to create the ultimate soundtrack for a low budget movie shot on location in La Havana Cuba” Rupert informs .


    Monks Road Social Ft Dr Robert & The Stone Foundation

    The Coming Of Grace

      This single has so much Pop appeal it deserves the national recognition it's set to get. Dr Robert's redemptive "The Coming Of Grace' get's the Monks Road Social and Stone Foundation step up to beef everything in to a blue eye'd soul that it always threatened to be. The flip see Samantha Whates drop Vashti Bunyan into King Tubby's but Dr Robert is at the controls. 

      Monks Road Social

      Down The Willows

        Curated by the Blow Monkeys’ Dr Robert, Monks Road Social is an ever-evolving collaborative outfit. Down The Willows is their first album release and a unique and special project of inspiration, friendship and craft.

        Helping Robert get there were some members of the stellar Monks Road Social: Mick Talbot (Style Council, The Who) on harmonium, piano and Hammond; Crispin Taylor (Galliano, Candi Staton, Push) on drums; Ernie McKone (Galliano, Marlene Shaw) on bass; Matt Deighton (Mother Earth, Oasis) on lead guitar; Steve Sidelnyk (Richard Ashcroft, Madonna) percussion and, of course, the exquisite strings of Ben Trigg (Dexys, Richard Ashcroft).

        These talented musicians were joined by some of Monks Road Records' exceptional new talent, including Samantha Whates and Pat Dam Smyth, as well as the acclaimed band Stone Foundation, and other new artists; Angelina, Nev Cottee, Zooey and Shona Carmen, and J.O.S.

        With no genre boundaries and just 10 days in the studio, Dr Robert and his compadres creating a truly unique album. Effortlessly veering between soul, jazz, folk, blues rock, ambient, baroque and more. All held together with a passion and belief in the ethos of Monks Road founder, Richard Clarke, who wanted to create a world where artisans, poets and musicians are celebrated for their craft. Allowing them a place to showcase their talents in an industry that's making it impossible for them to do so, in a world hurtling towards convenience.

        Down The Willows is an exceptional collection of songs, showing how creative artists can be when afforded the opportunity to freely express themselves. It is a testament to Monks Road’s vision, and it is only the beginning…

        Caught somewhere between the rain-drenched streets of Manchester and the sun-beaten deserts of America lies Nev Cottee’s third album Broken Flowers. A deeply cinematic, string-soaked album rich in atmosphere and brooding ambience. Its origins however, began in India, with Cottee trying to leave rainy-city heartbreak behind.

        “I hate the English winter. Really can't stand the grey days. So I shipped out to India in January 2016. I found a place and set up a simple studio to demo out there”. Rising at dawn each day the ideas began to flow and quickly enough 20 new songs began to take shape, “Maybe the new surroundings helped - getting out of my comfort zone, getting away from all the shit one accumulates at home".

        The songs, even in sparse demo form, captured the plaintive tone of Cottee’s vocals slowly unfurling in emotional waves - the gentleness reminiscent of Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce but with the rich warm resonance of Lee Hazelwood. Cottee then took the songs to Wales to work with previous collaborator and producer Mason Neely (Lambchop/Edwyn Collins). Neely brought in some classical musicians, “cut away the flab” and pushed the songs to their extremes - the producer's intuitions and abilities clearly trusted by Cottee, “On the album notes it says 'Mason: Sounds' and that's him in a nutshell. He brings so much to the table and gives the album it's sonic identity - I can't give him a bigger compliment than that.”

        Whilst the finished album hums with quiet beauty - dense swirls of ambience hanging in the air as elevating strings cascade through - there’s also a darkness, “Although I recorded during the day this is a night time record. It’s dark and introspective. I find that juxtaposition hugely creative. The night in India can be quite a foreboding place. Me and a mate would make late night excursions inland - into the heart of darkness. Not quite Apocalypse Now but enough to take you out of any semblance of comfort. We saw some strange things, weird village ceremonies, people biting snakes' heads off... the songs represent a physical and mental journey.” 


        STAFF COMMENTS

        Laura says: Mojo have likened Nev to a bedroom Ry Cooder, and you can see what they mean on this album. The songs have a sparse, atmospheric, desert soundtrack feel, albeit drenched in rainy city melancholy. Lovely stuff.


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