James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra will release The Wide, Wide River on January 22, via Domino Records. Alongside the announcement, James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra (JY & TSHO) share a video for new track “Struggle.” With its lyrics “And I hope I can tell you that I love you, when you are too old to be told,” “Struggle” is a tender and beautiful love song to Yorkston’s children. He adds, “It’s me telling my kids that it’s ok to not be ok, and that indeed, sometimes I struggle.”
Yorkston says of recording “Struggle” with TSHO: “The band were sat by in the studio by themselves, looping the verses over and over. I was in the control room, drinking sweet tea. I just had to wait for the right moment and jump on board, like when I’m pushing my kids round on a roundabout in the local park. I love that everyone was singing along so freely when we recorded this. There were vocal mics for everyone, and people would just lean in with a harmony, every now and then. It gives it a very communal feeling.”
That communal feeling is apparent across the entire album. Recorded and mixed in Sweden over the course of three days with a selection of musicians Winqvist had brought together, TSHO includes Peter Morén (Peter, Bjorn & John), Cecilia Österholm (one of Sweden’s best-known nyckelharpa players), Emma Nordenstam (piano & cello) and Ulrika Gyllenberg (violin). The studio approach was completely improvised around Yorkston’s songs, with “Ella Mary Leather” being the only song TSHO had heard in advance.
Yorkston has worked with Four Tet, Alexis Taylor, KT Tunstall, Rustin Man, Simon Raymonde, Norma and Mike Waterson, Martin Carthy, Max Cooper, David Wrench and others.
James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra
The Wide, Wide River
1. Ella Mary Leather
2. To Soothe Her Wee Bit Sorrows
3. Choices, Like Wild Rivers
5. There Is No Upside
6. A Droplet Forms
7. A Very Old-Fashioned Blues
8. We Test The Beams
Pre-order The Wide, Wide River Here