Anian, the third album from 9Bach is available to buy on CD and download today. The LP is available to pre-order, out 27 May.
This soulful, brooding record consists of songs that take a critical look at the world we live in. Find out more about the meaning of Anian and the story behind each track here.
The double CD package contains a companion disc titled Yn dy lais / In Your Voice. The piece features writers, actors, poets and musicians (including Peter Gabriel, Maxine Peake and Rhys Ifans) offering their own interpretations of the tracks, as a way of conveying the meaning to a non-Welsh speaking audience.
The release also coincides with the start of 9Bach's UK tour, which begins tonight (29th April) in Southampton. View all of the live dates here.
Spiro have announced six tour dates across the UK, starting in London this week.
The dates and venues are as follows:
28 April - Kings Place, London
8 May - Acapela, Cardiff
14 May - Philharmonic Hall Music Room, Liverpool
4 June - How The Lights Gets In Festival, Hay-on-Wye
6 August - Marston St. Lawrence Church, Northampton
26 September - Cambridge Junction, Cambridge
Spiro's track The Vapourer, taken from the new album Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow, was nominated for Best Original Track at the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Real World Records was devastated to hear of the untimely death of Papa Wemba.
He was one of the greatest vocalists we have worked with - not just from Africa but the world. It was an honour to have been involved in his illustrious career.
The release of 'Emotion' was a real turning point for Papa Wemba and one of his most important albums. As an artist he was quiet and enigmatic but ready to embrace change; challenge the foundations of his music and seek new territories and new audiences.
Working with producer Stephen Hague and Lokua Kanza alongside Papa Wemba's fantastic band at Real World Studios was one of the most exciting sessions in the label's history. On many occasions Papa Wemba was a headline star at WOMAD Festivals internationally. He is a great loss to the music world but will always be part of the DNA of Real World Records.
"I had the great pleasure of working with Papa on his 'Emotion' album in 1995. I only knew of him as a singer when we started the project, but through a number of sessions at Real World, and studios in London and Paris, I got to know him as a man, and experience first hand his integrity, grace and humour. Always kind to those around him, but with just enough edge to remind you why he was the Papa, he was a true gentleman and a consummate musician. And man, could he sing!
He died on-stage… an artist to the last breath. Bonne soirée Monsieur Wemba… good luck at your next stop."
- Stephen Hague, producer of Emotion
"I'm saddened to hear the news of Papa Wemba's passing and my heart goes out to his family and friends. He is a giant of African music and I'm honoured and blessed to have worked with him on the album 'Molokai' and have nothing other than happy memories of our time together in the studio. He had a truly unique voice and always inspired great things from his musicians and the people around him. His music will be there forever and give joy to all people."
- John Leckie, producer of Molokai
This month's Society of Sound release from Bowers & Wilkins is from a new star, Hollie Stephenson.
Hollie was discovered by legendary artist and producer Dave Stewart, after he was tweeted a clip of her performing her first song, Stone Tears.
"She was 12 or 13 by then, and I know how tough it is to get up and sing your own song in front of people," explains Dave. "The fact was that the song wasn't a cover or a throwaway thing - Stone Tears was a very moving song that she'd written. It was obviously heartfelt. So there was something about her standing up there straight, having learnt the guitar in a month or something, and saying: 'I'm gonna play this song.' There was just something very interesting about that."
After keeping in touch for a few years, Dave invited Hollie to record at his studio in LA in early 2015. Hollie then returned to LA, after leaving school, in late 2015, to finish her debut album, co-write the song, Sunday Morning and shoot a video for the tearjerker track, Broken Heart Strings.
A brand new track from composer, producer, violist, guitarist and arranger John Metcalfe is the centre-piece of the Wrapped EP, available to pre-order digitally now. The four track Wrapped EP features the soulful voice of Rosie Doonan (Birdy, Peter Gabriel) on the title track and is released on 6 May.
Although largely known for his instrumental compositions, when Metcalfe met Rosie on a Peter Gabriel tour, he was unable to resist writing some material for her.
