This is happening on 6Music, Sunday 29 November 14:00. https://t.co/5W3ZvJHvKO
After setting the bar higher than any of his contemporaries with his first two solo albums, 'Queen Of Denmark' and 'Pale Green Ghosts', former Czars man John Grant returns with his third solo album proper. Having garnered more critical acclaim than most musicians dream of in a lifetime, the weight of expectation on John Grant's latest release 'Grey Tickles, Black Pressure' was not unsubstantial. Thankfully, his move to Iceland, bleak barely lit winter days, a foray into Eurovision composition and a seemingly more confident demeanour have not diminished his ability to craft and convey a song.
The twelve songs on 'GT, BP' are bookended by a reading from Corinthians about love; serving as a very apt binder for the whole album. The onset of middle age (Grey Tickles) and nightmares (Black Pressure) that such a passage in one's life bring with it may have been the premise for John's latest work. However, it is once again his tenderness, understanding, humour, bloody minded frankness and above all, honesty that set his songs apart and generally above other formidable singer-songwriters. "I can't believe I missed New York during the 70's, I could have gotten a head start in the world of disease. I'm sure that I would have contracted every single solitary thing. There are children who have cancer so all bets are off, 'cause I can't compete with that", Grant sings on the superb title track.
John's latest album is once again littered with film, actor and singer references from Scanners to Ordinary People, Charlene Tilton to Geraldine Paige and Joan Biaz to Joan As Policewoman. All are encapsulated in terrific lyrics that are both cleverly observed and even more cleverly incorporated. John's lyrics have always been full of blackly comic moments and 'Grey Tickles' has more than it's fair share of sharp, biting, incendiary content and wit to blow you away. "You and Hitler ought to get together, you ought to learn to knit and wear matching sweaters, you ought to learn the finer points of decoupage, you ought to spend your weekends clearing out the garage" ('You & Him').
Continue reading: John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure Album Review
Albums of Note... It’s been a long two years since James Blake released his debut eponymous album and now, the pioneering producer returns with Overgrown, album number two. Peppered with quality collaborations, with hip-hop legend RZA and electronic music’s figurehead Brian Eno, Overgrown is the sound of an artist still trying to find his niche, but releasing high quality, accomplished tracks, whilst he’s on his journey. “Blake really is a talent to behold, as his ingenious moulding together of poles apart genres and production wizardry clearly shows… when you're already as accomplished at all manner of musical exercises as he is then it will obviously be hard to focus all this talent and all this energy into one place.”
Splitting opinion like musical Marmite, John Grant returns with Pale Green Ghosts. This album may sound unrecognisable as Grant, to anyone already familiar with his work. He’s hooked up with Gus Gus’ Biggi Viera and has decamped to Reykjavik. As a result, a new reliance on vintage-sounding synthesisers and a nod to club-land has John Grant sounding like an altogether different proposition to the John Grant of days gone by.“Grant's dyspeptic edge may be blunted, but when called upon the man can make a fine ass post-modern disco song, like we ever doubted that he could, and Blackbelt is a tweaked remix away from the transient world of A Lists, charts and chat shows. Cleverly poignant, its way with knock out disses would give Jake Shears something to think about if it proved to be a permanent change of direction…”
John Grant's last album Queen of Denmark represented an echo of a phenomenon rarely seen these days; a slow burning, word-of-mouth success that eventually piled up mentions in the 2010's release of the year polls despite the singer's obvious estrangement from the music industry's hype circus. What made its power and worthy recognition all the more heart-warming was that seldom had a record so filled with misplaced self-loathing wanted to be loved so much, it's the songs' visceral subject matter - inspired largely by growing up gay in hyper conservative Colorado - matched only by their gorgeously beige musical counter punches, a quilted subtlety courtesy of the singer's friends Midlake.
Finally then, everything it seemed was working out fine for the first time in Grant's hitherto emotional war zone of an adult life, until shortly after he was diagnosed with HIV, a fact that with typically mind blowing candour he announced on stage to a bewildered audience in 2011 at London's Meltdown festival. Now finding his life once more sent into a tailspin, it might have seemed in his darker moments that the vengeful god on Queen of Denmark's JC Hates Faggots was indeed having the last laugh after all.
If all of this has scared the crap out of you but you're still here, fear not. Recorded in his newly adopted home of Reykjavik with Gus Gus supremo Biggi Veira producing, Pale Green Ghosts is less knowingly confrontational that Grant's first album, as if the prejudiced demons he sought out on it have now been consigned to just memories. Musically it's a major departure as well, ditching the seventies FM saccharine tones and replacing them instead with retro synthesisers and the chillier ennui of late 20th century European clubbing.
Continue reading: John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts Album Review
Ex The Czars frontman/songwriter John Grant releases I Wanna Go To Marz, this is the first track from his debut solo album Queen Of Denmark although each song on the album was written by Grant it was recorded with the help of Denton, Texas' five piece Midlake. Mojo magazine gave the debut huge praise by labeling it as an 'Instant Classic', an accolade that in recent times was achieved by albums from Joanna Newsom and Fleet Foxes.
Continue: John Grant - I Wanna Go To Marz
John Grant is the former lead singer of Denver's gloomy but grand Czars, a band whom you probably haven't heard of. Queen of Denmark is his first solo record, one recorded in collaboration with Texans Midlake, who you absolutely should have heard of by now, and indeed taken to your hearts.
Continue reading: John Grant, Queen of Denmark Album Review
This is happening on 6Music, Sunday 29 November 14:00. https://t.co/5W3ZvJHvKO
I posted a new photo to Facebook https://t.co/3gAfZMQ9xP
Here are some beautiful limited edition prints for sale from the “Grey Tickles, Black Pressure” photo shoot -... https://t.co/iVFlsDijN8
John Grant Tickets | Event Dates & Schedule | Ticketmaster IE https://t.co/dHFiiIn3yD
John Grant On World Cafe https://t.co/JKcRhKkJDl
Tonight's pretty merch stall at Melkweg, Amsterdam. https://t.co/Nwj8CyyVgC
Last few Dublin, London & Brighton Limited Tour Posters available here https://t.co/UytllNB4WG
I’ll be playing 3 shows in Germany in November and there are a few tickets available: 24.11.15 Köln - Bürgerhaus... https://t.co/Ya7HY8jfd2
Here's the Limited Screen Print, available at all European shows.... https://t.co/Ghplqb7oPN
The Les InRocks festival has understandably been cancelled, so we won't be in Paris sadly. Thinking of and... https://t.co/Xj94jmp8ol
Horrified to hear the news of Paris after coming off stage from an amazing evening in Brighton. Grieving with... https://t.co/LhuMpuyYkP
John Grant review – leaves his audience awestruck and on its feet https://t.co/32h3aReBEc
thank you for the incredible evening last night, London, you were off the hook
John Grant review – leaves his audience awestruck and on its feet https://t.co/CpdxTQHvoe
Brighton Dome tomorrow night...and here is the exclusive limited screen print for you guys.... https://t.co/wH94GtIEuz
WFUV session; NYC https://t.co/o513aXtEnc
Here's the exclusive limited screen print available at LONDON Hammersmith Apollo tomorrow..... https://t.co/9GrIxpHETB
Just did show on @txfmdublin during which i played Alan Toussaint's great Southern Nights sung by Glen Campbell.... https://t.co/kPmTivGexr
Vicar Street Dublin 9/10 November Here's the very limited screen print available at the show tonight. https://t.co/y7nHe661ly
grooving to this after having a wonderful time with all you GMF Dubliners - thank you for the amazing evening... https://t.co/NHZDqTzKzC