The December release from Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound comes from singer, songwriter, producer and storyteller Catherine Anne Davies, otherwise known as The Anchoress and is entitled Confessions Of A Romance Novelist.
Born in Wales, her parents took her to live in Australia at the tender age of 10 weeks old - the very moment she was old enough to fly. By the age of four she was back in Buckinghamshire, in a house that rang to the sounds of The Carpenters, The Beatles and Nilsson.
One band above all convinced her that it was possible to be fiercely intelligent, glamorously literary and, of course, Welsh: Manic Street Preachers. "Being a precocious, annoying, council estate girl who thought better of herself, I would literally write down every book and author that they had referenced in their old interviews," she says. "Then I'd go to the library and order Andrea Dworkin's 'Mercy' or Brett Easton Ellis' 'American Psycho'. The Manics changed my whole world."
When it came time to record her debut album, The Anchoress went into Hugh Padgham's studio in Acton along with her co-producer Paul Draper, and expected to finish it in five weekends. That was three-and-a-half years ago.
"The record felt like it didn't want to be finished," she says.
Confessions Of A Romance Novelist is a record that has been deliberated on. It is richer for the time it has taken, and that fact lends weight and meaning to every near-catastrophe that led here. Every trip and fall, even the literal ones, were obstacles for our protagonist to hurdle. Now they're stories to tell and you can hear them this month on Society of Sound.
Youssou N'Dour's Fatteliku album has been voted album of the year in the Compilation, Reissue and Historical category of the fRoots Magazine Critics Poll 2015.
On announcing their winners for this year fRoots call the album "a great, previously unreleased archive recording of Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour and his band in full flight back in 1987."
A panel of almost 300 local and international experts votes in the Critics Poll and any albums that fit into fRoots' loose remit - "anything from anywhere with roots in a tradition" - are eligible for consideration.
So, we're rather chuffed!
Totó La Momposina also featured in the top ten of the same 'historical' category coming in at number 8 for her Tambolero album, whilst Spiro's Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow gained a notable mention in the category of Album of the Year.
Many congratulations to Greg Lawson and all of the musicians involved in the GRIT ORCHESTRA on winning Event of the Year at The Scottish Traditional Music Awards 2015 on Saturday night (5 December).
The award recognizes the impact that Nae Regrets - the opening concert of Celtic Connections 2015 - made on the start of the year as a hand-picked orchestra of folk, jazz and classical players performed Martyn Bennett's GRIT at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
It is the second year running that Martyn Bennett events have won the award after last years success of GRIT the stage show directed and written by Cora Bisset and Kieran Hurley.
Huge congratulations and thanks to all involved, especially all the Celtic Connections team who hosted the concert, the BBC team who beautifully captured the event and to everyone who voted.
Photo courtesy of Sean Purser.
The November release on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound is an early preview of the forthcoming album on Real World Records by Sidestepper, entitled Supernatural Love.
The stunning new album marks a radical change in direction for the acclaimed collective. Long acknowledged as the original progenitors of electro-cumbia, the cutting-edge blend of electronica and Afro-Colombian rhythms that has torn up dancefloors from Medellin to London and New York, the band's sound has spawned such young groups as Chocquibtown, Bomba Estereo and more -- many of whose members have played in Sidestepper over the group's evolution. The new album befits the band's reputation as innovators: organic, potent, rhythmic, and irresistibly danceable.
"It felt like the right time to go back to basics. A song and a beat, warm sounds and magic players," says British DJ/producer Richard Blair, who co-founded Sidestepper in 1996 and spawned a phenomenon. "Global club culture has become totally mainstream; I've grown bored of hearing the same kick, snare and hi-hat. I wanted to try something new, to see if it was possible to make a record with just hand drums and traditional instrumentation like shakers, sticks and flutes."
Real World Records is delighted to announce that the new album from The Gloaming will be released on Friday 26 February 2016.
Recording will take place in December at Real World Studios.
We will reveal the album title and cover image shortly but The Gloaming's music will again be beautifully presented with another cover image from Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, the duo responsible for their now iconic first album.
The CD and download will be released on 26 February. The LP release will follow on 6 May. However, if you pre-order the vinyl format via the Real World Store you will receive a download of the audio on 26 February, so you won't have to wait until May before you hear the album.
The Gloaming: Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh and Thomas Bartlett, have had a hugely successful year of touring in 2015 performing at some of the most prestigious venues in the world. Much of the material that will make up the band's second album has been honed and refined throughout this year of touring.
The Irish Times culture journalist & pop critic Jim Carroll on the magic to be found in the group's fusion of sounds: "You've still the same powerful, instinctive understanding between the players. It's what has changed, though, which holds the most promise … The Gloaming have discovered a new momentum by digging into the space between the notes … they've turned their heads to bringing in fresh material and applying a forensic lens to what they can do with these new tracts."
