wears the trousers magazine

kate walsh’s shady new album
July 14, 2009, 8:44 am
Filed under: news, trouser press, where's the gigs | Tags: , , ,

140709_katewalshSinger to embark on lengthy tour in September

Two years on from her breakthrough second album Tim’s House, Kate Walsh is ready to unleash a “much darker” follow-up on August 31st. Gone are the sunlit photos – here the light comes from a waxing moon, hushed and covered in clouds as it looms above a pitch-black ocean. It’s a literal take on the title, Light & Dark, but an effective one. And besides, it’s not all doom and gloom. ‘Be Mine’, for example, is a sweet little love song, while the lyrically bleak ‘1000 Bees’ has an irresistible pop stomp behind it. 

Returning to a fully independent operation under her own label Blueberry Pie following a brief, tense alliance with major label Mercury Records, Kate has clearly learnt a lot from the experience. Writing in her Myspace blog last month she said of the partnership: “It became became quite apparent that mixing with the big wigs wasn’t necessarily beneficial. It seemed like a very good idea at the time but to lose control of the project like that meant that the sense of achievement and all its soul was lost with it.”

Working once more alongside producer Tim Bidwell, Kate has moved away from the acoustic guitar-led compositions of her earlier work, introducing some warm piano and other keyboard sounds, sometimes used beautifully sparingly. Strings are everywhere too – tasteful orchestrations that allow space for less imposing sounds to come through: a bit of banjo here, some glockenspiel there. It’s all put together so cleverly, and, at times, the songs seem to hinge on nothing but Kate’s endlessly appealing vocals. Even when the subject matter takes a turn for the worse, the voice is a comfort.

The first fruits from the album are on sale already in the form of a limited edition double A-side single featuring the songs ‘Light & Dark’ and ‘Trying’, the latter of which features Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian of Turin Brakes on vocals and slide guitar, respectively. It’s a bit pricey at £4.99 but you can get it here if you’re interested (you’ll also get MP3s/WMA files for computer listening). On the same site, you can buy e-tickets for certain shows in the itinerary for Kate’s month-long, 21-date tour of the UK and Ireland that kicks off in Manchester on September 27th and ends up in Dublin on October 28th, many of which she appears to be promoting herself. Any orders made through the site will receive a free MP3 of non-album track ‘Sitting Pretty’. Not such a bad deal after all.



Light & Dark
01 As He Pleases
02 Trying
03 June Last Year
04 Greatest Love
05 Light & Dark
06 Seafarer
07 Be Mine
08 1000 Bees
09 On The Stage
10 I Cling On For Dear Life
11 Old Man
12 Gather My Strength

iTunes stores will carry the exclusive bonus track ‘On & On’, a cover of one of Kate’s favourite songs by mid-’90s Brit band Longpigs and, according to her Twitter, meets with former frontman Crispin Hunt’s approval.

Kate’s tour will be preceded by a slot at the Electric Picnic festival on September 6th. Here’s the full tour info:

06.09.09 Electric Picnic, Stradbally
27.09.09 The Deaf Institute, Manchester
28.09.09 Cox’s Yard, Stratford-upon-Avon
30.09.09 Thekla, Bristol
02.10.09 Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
03.10.09 Acorn Arts Centre, Penzance 
05.10.09 The Phoenix, Exeter
07.10.09 The Cellars at Eastney, Portsmouth
08.10.09 The Maze, Nottingham
09.10.09 The Plug, Sheffield
11.10.09 The Cluny 2, Newcastle
12.10.09 Glee Club, Birmingham
13.10.09 Telfords Warehouse, Chester
14.10.09 The Tabernacle, London
16.10.09 Oran Mor, Glasgow 
17.10.09 The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
18.10.09 Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
19.10.09 Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 
20.10.09 Arts Centre, Norwich
21.10.09 The Hanbury, Brighton
27.10.09 Auntie Annie’s, Belfast 
28.10.09 The Sugar Club, Dublin 

Alan Pedder


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