This is quite a different record for James Blackshaw. One of the masters ofÂ fingerpicking acoustic guitar playing transformed to a singer-songwriter. Almost uplifting little songs withÂ violin, harmony vocals and jazzy drums. This could have been a disaster, but it’s not. The songs are good and his singing is gentle and fits the fingerpicked guitar. It’s not as sad and minimal as the songs of a Nick Talbot, but it still reminds me of the first Gravenhurst records.
The red or white vinyl is only available from Important Records. As soon as I know how limited they are I’ll add it here. The black vinyl will be available at the common places and is limited to 500.
Summoning Suns' is James Blackshaw's tenth studio album and the first recording to feature his voice and lyrics. Drawing inspiration from 60's and 70's singer-songwriters, baroque/orchestral pop and folk music, while still sounding contemporary, 'Summoning Suns' is Blackshaw's foray into more traditional forms of songcraft.
Blackshaw sings in a gentle but assured voice while his words combine his personal experiences, neuroses and fantasy through many layers of abstraction, poeticism and dark humour.
While the deft fingerpicking acoustic guitar style of Blackshaw's previous recordings is still a prominent part of the sound, the songs are lushly and intricately arranged for drums, bass, piano, violin, flute and pedal steel guitar and features contributions from Simon Scott (Slowdive), Annie Nilsson and Japanese musicians Mori Wa Ikiteiru and Kaoru Noda (with whom he duets in Japanese on one song).
3. Failure's Flame
4. Nothing Ever After
5. Summoning Suns
6. Towa No Yume
7. Winter Flies
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive