Following a successful fan-funded project on Pledge, Canada-based, Swedish-born singer-songwriter Sarah MacDougall will release her third album Grand Canyon on Rabbit Heart Records in the UK on the 14th of August, the album follows the award winning 2011 release The Greatest Ones Alive (featured here on Beat Surrender).
Since the release of The Greatest Ones Alive in 2011, Sarah has toured Canada and Europe extensively and will be back in the UK in November to tour her album that has being worked upon in the stolen time between touring and was recorded at the end of 2014 under the Northern Lights in Whitehorse, Yukon.
“The themes on the record are inspired by my own experiences, by people around me and the landscapes I am surrounded by. I worked part time in a residential home for youth at risk and their stories permeate this record as well. I get inspired by how much it takes to live an inspired life despite all the chaos and struggles around us. Sometimes it takes realising how small we all are to feel like you are big. Living around mountains and under dark starry skies can really put things in perspective. You realise what’s worth focusing on in this short life. We’re gonna be gone tomorrow. That is kind of what this album is about. And it’s also about dancing,despite of everything.”
In a departure from her previous albums the material widens the musical vista stepping sideways from the Americana influences with arrangements that combine Sarah’s distinct vocal and acoustic guitar playing with ‘heavier’ drums, strings, keyboards and synthesisers, it all works wonderfully well and should particularly appeal to fans of Beat Surrender favourites Paper Aeroplanes.
Last year on Beat Surrender we featured a single from Brighton singer-songwriter Kate Gerrard a.k.a Delta Bell, well Bow Out of the Fading Light has being a little while coming – but definitely worth the wait and Kate’s debut album is all set for release on July 27th on At The Helm Records (Proper Distribution).
The 11-track offering delivers an original collection of thoughtful folk-pop, that combines pedal steel and harmonium imbued tunes, flecked with alt-country, gospel, classic 60s girl group stylings and all underpinned by Kate’s distinct mellifluous vocal; there’s a nod to genius songwriting of the late great Townes van Zandt too and though the album is influenced by elements of Americana it’s very much an British original that’s absorbs and deftly reworks the influences rather than making a reproduction.
First taster of the forthcoming EP from The Cadbury Sisters, the bands second EP is entitled Sarah and is out on the 15th of June via Fear of Fiction Records.
At the end of May the three sisters head out on a 17 date UK headline tour including special shows at London St Pancras Old Church on June 10th and an EP launch at The Lantern, in their hometown of Bristol, on June 17th. Following that the band has a busy summer of festivals ahead, including their debut performances at Glastonbury. You can catch The Cadbury Sisters live at the following dates as they tour the UK:
Overjoyed this weekend to receive my copy of the latest album from Paper Aeroplanes (the story so far) and on my favourite vinyl format and better still I was lucky enough to win a white label test pressing of the album via Twitter, not that I will need an excuse to play the album over and over as I was fortunate to have received a promo copy of the digital release and the recording had already cemented a place of my current playlist rota.
The album was recorded in Cardiff during 2014 and mastered for vinyl by Ray Staff at Air Studios before pressing on 180g virgin vinyl for release on the wonderful Diverse, this is the first Paper Aeroplanes album to be released on vinyl and is available from the band via Bandcamp or from Diverse online and in-store.
To the music, well the title offers an obvious pointer to the albums upbeat leanings and the songs are in the main glass half full, but the road to happiness is rarely that straight forward and there are of course moments of doubt as Sarah explains.
“I’d basically had enough of feeling a bit sad, frustrated and dissatisfied, says singer Sarah, and wanted to change all of that. During the process of trying to learn that elusive skill of being happy, these songs emerged. This album is about the light that is revealed after a period of darkness. It’s about love that lasts and the blue that is always behind the clouds, the calm that is underneath the panic in your stomach.”
For me the album encapsulates the best elements of Paper Aeroplanes previous releases and hints at Sarah & Richard’s previous recordings with Halflight as well as capturing elements of contemporary artists in the vein of Feist as envisaged on the albums title track, the folk, pop and electronic elements that dominate the albums construction deflect and play of one another through the clever production, it may sound an obvious thing to say but sometimes albums with great songs are not great albums when the concept and music play-out as singular entities, Joy though is very much an album, the sum of it’s parts and a pleasure to listen to over and over – highly recommended.
UK & Euro Album tour Dates:
PARIS Bootleg Bar 09.04.15
BASEL Cafebar Salon 10.04.15
OLTEN Next Stop 11.04.15
FRANKFURT sankt peter Cafe 14.04.15
MANNHEIM Capitol Casino 16.04.15
MUNCHEN Milla 17.04.15
ESSEN Cafe Nova 18.04.15
KO LN Studio 672 19.04.15
HANNOVER Lux 21.04.15
HAMBURG Prinzenbar 22.04.15
GREIFSWALD Brasserie Hermann 23.04.15
LEIPZIG Moritzbastei 24.04.15
BERLIN Crystal 25.04.15
NORWICH Arts Centre 05.05.15
NOTTINGHAM Contemporary 06.05.15
NEWCASTLE Thinktank 07.05.15
EDINBURGH Caves 08.05.15
GLASGOW Glad Cafe 09.05.15
YORK Fibbers 10.05.15
MANCHESTER Kraak Gallery 11.05.15
BRISTOL The Fleece 12.05.15
BIRMINGHAM Rainbow 13.05.15
HEBDEN BRIDGE Trades Club 14.05.15
CARDIFF Clwb Ifor Bach 16.05.15
SHEFFIELD Greystones 18.05.15
CAMBRIDGE Portland Arms 19.05.15
LONDON Oslo 20.05.15