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Midnight Mango Presents
Robert Vincent (Solo Acoustic Show)
"The plan is to stir something up and tell the truth of where I am in the world..."
Change is in the air for award-winning artist Robert Vincent.
The Scouse singer/songwriter will release his much-anticipated fourth studio album through Thirty Tigers in 2024 and its music is riding the winds of change in the air. "The songs are less traditional sounding," he reveals. "I'm learning how to lower my barriers and have made a more personal album than ever before."
It was the start of 2020 when Robert's third LP, the critically-acclaimed 'In This Town You're Owned', was released and walked straight into a worldwide pandemic. That stalled all promotional plans and tours, but the record resonated and won the prestigious Americana Music Association UK's 'Album Of The Year' award for 2021. Now, Robert wants to spread his music's prescient words: "I think there will be mixed memories for anyone who lived through that and hopefully the album was a bit of a soundtrack to those times for some folks," he says. "I had to try and take the positives as an artist. I hadn't had any time off in many years from gigging and that gave me a bit of a reset... but I'm looking ahead to a successful year of touring and playing these new songs to people."
The new songs reveal where his confidence is coming from. The widescreen drive of 'The Insider' asks us all to "find a better way" over a motorik beat reminiscent of The War On Drugs, whereas the lilting 'Anywhere' ("what binds us is love") waltzes its way into your heart upon a bed of whirling organ and wistful piano chords: "The new album has more of a concise sound," Robert says of the record made with the renowned producer Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Ray Lamontagne, Laura Marling). "The songs arrived over the period of a year or so and are born from my own personal experiences... it's a very intimate set of tunes."
The record has captured said intimacy. Robert's core band came together and made the music live in the studio, looking into the whites of each other's eyes. "I chose to record closer to home with my usual band of brothers and sisters (Anna Corcoran on piano, vocals; Jim Kimberley, drums; Danny Williams, bass; Adrian Gautrey, guitar, keys) and they assisted me beautifully as always. We've also got featured musicians like Joe Coombs, an amazing guitar player from the south west, and added inspired bits and mixed the record."
STOURBRIDGE TOWN HALL (Wollaston Studio)
Friday 19 April 2024 - 8pm
The songs on 'Barriers' represent a left turn for an artist who is ready for something more. Sure, that powerful and soulful voice that attracted acolytes such as Bob Harris, Paul Carrack and Mary Chapin Carpenter still leads the way, but songs such as the haunting 'Beast Inside', rural lament 'Dream' and classic-in-waiting 'The Hard Way' ("we all bleed the same, let your story begin"), will reach deep into you and pull out parts that respond to another human sharing their truth with you. There's an urgency to this music that places this beautiful and warm sounding record firmly in the present. "Didn't mean to lay you down," sings Robert in the quietly devastating 'Circumstance Of Ignorance', as the ghosts of the past rage against the dying of the light in the background.
"I suppose it's an album about love and how it's only love... it won't kill you to show it," laughs the songwriter. "Love is a pure thing: you either feel it, give it or you don't. These songs are about connection and trying to overcome mental and physical barriers with love and empathy towards ourselves and others. That might sound trite on the page, but hopefully not in the message and the music. My favourite new song is called 'Follow What You Love and Love Will Follow'... we all need a bit of that right now."
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