Monday, 3 May 2010

NEW: John Grant - Queen of Denmark (2010)

One of my favourite things about music is when suddenly out of nowhere you come across an album you didn't even know existed or was about to come into existence and instantly know it's going to be a favourite. This album falls firmly into this category and was released last month on Bella Union. John Grant is also the lead singer of Denver band The Czars, whom I must admit have never listened to, but I'm sure that will change over this coming week. But this isn't just a John Grant record and probably wouldn't have come into existence were it not for Midlake's love of his work.

"After The Czars, he says, “I basically gave up.” On music that is. Instead, Grant moved to New York, studied for his certificate in Russian medical interpreting (he’s a gifted linguist, speaking German and Spanish as well as Russian) while waiting tables - and rarely performing live, though supports to Midlake were among them. And that was how he began to contemplate another record."
"“We first heard The Czars on our first trip to London,” recalls Midlake bassist Paul Alexander. “His voice was the first thing I noticed - John has such this incredible baritone. But we didn’t go crazy over him until we saw him live, and we then got him to support us on the Van Occupanther tour in the US. At the end, we said he had to come to Denton and make an album.”"

If you're a fan of Midlake, then this is a must, as it has Midlake's sound all over it and if you preferred Van Occupanther to their latest release, you'll be happy to know this is more Van Occupanther. If you're a fan of 70s soft rock such as Bread or singer-songwriters such as Elton John and Clifford T. Ward, then this is for you. If you liked The Duke & The King's debut album from last year, then I think you'll definitely enjoy this.

"It’s a record of gravitas and grace, of FM melody magic laced with raw emotional bleeding. It asks why relationships are roulette and love is hell in a last-ditch attempt at self-improvement and atonement after a decade of alcohol and cocaine dependency.
And on top, to further the album’s brilliance, Grant’s backing band on the album are Denton, Texas’ mightiest – MIDLAKE - contributing their most empathic ‘70s-style soft-rock know-how. Put simply, Queen Of Denmark is the record Grant’s been waiting his whole life to make."   Bella Union

Be sure to read the great article on the 'Queen of Denmark' over at Bella Union.

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