In 2016, five shows at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and one at London's Union Chapel have already sold out. All within days, some within hours. Hopefully you are one of the 7,000+ lucky people set to see The Gloaming perform at one of these shows in February/March next year? If not, never fear:
Newly announced concerts in the UK for 2016.
Shows go on sale from today, Thursday 12 November, at 10am
21 September Bristol - Colston Hall
22 September London - Royal Festival Hall
23 September Manchester - Bridgewater Hall
24 September Edinburgh - Usher Hall
25 September Birmingham - Symphony Hall
More live shows in Portugal and the USA are already on sale.
Full list of all confirmed shows
Long time Real World Records artist and member of The Gloaming Iarla Ó Lionáird has turned his hand to acting as well as singing in the new John Crowley directed film Brooklyn.
The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015, is based on the book of the same name by Colm Tóibín and has been adapted for the screen by Nick Hornby. It tells the story of young Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan) as she navigates her way through 1950s Brooklyn.
Ó Lionáird plays the character of Frankie Doran giving a performance worthy of special mention by Mark Kermode in his film review for The Observer newspaper:
"In one sublime sequence that echoes the poetry of the Pogues' Fairytale of New York, Eilis serves a communal Christmas dinner to the downtrodden men who "built the tunnels and bridges", one of whom (played by angel-voiced Iarla Ó Lionáird) stands to sing the traditional Irish love song Casadh an tSúgáin. Wisely, Crowley allows Ó Lionáird's voice to ring unaccompanied before Michael Brook's orchestration appears (wonderful to hear a score that is lyrical without recourse to the ladle), a montage of silent faces offering fleeting portraits of homes left and loves lost."
Composer Michael Brook has worked extensively with Real World Records, collaborating and producing albums with artist Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and with Iarla on his debut Seven Steps to Mercy.
The film itself is getting rave reviews with five stars and 99% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, whist Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian gives four stars "A very heartfelt and absorbing film", as does Kermode's Observer review "Those who discover the film, whether by design or accident, will be wooed by its subtle spell and enriched by its deceptively low-key charm", whilst the Daily Telegraph calls it "pulse-quickeningly good".
Final word to Iarla himself; "It was such a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful story."
9Bachhad two live shows in the UK in November 2015.
The gigs were memorable ones, the first time the band played live since finishing the recording of their new album at Real World Studios.
The dates were:
5 November 2015 - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Liverpool.
8 November 2015 - Anvil Arts Centre, Basingstoke.
The October release on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound is a fascinating and powerful soundscape entitled Be One.
The UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, designed by Wolfgang Buttress. Credit: Hufton + Crow
The music was initially created by Kevin Bales and Tony Foster (who've worked with Spiritualized, Julian Cope, Dave Gahan and Mark Lanegan, amongst others) to provide the soundscape for the UK Pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015. Since then the project has progressed into the full album now available on Society of Sound.
The 2015 Milan Expo brought together 145 participating nations under the theme "Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life". The UK Pavilion, designed by artist Wolfgang Buttress, highlights the plight of the honeybee focusing attention on the importance of pollination.
The album you can hear now on Society of Sound is a constantly changing and evolving symphony - a dialogue between bee and human.
Fatteliku the new live album from Youssou N'Dour e Le Super Etoile de Dakar is released today on CD and download. The album captures Youssou and his band recorded live in Athens in 1987 at a pivotal moment in their career.
Already a star in his native Senegal, Youssou's vocal contribution to the Peter Gabriel track In Your Eyes, from the So album, and the subsequent support slot on the globe-trotting So tour was instrumental in bringing the young N'Dour and his band to an international audience.
It is the first time that this concert performance has been available on CD or download and to listen to the performance captured by the Fatteliku album is to hear a global superstar in the making.
Reviews for Fatteliku
"..the exuberance of his singing amid talking drums remains intoxicating... Happy Days." - The Observer
"You could argue that 1987 was Youssou N'Dour's peak; certainly at this concert, an Athens warm-up for Peter Gabriel, he was in superlative voice" - **** The Financial Times
"The mood is hot, raw and fervent, with the Greek crowd audibly engrossed in every note. Youssou's band are firing on every possible cylinder… Youssou's gilded shriek has a shimmering expansiveness" - **** Songlines
"Captures the essence of the energy and excitement from that time" - ***** fROOTS
"Few bands at the time could produce such a seductively joyful sound" - The Arts Desk
"an outstanding and essential collection" - FolkRadio.co.uk
9Bach have just announced a new UK album tour in April/May/June 2016. These special shows will coincide with the release of their second album on Real World Records. Full details on the forthcoming LP will follow.
9Bach made their name by taking traditional Welsh folk songs and recasting them onto a spectral and haunting sound canvas. Their 2014 album Tincian was the worthy winner of the coveted Best Album in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015.
Support on all dates comes from Twelfth Day.