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Hummingbird is now loose in the world, a mere four years after Here At A Distance, which might as well have been decades, it felt so long. Feels good to have finally done it though! The album launch went well – although the audience was smaller than expected due to the various lurgies sweeping the nation, it was friendly and attentive, and both Sarah Hardman and The Nocturnal Flowers played excellent sets.

Casee Wilson 09.11.19

Photo copyright R Mitchell 2019

SET LIST:

  1. Super
  2. She Used to be Mine (cover, orig. Sara Bareilles)
  3. Faded and Foolish
  4. Wolf Among the Flock
  5. Hummingbird
  6. Chandelier (cover, orig. Sia)
  7. Roses
  8. Lifeboat
  9. Wild Heather
  10. Tiny Hands
  11. Waterboy (cover, orig. Rhiannon Giddens)
  12. Burn
  13. Clockwork Ballerina
  14. World Reborn
  15. Midnight Blues
Casee Wilson Micklegate Social 19-11-09

photo copyright: R Mitchell 2019

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’re some more pictures…

All photos are copyright Robert Mitchell.

Some thank yous are definitely owed: The Nocturnal Flowers and Sarah Hardman Music for coming and playing and sharing their music, Faith Benson Productions for awesome sound in the face of challenging equipment, Robert Mitchell for photos and positive affirmations aplenty, Gem for his unwavering spirit and support and everyone who turned out to the gig, watched or shared the stream, and generally reminds me that I’m not making music for the void!

If you don’t have the album yet (why not???) you have multiple options for acquisition:

Streaming: It’s on Spotify. If you love me, put it on repeat. Forever.

Digitally: Bandcamp is the best for audiophiles, as you can have it in whichever format you prefer, including various lossless forms. iTunes and Amazon are also carrying it.

Physical CDs: My own website (or from me in person if you see me regularly) – I’ll sign it to you. You might even get a badge or a sticker (while stocks last). It is also scattered about in several locations around York, notably Busk Coffee Shop (Fishergate, York – get a coffee and cake, buy a CD while you are there), Portal Bookshop (these copies are signed, although not personalised, and who doesn’t need a bit of dark Disney folk playing while they read, right? Right???) and finally HMV on Coney Street, York.

Right then. I’m off to get a cuppa and have a little sit down. Until next time!

Toodles! xxx

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I finally, finally made it.

Hummingbird is being released on the 9th November 2019. All of the files have gone to the CD manufacture plant, everything is uploaded to Emubands for distribution, and I can finally breathe again.

Hummingbird large

It was a bit of an exciting ride. I had been gently ambling along, doing a bit of writing here and mixing there and not really rushing things. I figured I had until this week to send the CD Master files. Alas for me, the company I chose to use this time (entirely because they had really good reviews and because they are one of the few places in the UK willing to do low number runs of glass mastered CDs) got in touch with me to say they would be closed for a crucial period. So I ended up finishing the writing, recording, mixing and mastering, all within a frantic 72 hour period.

There was not enough gin in the world for this. Still, I persisted.

Everything went off by the 11th October. Last week was spent mastering instrumentals (in the event that I manage to place anything in film or TV, they always like a good instrumental) and dealing with the distributor, and this week I am doing promo and remembering how to breathe again.

Meanwhile, I had a very fun gig at Busk in York towards the end of September which gave me an opportunity to dust off a new cover (Waterboy, originally by Rhiannon Giddons) and generally sing to a very enthusiastic audience. It was a really enjoyable evening, very atmospheric, and I hope the first of many more to come.

So what now? Well, pre-orders are open for both digital and physical CDs of Hummingbird. I highly recommend it, but then I am biased!

The Launch Party is on the 9th November, at Micklegate SOCIAL, 148 Micklegate, York, YO1 6JX – FREE ENTRY! Doors at 7:30, music starts at 8 and I will be very ably supported by Sarah Hardman and The Nocturnal Flowers. Due to the venue’s own licensing laws, it’s over 18’s only, so please bring ID, but don’t let that put you off!

Hummingbird launch poster

See you there!

