It has been well documented that second albums can be tricky to complete. For some artists, it’s a case of finding material with a rapidly advancing deadline and a record label breathing down their necks; for others, it’s more a case of real life getting in the way of art. For London-based singer-songwriter Mick Terry, the latter definitely applies. Following the release of his debut ‘The Grown Ups’ in 2009, he began making early plans for a follow up. A tentative completion date was scheduled for Easter 2012, but with a producer several thousand miles away and various other things proving a distraction, that time came and went.
By the end of 2012, a couple of songs had appeared online, but as far as a full release of any kind was concerned, there seemed to be nothing doing. Terry continued to talk about a second album, but still the years ticked by. Grey hairs were cultivated, songs were written; album names changed…Then, eventually, in the summer of 2018 – approximately eight years after a follow up to ‘The Grown Ups’ was first tentatively mentioned – the recording was finally complete and almost ready to fill the world’s collective lugholes.
Mixing pop, acoustic singer songwriter chops, a touch of dream pop and a light country steel guitar, Sophia Marshall’s previous covers EPs have delivered at least one track apiece that’s been absolutely marvellous. She’s turned the melancholy of Blur’s ‘End of the Century’ into something even more heartfelt, while The Kinks’ ‘I Go To Sleep’ – already drenched in sadness – became even sadder, with her lilting vocal style dripping from every syllable.
Whilst previous EPs have been themed by artist (The Kinks represented via a cover of a Pretenders cover), ‘Loose Torque’ is themed by subject. The three featured tracks are all concerned with cars – and in a big surprise, there’s nothing included by Gary Numan or new wave legends The Cars. Maybe those synth heavy sounds just wouldn’t translate. Instead, Marshall has chosen three pop and rock tunes from three rather disparate artists which. when applied with her own easy style, results in something that flows very well.
For a year or so now, there have been rumours that Howard Jones would be releasing his 1984 debut LP ‘Human’s Lib’ as a super deluxe box set. It has now been confirmed that will be released in November, along with a similar box set for the follow up ‘Dream Into Action’.
A full press release from Cherry Red follows.
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At the beginning of 2008, singer-songwriter Chris Stills released his debut album ‘100 Year Thing’. A semi-acoustic collection of songs it not only drew influence from his father Stephen – most notably in the vocal tones of the title track – but also seemed to be inspired by then more contemporary sounds, with some songs carrying traces of influence from Days of The New and Alice In Chains’ acoustic material. A follow up didn’t appear until 2005, by which time, his material had seemingly absorbed bits and pieces from Jeff Buckley’s small legacy as well as further showcasing his own talents.
Previously of Oxford Collapse, singer-songwriter Mike Pace takes a different approach on his 2018 LP ‘Smooth Sailing’. Recorded with his other band The Child Actors, the album moves away from the indie rock of their 2015 LP ‘Best Boy’ and is – in Mike’s own words “a big pop record…or something like it, recorded by a forty year old who grew up on indie rock and later discovered the joys of soft singer-songwriters, AOR and prog through bargain bins.”