THE LONE BELLOW releases HALF MOON LIGHT today

The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow – Zach Williams, Kanene Donehey Pipkin, Brian Elmquist – have announced the release of their long-awaited new album, ‘Half Moon Light’ (Dualtone Records, an Entertainment One Company), the band’s fourth studio LP and the first one since 2017. Out on 7th February 2020, ‘Half Moon Light’, produced by Aaron Dessner (The National) at his studio in upstate New York and featuring guitarist Josh Kaufman and drummer J.T. Baites, finds The Lone Bellow more vital than ever as the mighty combo push their acoustic storytelling prowess past new horizons, experimenting with textures and instrumentation to create their most sophisticated work to date. With ‘Half Moon Light’, The Lone Bellow have returned unified and invigorated with boundless ambition.

The Lone Bellow Half Moon LightHALF MOON LIGHT is an artistic triumph worked toward for years, earned not by individual posturing, but by collective determination and natural growth. With earthy three-part harmonies and songwriting as provocative as it is honest, the trio made up of guitarist Elmquist, lead vocalist Williams, and multi-instrumentalist Pipkin creates sparks that make a stranger’s life matter or bring our sense of childlike wonder roaring back. On ‘Half Moon Light’, The Lone Bellow mix light and dark to muster a complex ode to memory, a call for hope, and an exercise in empathy.

“I want it to bring comfort,” Elmquist says. “But it’s not all hard conversations. There’s a lot of light and some dancing that needs to happen…We try to invite as many people into the process to see what we can make together. I like that collaborative spirit and that freedom. Then, the songs speak for themselves.”

That wholehearted embrace of collaboration defines ‘Half Moon Light’. The record marks a return to recording in New York with Dessner, whom the band counts as both a hero and a comrade.

“We already had a friendship with Aaron and a strong, shared understanding of our musical vision,” Williams says. “It’s really important to us to be a part of a community of musicians. We like the collaborative, communal way of making something. Aaron showed us a new way of trusting and collaborating. His idea of bringing in Josh and J.T. was such a beautiful gift. The meekness that these friends brought to the table was something that we will never forget. A sense of controlled fury. Lightning in a shoebox.”

“Aaron has a powerful quietness about him,” Pipkin says. “A lot of people I meet in the music industry have lots of bravado, and it’s something I have trouble believing. Aaron doesn’t have that. He is a joy to work with. A true friend.”

For the first time, the band stayed where they recorded, sequestered from the world at Aaron’s studio in upstate New York. They fell asleep at night to the sound of coyotes howling and felt the freedom to fall into rabbit holes that would have otherwise been left unexplored.

“We made this record in a place of joy and collaboration with our friends. We were trying to do something bigger than ourselves,” says Elmquist. “I think we’ve been wanting to make this record for a while now. It just hasn’t come together as perfectly as it did this time.”

Artist’s website: https://www.thelonebellow.com/

The Roundhouse announces its 2020 In The Round season

Roundhouse

Celebrating its fifth year, the Roundhouse presents In The Round, a series of shows devoted to intimate performances set in the venue’s iconic main space, staged in a rarely seen, fully-seated concert set up around an almost circular stage.  Since its inception in 2016, In the Round has become known for its bold and adventurous programming.  An eclectic mix of genre-spanning artists present a series of special shows that include unique one-offs, exclusive premieres, solo sets and storytelling, making it a key fixture of the musical calendar and an exciting start to the year.

Today, the Roundhouse announces its first wave of acts for In The Round 2020 and amongst an array of eclectic performers is Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell

In 2010, Mitchell released the album Hadestown, a folk opera based on the Greek myth of Orpheus. The response was extraordinary.  Five star reviews across the board marked it an unmitigated triumph heralding the arrival of a vital new voice and a formidable songwriting talent. Originally conceived as a community theatre project in rural Vermont, Mitchell continued developing it as a musical. Today, Hadestown is a Broadway hit and winner of eight Tony Awards including Best Musical.  Yet Hadestown is just one release from Mitchell’s six-album catalogue. Each, including the highly acclaimed Young Man in America, and Child Ballads for which she won a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award, draws from the tradition of folk, yet with thoroughly modern execution.  Mitchell comes from the world of narrative folksong, poetry and balladry; her distinctive, fragile voice is beguiling, her melodies seductive and songcraft immaculate, tackling universal themes with emotional intimacy.

Anaïs Mitchell is a compelling live performer most usually seen in the UK, solo or duo.  Her In The Round appearance offers UK audiences a rare chance to see her music that spans the breadth of her catalogue, including some new material, together with a band.

Mitchell also appears in her latest project, Bonny Light Horseman, who will open the show. Dubbed a ‘folk supergroup’ by Rolling Stone Magazine, she appears with multi-instrumentalist Josh Kaufman (The National, Hiss Golden Messenger) and Eric D. Johnson (Fruit Bats).

Doors 7pm / Ticket Prices from £22.50

Full In The Round Listing:

Friday 24 January                              Jorge Drexler
Saturday 25 January                          Badly Drawn Boy
Tuesday 28 January                           KOKOROKO
Thursday 30 January                         Fatoumata Diawara
Friday 31 January                              Anaïs Mitchell
Friday 01 February                            Beverley Knight

More acts to be announced soon

As part of the Roundhouse’s commitment to developing emerging talent, young artists who use the Paul Hamlyn Roundhouse Studios will perform as support acts for each headline artist.

Tickets on sale Friday 27 September: www.roundhouse.org.uk

Anaïs Mitchell – ‘All I’ve Ever Known’ – live:

Craig Finn – new album

Craig Finn - new album

Craig Finn’s new solo album Faith in the Future is out now on Partisan Records and he will be coming to the UK this week to perform a solo acoustic show at London’s Slaughtered Lamb on 15th September as well as a string of in-stores around the country in support of the album release.

Craig Finn has also just shared the video for the first single ‘Maggie, I’ve Been Searching For Our Son’. Directed by Caroline Jaecks and premiered by Rolling Stone, the video is a collection of nearly 300 video clips and photos supplied by close to sixty Craig Finn fans. Finn reached out to the fanbase in July asking the fans for assistance in creating the music video. As he said in the announcement, making videos is never as much fun as it might seem, lip-syching is never enjoyable and coming up with ideas for clips can be a bit daunting.  Finn then sent the lyrics of the song to fans a week before ‘Maggie, I’ve Been Searching For Our Son’ was released to radio and they started sending in videos. Jaecks then crafted a narrative around the clips and re-projected them into different backgrounds.

Josh Kaufman produced the record in the cosy, rustic confines of Woodstock’s The Isokon recording studio and helped Finn stretch the boundaries of his songwriting with confidence, invention and ambition to realise what will be a defining moment in his career.

At times stark and spare, at other times vibrant and dynamic, ‘Faith in the Future’ is Finn’s most compelling collection thus far, each song a powerfully alluring and subtly nuanced composition wedded to his distinctive short story narratives. Much of the material on ‘Faith in the Future’ was written after the passing of Finn’s mother, and while none of the songs directly address that loss, the themes of perseverance and finding redemption can be found throughout the album.

“I had both the music and lyrics to these songs, though they changed a great deal in the studio,” Finn explains. “There’s a grandness to The Hold Steady that tends to make me write about bigger, more dramatic themes. Some of these songs are more mundane, with minor slices of life that wouldn’t best be supported by the hugeness of a rock group. It wasn’t always about what we wanted to put in, but what should we leave out? We didn’t want to sermonise or moralise. Just let these songs, and characters, be.”

Artist’s website: http://steadycraig.tumblr.com/

Watch the video: