|Alex Highton — Nobody Knows Anything|
Alex Highton — Nobody Knows Anything
♣ “I was out running in the woods one day and happened to be listening to a Woody Allen stand–up track when I heard the line: "I am at two with nature". I started to think about what that actually means, so the song is really based on that", says Alex Highton about his track You've Got the Trees.
Ξ Highton's solo career began in 2008 when he and his family moved from London to Cambridgeshire, to a "little village in the middle of nowhere". It was soon after then that he wrote You've Got the Trees: "I always thought I'd stay in London forever – then reality hit and we couldn't afford it anymore". Rather than a melancholic reflection on his newfound circumstances, Highton's song is upbeat and hopeful. “Now, I don't think I would ever leave the countryside” he says, “it's just great and it's completely changed my life.”
Ξ His first album Woodditton Wives Club earned him immediate acclaim from fans, including a Twitter endorsement from Ashton Kutcher. New album Nobody Knows Anything is due to be released in April 2014 and he'll be “gigging all over the place by then” in the UK and Europe, with dates already set in Holland.
Ξ “The sound is different” he says, “more musically adventurous than the first album”. Highton promises a bigger sound, with confirmed guests including folk songwriter Bonnie Dobson, flutist Laura J Martin, bass player Jonny Bridgewood and a shy neighbour, Nick Williams, to play the saxophone. “I really like playing live and chatting to people” he says, “I think gigs have got to be a special experience for everyone”. :: Flora MacQueen
Thursday 28 November 2013 12.05 GMT :: http://www.theguardian.com/
Location: Liverpool ~ Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Album release: November 24, 2014
Record Label: Gare Du Nord
01 You Don't Own This Life 3:55
02 It Falls Together 3:22
03 Panic 3:39
04 Sunlight Burns Your Skin 3:25
05 She Had This Sister 3:54
06 Kills 3:48
07 The Evil That Men Do 3:52
08 Fear 2:03
09 I Only Asked You to Try 3:50
10 Somebody Must Know Something 3:14
11 Nobody Knows Anything 2:34
12 Mephisto 6:01
13 It´s 5:05
Ξ All songs by Alex Highton
Ξ Strings Arranged by Alex Highton
Ξ Horns Arranged by Alex Highton & Andrew McNew
Ξ Produced by David "Bear" Dobson
Ξ Mixed by Richard Boal
Ξ Mastered by Ian Button
Ξ Featuring Jonny Bridgwood, Robert Rotifer, Bonnie Dobson, Laura J Martin, Nancy Wallace, Howard Monk, Jonners Czerwik, John Howard, Tove Hansen, Claire Hollocks, Brian Ebert, Andrew McNew, Kyle Etges, Peter Lyons, David "Bear" Dobson, Nick "The Dentist" Williams, Patricia Highton, Molly Highton, Rosie Highton & The Stetchworth Kitchen Choir.
Allan Wilkinson, Northern Sky; Score: ****
Ξ Both contemporary and jazz–inflected nuances permeate this second album by Liverpool–born, now Cambridgeshire–based singer/songwriter Alex Highton. With an obsession for both the ‘horseshoe’ moustache and the vintage typewriter, at least according to the sleeve artwork, Alex Highton appears to be almost fearless in his approach, with a dozen or so self–penned songs that pivot between the dramatic and the whimsical, each delivered in a clear Merseyside vernacular.
Ξ With some fine arrangements, the songs are treated variously to a Dixieland jazz feel on the opener You Don’t Own This Life, an off–kilter Randy Newman–esque arrangement on It Falls Together, a finely–tuned duet with Nancy Wallace on Kills and not least the bright and breezy sun–drench excursion of She Had This Sister, which is sure to warm up these dull winter nights.
Ξ His first album Woodditton Wives Club (http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2012/01/alex-highton-woodditton-wives-club/) him immediate acclaim from fans, including a Twitter endorsement from Ashton Kutcher.
“The sound is different” he says, “more musically adventurous than the first album”. Highton promises a bigger sound, with confirmed guests including folk songwriter Bonnie Dobson, flutist Laura J Martin, bass player Jonny Bridgewood and a shy neighbour, Nick Williams, to play the saxophone. :: http://www.northernskymag.com/
Ξ "A scouse with a voice, Alex Highton's distinctive sound is sincere and playful he sings to us like we are all his hunny. BBC6 Music describes him as a "world–class practitioner" and he is just that." — The Guardian
Ξ "..restores your faith in the genre..." — Tom Robinson BBC 6 Music
Ξ "World Class" — The Guardian
Ξ “His second album is just as fine. Easy to listen to and beautifully arranged.” — Heaven Magazine Nov/Dec 2014 Holland)
Ξ "laid–back but infectious songcraft..." — Time Out
Ξ "....an old–fashioned troubadour in the strictest sense. Strumming gentle folk songs on his guitar, his warm and soulful voice conjures up memories of sun–kissed summer nights out on the lawn." — London Metro
Ξ As a kid his time was split between his native Liverpool and Florence, Italy, after his parents' divorce. Liverpool has a musical heritage that is impossible to escape but it was during the summers, whilst devouring his Dad's amazingly eclectic record collection , that his musical education began, taking in everything from Talking Heads & Penguin Cafe Orchestra to The Band & David Ackles.
Ξ He lost his twenties to bad decisions and train–wreck relationships and it was only after meeting his future wife, and then struggling through some kind of nervous breakdown, that he started to take songwriting seriously. They moved out of London into the "wilds" of the Cambridgeshire countryside and got into village life. The songs he wrote (part therapy / part love letter his new life) formed the basis of his debut album, a record "replete with tales of rural S&M, mental, emotional and economic collapse, and ultimately salvation through love and family" (according to his mate Ben).
Ξ The record extensive support from BBC6 Music & BBC Introducing (amongst others) and a US tour followed, taking in New York, Austin (SXSW) and LA, with more dates in Germany, Holland & Belgium, as well as slots at CAMP BESTIVAL, WILDERNESS FESTIVAL, NO DIRECTION HOME, SUMMER SUNDAE, THE BIG SESSION and more.
Ξ Having got the observational stuff off his chest on his debut two years ago (“a masterpiece,” according to Heaven Magazin in Holland, “World class,” said the Guardian), on his follow up album "Nobody Knows Anything" he now turns on himself, ruminating on the meaning of existence, religion, all that stuff and trying to shine it through a prism of a myriad of musical influences.
Ξ He's probably having some kind of existential crisis, that's what I think at least. Ξ Maybe that's why he's writing in the third person."
|Alex Highton — Nobody Knows Anything|