Saturday, 23 February 2013

Richard Hawley Singles Club

Don't Stare At The Sun - the final instalment of the Richard Hawley Singles Club - has just arrived in the post. So, this is what the full set looks like.
Decking by James Mann http://jamesmanngardensolutions.blogspot.co.uk/

The four singles from the Standing At The Sky's Edge album were all released on 10" vinyl, each with exclusive b sides.
     Leave Your Body Behind You / You Haunt Me
     Down In The Woods / Kindly Rain
     Seek It / Big Sister
     Don't Stare At The Sun / Run For You (Version Two)

The collector's box, designed to hold all four singles, is according to the website "a deluxe black, side-opening, rigid board box wrapped in wibalin buckram paper, with copper foil blocking". Which is exactly what I needed.

Oh, and if you like the decking and don't mind talking about Captain Beefheart, The Stooges and Funkadelic whilst it is being fitted, then ask James Mann to do it for you.

Reight good.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Push The Sky Away

Kicking off with lead single, the subdued but beautiful We No Who U R, the album makes it clear that this is going to be a long way away from Dig Lazarus Dig and all that Grinderman business. It's closest relative is 2001's lush No More Shall We Part.

What struck me was that there really isn't very much guitar on this album at all - not like previous Nick Cave albums - and, when the guitar does appear, it's often muted and found politely playing in the background, allowing the violin/viola and Rhodes to take centre stage. Oh, and the vocals too - this album is big on vocals, with Mr Cave's voice taking on an incredibly soothing tone (he's definitely given his rock voice the album off) and a whole load of lovely backing vocals.

Highlights for me so far (hey - I'm typing this as I'm listening to the album for the first time, so this may change) are Jubilee Steet (LOVE the chorus of backing vocals towards the end), Wide Lovely Eyes (with it's wide lovely Rhodes piano) and the rousing Higgs Boson Blues. But, seriously, it all sounds fantastic.

The album also features the welcome return of former Bad Seed Barry Adamson, who plays bass on Jubilee Street and the closing title track.

The two bonus tracks, Needle Boy and Lightning Bolt - available with a variety of exclusive or limited versions of the album (mine was a 7" that comes free with the vinyl LP from independent record shops) - offer something more unsettling but, great as they are, it's clear that they'd never have fit in with the rest of the album.

"Some people say that it is just rock'n'roll, oh but it gets right down to your soul" Nick sings on the title track. And getting down to your soul is exactly what this album does.