Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Snowbird In The Gardens Of The North - New Music 2009 - Part 11

This is the continuation of the topic that I mentioned in Music I Want - Part 10 - Infinite Light a week ago (yes, I have it now, it is that good but for a later post).
As I also mentioned then that August is supposed to be a quiet time for album releases; all I can say about that is I hate to imagine what the Autumn-Spring 2009/2010 might bring (aside from the inevitable crop of "festive releases").

No great revelation is this one, given that I'd already mentioned that Bella Union releases would be a theme even before I had a little strop last Friday concerning, amonst other things, the importance of independent labels...

I almost deleted that post yesterday but changed my mind in the end. I'm glad now that I let it be - it was written when it was written: I have never actually deleted a published post in its entirety which, given the blog title, makes sense to me as yesterday's thoughts might not be the same as today's thoughts.
More importantly perhaps, even at my age, occasionally throwing ones toys out of the pram is still - at the very least metaphorically - cathartic and as any child knows it is so much more satisfying to do it when there is an audience, be it a real or imaginary one.
This item is one well publicised and it is on pre-order from an independent retailer. It is the first full-length album from Sleeping States, released in the UK on 17 August by Bella Union, which is fronted by historically peripatetic, but currently Bristol-based, Markland Starkie who is yet another arist I must catch live as soon as possible.
Talking of artists signed to Bella Union in the UK here are two more that I want to see live - Fleet Foxes and The Low Anthem - and that is as near a certainty as is ever possible as they are both playing at 'End Of The Road 2009' and I'm going to that.

When I went to Latitude 2007 however, my first festival in decades, one of the artists who made an immediate impression on the Sunset Stage was then a rather little known singer-songwriter from rural Wisconsin, Stephanie Dosen, who had recently been signed by a label (guess which) that had then just released her second album. I still listen to 'A Lily For The Spectre' on rotation, which says a great deal. It does not, however, demonstrate just what an amazingly good live artist she is.

Why I didn't use this picture two years ago is now an utter mystery to me and I despair!
[Click to enlarge]

Be that as it may she is currently recording her third solo album, again for Bella Union, which should be released in the spring of 2010. The reason it has taken so long is that she's actually recording two albums at the same time - Snowbird is a collaboration between herself and, Bella Union co-founder and ex-Cocteau Twin,
Simon Raymonde (in partnership with Robin Guthrie, also of Cocteau Twins). Snowbird have played a few support gigs in the UK since the spring of this year and I haven't caught one of these yet but the potential is obvious.

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