“Love To You Mate” By Colouring

Ahead of the release of his new album Love To You, Mate due out February 23 via Bella Union, Colouring AKA: Jack Kenworthy has shared a new video for the album’s title track directed by Darshan Gajjar.

Commenting on the track Kenworthy says: “Love To You, Mate – The story of Christmas 2021 spent with my wife’s family in hospital together. My brother-in-law Greg became very ill and in hindsight, that period marked the beginning of the end. But through all the worry and uncertainty, we just laughed and cried together in the most incredible ways – it was so special; Greg and the whole family were just amazing. This is a message to all of them and the still-point of the record really.”

“I’ve always been on the side of making up scenarios rather than being really honest about my life within my music,” adds Jack about his second album Love To You, Mate. “This is the first time I’ve been able to do that. I’ve been less scared of it because it’s not my story. It’s a shared one.”

The Nottingham-based songwriter and producer’s life was upended in February 2021, months before the release of his debut album Wake, when his brother-in-law Greg Baker was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. What followed was the most “unbelievable” year of a family’s togetherness when life seemed set on fracturing the life of a young man. Kenworthy, knowing in particular that he needed to be a pillar of support to his partner Helen, whom he’s since married, found that the family’s journey together in the face of adversity was both brutal and beautiful.

“We were of course so terrified,” Kenworthy remembers of the following Christmas spent in hospital, a memory etched into the album’s title track. “But they’re just such positive, kind and inspiring people who had everything thrown at them and handled it all with this incredible togetherness and spirit. We’re all so grateful to have had him in our lives.”

Colouring has been a solo project since Wake, an album influenced by The Blue Nile alongside the 00s post-Britpop, but taking electronic and rhythmic cues from Radiohead and James Blake. Originally formed of four friends while he was studying at Goldsmiths, the band came to a natural end in 2019.

Thanks to a confidence boost in early 2020 when Kenworthy’s longtime collaborator Gianluca Buccellati (Arlo Parks) laughed off the idea of him folding the project, Kenworthy did what he usually does: write compulsively as a means of nourishment and escape.

Around the time of Greg’s illness Jack had been building “a new palette of sound” that he hadn’t designated for anything in particular. “I was trying to be like, ‘Just write, just say anything. It doesn’t matter, you can change the lyrics later.’” Certain phrases from family members would get lodged in his head during that year. “Things like, ‘How did it get so real?’ That was something that Helen said to me once,” Kenworthy reveals. “And then I was writing something and it just fell into that song.” There was “no real intention” to make an album about a turbulent time but it “sort of became that”.

“”For Life” is my attempt at trying to write an Elbow song,” Kenworthy says, noting the song’s specific reference points to locales in Loughborough where the Bakers are from. “A Guy Garvey approach to a lot of the music is definitely there, thinking about how he references Manchester. With being specific I found that it can also be so universal.” The song ends with a recording of a drunken family do where Greg is playing guitar and singing Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ with others.

“Love To You, Mate is a love letter to my wife, family and Greg for what they all did; a photograph of that time.” Kenworthy continues. “We were this tight-knit, inseparable group of friends for a whole year… a year we look back on with great pride. I really feel we’ve made this music together.”

Love To You, Mate
Bella Union

1. For You
2. I Don’t Want To See You Like That
3. How’d It Get So Real?
4. Lune
5. A Wish
6. This Light
7. Love To You, Mate
8. Coda
9. small miracles
10. For Life
11. Big Boots

Pre-order Love To You, Mate by Colouring HERE


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