Skylark and the Scorpion – Weather the Storm & Hey Lover.

‘FEATURED ARTIST’ ON GUY GARVEY’S FINEST HOUR (01.09.19)

OUT 4 OCTOBER 2019, VIA SKINNY DOG RECORDS

 DEBUT SINGLE ‘HEY LOVER’ 

ALBUM LAUNCH SHOW – FRIDAY 4 OCTOBER Tickets here

Weather The Storm by Skylark and the Scorpion is both a record of majestic folk beauty and a breathtaking cinematic experience from Skylark aka Petra Jean Phillipson (David Holmes/Martina Topley Bird/Marianne Faithful) and the Scorpion aka Nick J Webb (The Lea Shores/Nadine Shah).

The ambitious musical odyssey tells the tale of two haunted souls on their search for re-connection. It’s a conceptual project formed around the pairing of creator, producer, songwriter Nick and vocalist Petra. The album finds the duo assume the roles of two ill-fated lovers as they traverse through a turbulent story arc told through the album’s captivating song cycle. A real labour of love, the record arrives at the end of a journey almost as epic in reality as it is in its fiction.

To mark the album’s announcement, Skylark and the Scorpion are revealing the first two chapters of a 40-minute short film that accompanies the entire record. The film follows the emotional journey of the two lovers. Viewers will be able to tune into a progressive narrative that will gradually unfurl their destiny with a string of videos, each soundtracked by a song featured on the album with a new instalment set to be unveiled every week leading up to the full release in autumn.

You can watch the videos for ‘Hey Lover‘ – the first track for radio – and the film trailer for ‘Weather The Storm’ below.

Guided by Petra’s inimitable siren song, the lead single (and fittingly the first song Petra and Nick ever recorded together), ’Hey Lover’ flows through layers of languid orchestrations and rippling acoustic arpeggios, with a glorious opening salvo.

Weather the Storm film trailer. Director: Finlay Mackay / Producer and Editor: Nick J. Webb / Director of Photography: Peter Bathurst

Nick and Petra were joined by a talented array of hand-picked musicians and friends. Contributions from ambient music composer Roger Eno (brother of Brian Eno, who added piano and accordion to the mix) and orchestral arranger Nell Catchpole (on violin/viola), with additional contributions from Tim Harries (double bass), Jamie Spencer Smith (guitars), Fontane Liang (harp) and Nick Foot (percussion). Webb, who also plays the cornet, then completed the album by adding brass arrangements, before sending the results to celebrated producer Ben Hillier for mixing the elegant finished article we hear today.

Featured Artist on Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour BBC Radio 6 Music

Weather the Storm album launch show. Friday 4 October at:

St Matthias Church, Wordsworth Rd, London, N168DD. Tickets here


James Holt – Come Out To Play

Artist: James Holt

Title: Come Out To Play

Label: 63 Steps Records

Impact date: 1 March 2019

It’s probably the catchiest chorus I’ve written to date, and it’s become a crowd favourite at gigs,” says singer/songwriter James Holt of his new single ‘Come Out to Play’.

‘Come Out to Play’ bridges the gap between his previous two singles, combining the pad soundscape of ‘Whispers’ with the angular unpredictability of ‘Alone Again’ but with a far more upbeat musical and lyrical theme.

The song draws inspiration from the classic songwriters of the 60/70s and also nods to Crowded House, Aztec Camera and The Smiths. One review commented that it sounded like Johnny Marr had joined the Beatles and the Beach Boys in the studio for a day.

James said, “Lyrically, the song is a journey through the life of a shy, introverted person, and their struggle to socialise – though at its core it’s an uplifting story about overcoming anxieties. There’s never an explicit reason why, but there are hints that they’re hoping for something more. (‘But I just keep holding on, for a day to reminisce on…’).

Each verse is a different stage of his life, represented with references to different seasons, but it’s in the last verse where our character sees himself in his son and tells him not to make the same mistakes he has made.

James provides lead vocals, backing vocals and plays all instruments apart from drums on ‘Come Out To Play’ and has – once again – brought in the production wizardry of Jim Spencer (Johnny Marr, The Charlatans). The release coincides with James’ headline show at Night People, Manchester on Saturday 1 March and then on Saturday 23 March at Academy 2, Manchester (supporting Prose and Manchester Camerata).

Quotes
“Feels fresh and exciting to listen to.” – Brian Eno

“Love James’ voice on that new single. Sounding great”. John Kennedy Radio X

BBC Introducing Manchester have been huge supporters of James. Co-presenter/producer, and Michelle Hussey commented, “It’s beautiful with definite echoes of Cherry Ghost.

Another radio champion, Jim Salveson from XS Manchestersaid, “It sounds very Beatles-esque and – here’s a massive compliment – vocally it sounds very John Lennon.”


“Very talented, very wonderful – absolutely love his voice.”  Natalie BBC Introducing Manchester.

“With an arresting voice that is reminiscent of John Lennon or early Bob Dylan, wily lyrics and an upbeat weave of rock, prog and blues, it’s obvious to see why his remarkable music is turning heads.” Louise Dodgson, The Unsigned Guide.

BRIAN ENO PRAISES JAMES HOLT

NEW SINGLE: ‘Whatever Happened to John?’

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Photo credit: Paul Husband

“Brisk, funny, exciting… this track feels fresh and exciting to listen to.” – Brian Eno

Manchester-born singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, James Holt has just released the impressive video for his new single ‘Whatever Happened to John?’

The 24-year-old – who was diagnosed with a bilateral hearing loss at the age of four – has overcome his disability to release a pulsating and raucous rock’n’roll track. Speaking candidly about the record’s inception, James explained:

“The inspiration came from a Sky Arts TV programme set in an alternate reality in which John Lennon walked out of the Beatles before their fame in the mid-60s. It’s a fusion of thoughts and ideas and also bears references to George Orwell‘s 1984. Some people say that it sounds very Dylan-esque in the verses (especially with the harmonica), but I think the Indian-fused Beatles’ Revolver creeps in the bridge.”

Music legend, Brian Eno – who has long championed James – invited the young luminary to meet him at his John Peel Lecture for BBC Radio 6 Music. The former Roxy Music keyboard player, record producer and revered ambient pioneer also chose James’s song to use as part of an arts festival last year.

James – who graduated with a BA Music 1st class honours and MA in Music Composition (distinction) provides lead vocals, backing vocals and plays all instruments on the track, highlighting his immense talent as a musician and his resilience in the face of adversity.

‘Whatever Happened to John?’ follows several well-received releases from James, including his critically acclaimed second EP ‘Sanguine On the Rocks’, and ‘Butterfly’- a charity single for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, which has raised over £1100. James performed the single at the Royal Albert Hall for the Music for Youth Proms.

James continues to gain exposure, with a number of industry insiders tipping the young troubadour for great things. Watch this space.

Premiere on Louder Than War: http://louderthanwar.com/james-holt-whatever-happened-to-john-single-review-video-premiere/

For more information contact: liam@askmepr.com

LINKS
SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/jamesholtmusic/sets/single-whatever-happened-to
Website: www.jamesholtmusic.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/jamesholtmusic
Facebook artist page: www.facebook.com/jamesholtmusic
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jamesholtmusic
Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2ri6Fwd

QUOTES
“Very talented, very wonderful – absolutely love his voice.” – BBC Introducing Manchester

“Sounds so great on the radio.” – Chris Douridas KCRW

“With an arresting voice that is reminiscent of John Lennon or early Bob Dylan, wily lyrics and an upbeat weave of rock, prog and blues, it’s obvious to see why his remarkable music is turning heads.” – Manchester Evening News