Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker Announce New LP
British duo Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker will release their debut album for Rough Trade, 'Overnight,' on October 14th, 2016. They'll also be playing their first run of North American tour dates in September, starting in Boston on Sept 7, and continuing with two NYC shows, as well as Philly, Chicago, Minneapolis, Bloomington Indiana's Lotus Festival, and more.
Produced by Clarke and Walker, 'Overnight' follows up their Rough Trade debut, the 'Through The Clouds' EP, released earlier this year and praised by Stereogum as "magnificent."
'Overnight' is their most ambitious record to date, focusing on Clarke's magnificent voice and lyrics, and Walker's prodigious guitar-playing and arranging; the album features panoramic orchestration by an eclectic core of acclaimed musicians, including strings, horns, piano, double bass, and drums. The twelve songs - ten originals and two covers - recorded almost entirely live at renowned Rockfield Studios in Wales - serve as a snapshot of the endless cycle of night into day and back again, morning light, into dusk, into black midnight, into greying dawn, and on, and on
The album's lilting first single, "The Waning Crescent," is almost an answer in ballad form to the portrayal of the moon in traditional and popular music as a soothing, confessional, companion (i.e. "Blue Moon"). Coming at the darkest and stillest point in the album, the song - like the moon - brings a reassuring lightness.
Clarke explains, "I started to think about if I was the moon, what I might think and feel, and what the moon might sing back," adding, "I've given it a slightly whiny, self-pitying quality because it's whimsical and a bit funny." Listen here: https://youtu.be/MFHrSOaHICI.
One of the poppier songs on the album, the sound of "The Waning Crescent" is meant to fit the song's subject matter. "We've done vignettes before where we've taken on a musical genre because that's what fits the concept of the song. On this one, we've used the '50s and '60s space-race era pop sound to deliberately compound the moon theme," says Josienne.
Other 'Overnight' highlights include the stunning country/soul ballad "Something Familiar" and their marvelous take on Gillian Welch's "Dark Turn Of Mind," the eerie folk of "Dawn Of The Dark" and "The Light Of His Lamp," and the traditional-leaning "Sweet The Sorrow" and "Weep You No More Sad Fountains," the latter a traditional English ballad set to song.
Though Clarke & Walker's previous work is very much steeped in the the folk tradition - the two in fact won the BBC Folk Award for Best Duo in 2015 - 'Overnight' draws just as much inspiration from more-straightforward 1970s AM radio rock like Fleetwood Mac or Neil Young as they do from folk-rockers like Fairport Convention or Joni Mitchell.
09/07 Boston MA @ Club Passim
09/08 New York NY @ Rockwood Hall - Stage 3
09/09 New York NY @ Rockwood Hall - Stage 3
09/10 Philadelphia PA @ Tin Angel
09/13 Toronto ON @ The Dakota
09/16 Bloomington IN @ Lotus World Music & ArtsFestival
09/17 Chicago IL @ Hungry Brain
09/18 Milwaukee WI @ Colectivo Back Room
09/19 Minneapolis MN @ Turf Club
'Overnight' Track List:
01. Nine Times Along
02. Something Familiar
03. Sweet The Sorrow
04. Dawn Of The Dark
05. Dark Turn Of Mind (Gillian Welch cover)
06. Weep You No More Sad Fountains (traditional English ballad)
07. The Light Of His Lamp
09. Milk and Honey
10. The Waning Crescent
12. Light Of Day