|Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire||Swithering (November 25th, 2016)|
Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire — Swithering (Nov. 25th, 2016)
*** If the Scots slang — which gives Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire’s “Swithering” its name — suggests any sort of indecisiveness at play, then it’s one that the band whole–heartedly embraced to help push the boundaries of what it felt capable of creating. From the very beginning, this was a group of players eager to change how they approached making a record.
*** Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, the band (Scott Clark, Roddy Hart, Andy Lucas, Scott Mackay, John Martin, Geoff Martyn, and Gordon Turner) formed naturally over a number of years as Hart’s own evolution as an artist and songwriter progressed. Prior to collaborating with The Lonesome Fire, Roddy released his first studio album ‘Bookmarks’ in 2007 on Vertical Records. It featured guest performances from the legendary Kris Kristofferson and Eddi Reader. In total he released three solo records; Bookmarks, Sign Language and Road Of Bones, plus one EP (The Dylan EP). [be continued...]
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Album release: November 25th, 2016
Record Label: Middle Of Nowhere
Genre: Indie Rock
01. Tiny Miracles 4:02
02. Berlin 4:33
03. Low Light 3:48
04. No Monsters 4:22
05. Violet 3:52
06. Dreamt You Were Mine 4:01
07. Faint Echo of Loneliness 3:52
08. In the Arms of California 3:56
09. I Thought I Could Change Your Mind 3:37
10. Strange Addictions 3:36
11. Sliding 4:49
12. We’re the Immortals 4:49
• Roddy Hart — vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano
• Scott Clark — bass
• Scott Mackay — drums
• John Martin — electric guitar, vocals
• Geoff Martyn — piano, hammond organ, wurlitzer, vocals
• Andy Lucas — piano, keys, vocals
• Gordon Turner — electric guitar, vocals
• It was in 2013 Roddy recorded his first album with “Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire”, which was critically hailed for its distinctively dark and atmospheric sound and led to a nomination on the fiercely contested long list for the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award.
• Notably, the record also caught the attention of prime time US TV host Craig Ferguson who invited the band to perform on The Late Late Show for CBS that same year, leading to a 5~night residency that played out to a combined audience of over 12 million viewers.
• A Scottish Variety Award for International Breakthrough Artist of The Year followed, as did a nomination for Best Band at the Spirit of Scotland Awards, and performances at the opening party for the Commonwealth Games and a celebrated show with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra only served to bolster their reputation as a formidable live band; cemented by the huge popularity of their self~curated and much loved “Roaming Roots Revue” for Celtic Connections each year. And yet the challenge was what to do next?
• Whilst 2015 saw a performance at SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas, most of the year was given over to writing and recording what would become “Swithering”. There was no rush: only the intention of deepening the musical bond forged between them.
• “I started bringing songs in that were at various stages of their life, and just seeing where we could take them”, Hart explains. “It was uncharted territory for us: in equal parts daunting, tense, exhilarating and rewarding”.
• A more collaborative energy developed, with work studiously taking place in the confines of their rehearsal room in Film City, Govan over a number of months. Admired Scottish producer Paul Savage (Mogwai, Emma Pollock, Admiral Fallow) was then asked to come on board to co~produce and help them realise their vision. “He was key to adding a sense of perspective ~ and calm ~ to it all, allowing the madness of this new working relationship forming between us to unfold in the most creative way possible”. Hart is convinced the ends justified the means: “We are stronger as a band for it, and we’ve made the best record I’ve ever been involved in”.
• The result is an album as musically diverse and eclectic as it is seeking and inventive. From the gnarly Wilco~esque guitar solo ripping through the middle of “Dreamt You Were Mine”, to the Talking Heads~inspired eccentricity of “Low Light” and the shades of War on Drugs, The National, and Midlake found on songs like “Sliding”, “We’re The Immortals” and “Tiny Miracles”.
• It’s clear that this is a record full of unexpected twists and turns. And yet, for all the influences on show, there is no doubt that this is a crafted sound that is entirely their own. Importantly, a real Scottish sensibility is at play too; Hart continuing and developing the neat lyrical colloquialisms established on the first album and running with them to great effect.
• “Paul was instrumental in encouraging me to write and sing in a way that was true to myself,” says Hart, “and that in turn gave the band the courage to mark its own territory with a distinct Scottish identity”. ::: http://www.greengabpr.com/
°•° A band from Glasgow, Scotland, RHLF released its eponymous album in late 2013 on boutique Scottish label Middle of Nowhere Records. Helmed by acclaimed producer Danton Supple (Patti Smith, Morrissey), the record was hailed as distinctive, dark and atmospheric and led to a nomination on the fiercely contested long list for the Scottish Album of the Year award in 2014. After their return from South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, 2015 saw the band hunkered down in their studio in Glasgow writing a new record together. Admired Scottish producer Paul Savage (Mogwai, Emma Pollock, Admiral Fallow) was then brought on board to co~produce and realise their vision for the album. Within days of promo copies of the album being sent out, BBC R2s Bob Harris show asked to play Violet the first single “Swithering” is due for release on Middle of Nowhere Recordings.
Paula Cooke, Posted on November 25, 2016 / Score: 8/10
°•° “Swithering” is an unusual title for and comes from a Scottish word meaning to be uncertain about things, which, according to Glasgow based Hart, summed up the album process for him. It was a different way of working as a songwriter whereby he would bring in ideas, lyrics and melodies and then collaborate with the band to form and shape the final product. Hence the album title. It is an eclectic collection of songs and melodies, reflecting their new, experimental approach to song creation.
°•° There are anthemic songs, classic tunes and some experimental pieces. Touches of Springsteen and Talking Heads permeate this second album. Their debut album caused such a stir that it was nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year award and came to the attention of U.S. TV host Craig Ferguson who re~tweeted the video of their single “Bright Light Fever” and they were subsequently invited to debut on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and returned a week later for a week long residency, such was the reaction of the audience.
°•° This new album includes themes of love, and birth and many other themes in between. A compelling collection of songs, suited live to a big stage. Undeniably radiating a Scottish identity, the first single to be lifted from the new album will be “Violet” which is available at the end of November. It’s a song written for the missing ~ people who just disappear from our lives and questions whether we truly knew them.
°•° Well crafted, memorable and promising much, “Swithering” satisfies on many levels.
°•° Summary: Anthemic yet intimate °•° http://americana-uk.com/
By Gordon Johnston, Saturday 16th of Nov 2013
• Bookmarks (2007, Vertical Records/Compass Records)
• Sign Language (2009, Vertical Records)
• Road of Bones (Vinyl — 2010, Odd Art; other formats — 2011, Vertical Records)
• The Dylan EP (2011, Vertical Records)
• Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire (2013, Middle of Nowhere Recordings)
• Swithering (November 25th, 2016, Middle of Nowhere Recordings)
|Roddy Hart & The Lonesome Fire||Swithering (November 25th, 2016)|