added: 2 Sep 2013 // by: Music-News.com Newsdesk
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'Lower Reaches' is the new album from Justin Currie, out August 19th. Recorded in Austin, Texas, with producer Mike McCarthy (Craig Finn (The Hold Steady), Spoon, Patty Griffin, .And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead), the album is the first release on Currie's own label Endless Shipwreck, through Ignition Records.
After six albums with Del Amitri and three solo albums, what Currie has learned about songwriting is that you have to make yourself available to the muse. To that end, in 2012, the Glaswegian rented a remote cottage on Skye, where he wrote 15 songs in 11 days, something of a personal best.
He noticed that, broadly-speaking, they addressed three subjects: love, mortality and music. Though his acclaimed solo debut What Is Love For (2007) and the follow-up The Great War (2010) had been self-produced, this time out Currie wanted an outside producer. Having heard and rated Clear Heart Full Eyes, the debut solo album by The Hold Steady's Craig Finn, Currie approached its producer, Mike McCarthy. McCarthy liked what he heard, and soon Currie was headed for the vintage analogue gear-festooned den that is McCarthy's Austin, Texas-based studio.
David Garza plays guitar and piano, and other musicians include members of White Denim, Phosphorescent and the Heartless Bastards. Together, they help Currie navigate a filler-less album that begins with a funeral and ends with a wedding.
On the buoyant, almost Badfinger-esque I Hate Myself For Loving You and bijou, vintage beat-box propelled Priscilla, Currie's highly-attuned pop sensibility is well to the fore. There are few if any songs on Lower Reaches that don't have darker or more wistful undercurrents, however. Indeed, even On My Conscience - ostensibly a breezy, Byrds-go-Octopus's Garden-like palette cleanser - drips lyrical bile.
Elsewhere, men - and perhaps women - of a certain age will identify with the conflicted protagonist of Half Of Me, a character torn between cordial-enough domesticity and the need to 'Go out blazing trails in a haze of rock 'n' roll.' We say protagonist, but we of course mean Currie, a man honest enough to admit that, even as he approaches 49, fifty-percent of him still wants to traverse America in a tour bus - something he became accustomed to as the frontman of Del Amitri, the band he formed formed in Glasgow in 1983.
The band tasted belated success in America, with their 1995 single 'Roll To Me' reaching the Top 10 on Billboard 100. Del Amitri had already been hugely successful back home, releasing four Top 10 albums, including 'Waking Hours' (1989), which sold over a million copies in the UK alone. Currie wrote many of their biggest hits including 'Roll To Me', 'Always The Last To Know', and 'Nothing Ever Happens'.
Currie recently received props from the songwriter's songwriter, Jimmy Webb. Together with the likes of Brian Wilson and Kris Kristofferson, Currie guests on Webb's upcoming duets album, Still Within The Sound Of My Voice. In his self-penned sleeve-notes,Webb writes:
"Justin Currie is probably a revelation to some people in America. This is a voice you have heard somewhere and made a mental note to try and find out where those unique and seductive shivers originate. I thank you Justin for lending your great mastery and power to me."
JUSTIN CURRIE WILL BE ON TOUR ALL THROUGH SEPTEMBER, LONDON DATE TUESDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER AT UNION CHAPEL
The new album released August 19th on Endless Shipwreck through Ignition Records
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