"I clearly remember the first time I heard Rosie sing," explains John. "I was with some fairly hardened touring musicians who aren't easily impressed and we went round the front to listen to Rosie sing a couple of songs before the main Gabriel show. We were all transfixed. I usually write instrumental music but this seemed like the time to change that and it seemed crazy not to collaborate with her."
The news follows the announcement of John Metcalfe's tour dates in May, where tracks from the album The Appearance of Colour, as well as Wrapped, will be performed.
Real World Records is delighted to announce a brand new artist signing, The Breath.
The Breath is Stuart McCallum (former guitarist of The Cinematic Orchestra), Irish singer Rioghnach Connolly and McCallum's fellow Cinematic alumni, pianist John Ellis and drummer Luke Flowers.
It was a wonderful revelation to discover Stuart as a solo performer when he supported Portico Quartet some time ago at the South Bank's Purcell Rooms. Keeping in touch over the years we finally had the opportunity to work together.
By this point Stuart and Rioghnach had forged their musical bond as writers and performers and we invited them to Real World Studios to work on music for a B&W Society of Sound release. It was a joy to have them installed in our recording space.
As we grew to love the new material as it was unfolding in the studio, it became clear that this was an album we were excited to release on Real World Records. At Peter Gabriel's suggestion, the exceptional Tchad Blake came on board to mix the album and together The Breath was created.
The Breath's debut album Carry Your Kin will be released in June 2016.
The new album sees Joseph single handedly taking on vocals, drums, drum programming, pianos, guitars and synths on a collection of songs based around the idea of family; the way family dynamics shape us and make us who we are.
Also announced alongside the new album are Joseph's 2016 European tour dates, where songs from The Family will be performed for the first time.
The Family was written at a Steinway Vertegrande piano from 1912, which strongly influenced many of the songs. The instrument, so full of character and history, and owned by just one family until it ended up in Joseph's industrial studio space in Red Hook, Brooklyn, was a potent source of inspiration.
The album was mixed by Tchad Blake, whose previous collaborations with Joseph include the well-loved songs Honey and the Moon and In the Sun.
"Nothing in this album comes from judgment." says Joseph. "These are stories being told from different voices and mysterious times, which hopefully resonate with all the families everywhere."
With Your Life
They Called Him Lightning
When I Look at You
Machines of War
Ethel Was Born
You Wear Me Out
Hold On Jerry
You Keep Hanging On
Daddy, The War Machine
Llyn Du is the second track from the forthcoming 9Bach album Anian to be made available to download in advance of the album's release on 29 April.
Receive the track instantly if you pre-order the album. Also available as a one track download.
Lisa Jen from 9Bach gives some insight into the song Llyn Du:
Imagine Cwm Idwal lake or Ogwen lake on a moonlit night. You might come across this deranged and damaged queen under the black shimmering ice cold water:
"I am the queen of the black lake, take me, lead me.
I am eternally impregnated and rejected, by the Beautiful one.
The wind embrace my thighs and the mist caress my breasts
My mind... my mind is... distorted... I am trapped... you trapped me
here... is this The Voice? Yes this is the voice... I hear you...
I embed my 'hiraeth' in your neck... you... you who left me here..."
It's based on the book 'One Moonlit Night' by Caradog Prichard… a novel that had a great affect on me when I was young and still remains my favourite ever Welsh novel.
A video for Llyn Du featuring Lisa filmed in the ice sculpted Cwm Idwal surrounded by some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in Eryri (Snowdonia) coming very soon.
Joseph Arthur announces a one-off gig at The Borderline in London on Sunday 17 April 2016 in advance of his next solo album, The Family, coming later this summer.
The show is Joseph's first in the UK for over two years and The Family will be his first album for Real World Records since 2013's The Ballad of Boogie Christ, the album which saw him return to the label after an absence of some ten years.
Joseph is a renowned singer, songwriter, poet, and artist from Akron, Ohio, known for his solo material, and as a member of RNDM and Fistful of Mercy. His 20+ albums range from solo records to collaborations with a who's who of rock'n'roll, including Lou Reed, Dhani Harrison and Ben Harper of Fistful of Mercy, Peter Gabriel, T-Bone Burnett, and RNDM with Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament.
It's great to have him back.