James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra, recently released a video for “Ella Mary Leather.” The track is of their forthcoming release The Wide, Wide River available January 22, 2021 via Domino Records. “Ella Mary Leather” is titled after a Herefordshire based folk song collector in the early 20th Century, James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra’s song is not about her. Yorkston explains: “No, it’s not about Ella Mary Leather. I am just using her lyrical name as a mask, to protect the innocent…” Over a wealth of percussion, violin, and nyckelharpa, Yorkston plays buoyant piano as he sings us a story about a friend from many years ago.
The video, featuring members of The Second Hand Orchestra, is directed by Sven Blume, who says, “Emma was already on her way when we found Karl-Jonas among some moving boxes. We went out in Stockholm’s December night. We stopped at the legendary Pub Diset. A place to find the past, the soul or Ella Mary Leather.”
The Wide, Wide River is James’ tenth album for Domino, not to mention his three albums as part of Yorkston/Thorne/Khan and his two books. A soothing, warm and sublime listen, it was recorded and mixed in Sweden over the course of three days, with the Second Hand Orchestra’s arrangements entirely improvised around Yorkston’s songs. The only song they heard in advance was “Ella Mary Leather”. Yorkston didn’t want to direct anyone too much but instead, allowed for a welcoming, instinctive, free-spirited and joyful atmosphere.
Over his career, James Yorkston has worked with Four Tet, Alexis Taylor, Rustin Man (Talk Talk’s Paul Webb), Simon Raymonde, David Wrench and more.
The Wide, Wide River will be available to pre-order on deluxe green vinyl (with 4-piece enamel badge set), green vinyl, standard vinyl, CD, and digitally. Additionally, it is also available as a 12” x 12” 100-piece jigsaw (with download code).