Hailing from the town of Nottingham, England, I relocated to London in 2014. Gigging consistently solo and with various outfits such as Never Never Man and Frankie Teardrop Dead, I found time to begin working with producer Gavin Bowers (Elêphant, Tsuki) on the record in the fall of 2017. Collaborating with a host of different musicians on the album, I wanted to ensure that each track on my album ’The Town and The City’ was as varied as the settings that inspired the songs themselves.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
The lead single, Scandinavian Pain is reflective of my time spent in Ragnar Kjartansson’s Take Me By The Dishwasher exhibition in 2016, where I along with twenty five other seasoned musicians, played the same composition on a loop over an 8 week period. The track is accompanied by a video in which I play two opposing characters, The Troubadour and The Crooner, signals a massive change in direction from my folk roots.
However, the finger-style guitar and banjo-work that people know me for best are still prevalent on tracks such as Skylarks, Mapperly, and City Of Trees, all referencing my musical upbringing in the city of Nottingham and its surrounding counties. From the album’s opening, it is clear to see the divergence in style from my relocation to London.
When I moved down here, it didn’t feel like I’d moved to just one big city… more like dozens of little villages with their own identity and culture, and that’s why many of the songs took on a particular form and style. Tracks such as New Cross, Miami, and Rocks, mark the L.P’s more uplifting moments, with guest vocals provided by the Parisian-born Chloé Turpin.
An exception to the format lies with the album’s penultimate track, Desolation Angel. With the title of the album inspired by the Jack Kerouac book of the same name, it feels only fitting to have included a song, dedicated to the king of the beats. The album includes a lot of themes about travel, isolation, displacement, and relocation; I thought it would be appropriate to pay tribute to Kerouac. His style of writing was always a huge influence on my early songwriting. For me, his message was clear, that he wanted to document the love, friendship, and hardships you experience from getting yourself out of your comfort zone, whether you mean to or not.