 

 

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I’ve been terrible at posting on time, haven’t I? I debated spending tonight on the naughty step but then I thought that would only make my post later, so here it is, an update on what I have been up to, since I haven’t updated things in a little while.

1. The Day Job.

I’ve just finished a five week assignment temping at the University. Well, technically I finish tomorrow, because of item number 2 on my list, Being Ill, but in any case, it’s about to be over. I’m still looking for something in that sort of area for three days a week on a more permanent basis, so keep your digits crossed. A regular income would make the whole making music thing so much easier!

2. Being Ill.

Oh yes, dear friends, if it’s circulating, I’ve picked it up. The University is currently infested with Freshers, with all their germs and whatnot, and I seem to have caught anything and everything going. The latest varient has been an exciting excursion into the contents of my sinuses. I’ll not say any more than that. Needless to say, I think I’m buggered when Ebola makes landfall, as it’s certain to do (the Daily Mail said so, it’s going to be brought by Giant Muslim Spiders in Burqas And Their Lesbian Friends or something…)

3. Recording My Next Release.

If you’ve been waiting for the long-promised electronica EP/LP Quantum Ghostlands, this is news you’ll want to hear. I’m in the process of putting it all together. It could still take months, but at this stage it’s months rather than years. Why has it taken me so long? Well, a combination of factors, really. Firstly, electronica takes me longer to write, much longer in fact, than acoustic piano tracks do. Secondly, I’ve been scared. I have only just learned how to mix songs that have only a few tracks (some piano, some vocals, maybe a bit of bass and some harmonies) so mixing something with 30-50 tracks is daunting to say the least. And thirdly, I wanted to master an easier release before I did an electronica release. Mastering Tales From The Undertow was really REALLY good for me, because it taught me a load about how to do it.

Like Tales… Quantum Ghostlands is coming out on a budget, but I hope that won’t matter too much. I’ll probably get a very limited CD run, and I suspect I’ll do a pre-order for that. They won’t be glass masters, because I can’t justify getting 500 made, but I’ll look at doing 100 or so. These will be very limited edition.

So here’s a sneak preview. These are not finished or mixed properly yet, but these are some of the things I’ve been writing/remixing for the release 🙂 (plus I like playing with crossfade….)

Before I go, one of my friends suggested that I write about independent Rap artists from southern USA. So. Check out my buddy G Slade, seen here in his natural environment on Bandcamp…  I think he’s awesome 🙂 That’s all for this week. Take care out there!

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Today has been such a long Monday. So long. So very long.

The reason is quite exciting though. No, not the day job. That’s not exciting, although it allows me to spend lunchtime in the company of a handful of the craziest and loveliest people I know geeking out over movies, t-shirts and baby animals. No. The exciting reason is that I came home and did Things To Prepare For The EP Release.

Yes.

This Friday, 25th July, Tales from the Undertow will be available on Bandcamp to buy as a digital release. 6 tracks, lovingly handcrafted, mixed and mastered by yours truly, with a little help from friends heckling from the cheap seats. There will, as a result, be an extra post on Friday with a link to the EP. One of the jobs I have been working on tonight is the final mix and masters of all of the tracks. This is having to be done around my aforementioned day job and also aikido training, so I hope you’ll forgive my laxness in producing an essay this evening.

The other thing I did was to rehearse a live set, because coincidentally and marvellously, I am headlining at the Shhhh! Acoustic Evening at the Black Swan on Friday 25th July.

It’s an important date. Put in in your calendar. Write it on the back of your hand. Set your phone to play Ode to Joy.

Friday 25th July. Tales from the Undertow release day and gig!

Playing at the Rook and Gaskill. Photo courtesy of Vinnie Whitehead.

Playing at the Rook and Gaskill. Photo courtesy of Vinnie Whitehead.

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Hello! I hope you all had a splendid Easter and there was as much chocolate as you could eat, and more! This post is a day late due to the bank holiday, but I will make no apology for that, I was being devoured by Old Ones in Eldritch Horror yesterday, so really, couldn’t have made it.

Friday’s gig at the Winning Post was fabulous fun and very well attended. I very much enjoyed hearing Bingers UK, Gaz Rowntree and Vinnie and the Stars doing their stuff, and as always, I count any gig where I avoid being pelted with rotten vegetables as a win, so it was wins all round!

For today’s foray into the workings of my slightly unhinged mind (if it wasn’t unhinged before playing Eldritch Horror, it certainly is now), I thought I’d introduce you to one of my newer songs 🙂

I struggled with the title for ages, and this is because… well…let me share the lyrics first, then perhaps you’ll understand..

There are so many things that I would like to say
For you’ve enriched my life in oh so many ways
Always quick to tell me when I’m doing it all wrong
So I’ve got to thank you for inspiring this song

Go      yourself
You can go      yourself
Take a long walk off a short pier
Be anywhere that’s not here
Go      yourself
Kindly go      yourself
Play with traffic or with trains
Stick your fingers in the mains

You light the room up when you leave, a truly special skill
You make a root canal seem nicer than your presence will
I wouldn’t urinate on you if you were set aflame
If I could save your life I’d happily give up the claim
Walk the plank and bugger off
Catch a syphilitic cough

Go      yourself
You can go      yourself
Take a long walk off a short pier
Be anywhere that’s not here
Go      yourself
Kindly go      yourself
Play with traffic or with trains
Stick your fingers in the mains

Peddle your papers somewhere else, there’s nothing here for you
Your personality is smaller than a beetle’s poo
It’s true this world’s not really big enough for both of us
So I’d be grateful if you’d bugger off without a fuss
Go blow a goat and leave this place
I can’t be doing with your face

Go      yourself
You can go      yourself
Take a long walk off a short pier
Be anywhere that’s not here
Go      yourself
Kindly go      yourself
Play with traffic or with trains
Stick your fingers in the mains

There is a final section as well, but that changes every time I perform it, so I guess the lyrics just haven’t decided yet.

As you can see, there’s a word missing. It’s pretty obvious which word it is. But I couldn’t call it “Go (blank) Yourself”, not really, not sensibly. So I decided to go with something that only gives the vaguest clue about what is about to happen in the song: “Feelings”.

Because that’s what they are, raw feelings that it would be impolite to express, right?

I have a funny relationship with the F-bomb. When I released “Sound Advice” on Beggars and Blues back in 2010, there were many critics who didn’t like my use of the word. In fact, I used it exactly to illustrate the point about how nice girls aren’t expected to use expletives, much less that particular one, it was part of hammering home the message about gender equality and ignoring expectations. For “Feelings”, I wanted to take it the other way, produce a song where the lack of the F-bomb, replaced simply by its implication, would be funnier than just swearing. Any of you who know me well know I’m not averse to swearing in the slightest, I’ll happily turn the air blue in a nano-second if it’s appropriate (and even when it isn’t on occasion), which I hope makes it even funnier that I so studiously avoid saying anything stronger than “bugger” in the radio edit of this song.

Musically, the song is in three distinct sections. The intro is intended to set the scene for a sweet, romantic-sounding song (and the outro bookends it so therefore has a similiar style). However, the piano changes for the first chorus, taking on a staccato punch, intended to warn the audience that this song is not what it seems… Then the verses make up the third section, slightly more flowing, but basic piano chords to allow for the faster lyrics over the top. I added some egg shaker (fashioned out of a plastic Kinder egg shell and some rice, because I’m wild and crazy like that) and a bit of bass, but the track is predominantly piano and vocal driven.

Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 15.38.24

 

So that’s it. A quick overview of the new track. The radio edit will be on the upcoming E.P. but I did receive requests for a NSFW edit. So, I have written and recorded the Not Even Remotely Safe for Work Edit and it is available on Bandcamp currently for download for whatever you want to pay for it, including absotively, posolutely FREE! The clean version is available too, in case you have children or kittens or bunnies…

Sad Kitteh is shocked and saddened….

Sad Kitteh is shocked and saddened….

That’s all for this week. I have a gig coming up on the 4th May (May the Fourth be with you…) at the Winning Post in York, with the lovely Catself and the fabulous Bleeding Hearts and Artists, so watch the website for more news on that, and I’ll see you next week!

 

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