Radiohed’s Philip Selway Announces New LP
Philip Selway has announced news of his new album Strange Dance to be released February 24th via Bella Union. To accompany the announcement, Selway has shared a visualizer for the beguiling lead track “Check For Signs Of Life”. Selway approached some of his favorite musicians to play on his third solo record he said he imagined it as a Carole King record if she collaborated with the pioneering electronic composer Daphne Oram and invited him to drum on it. Unsurprisingly they were all sold, and so began the bringing together of an extraordinary number of gifted people, including Hannah Peel, Adrian Utley, Quinta, Marta Salogni, Valentina Magaletti and Laura Moody.
The album’s 10 songs were written by Selway at home on piano and guitar that show him at the height of his songwriting powers. From the opening track, “Little Things”, we immediately hear a new sense of scale. Following the acoustic Familial, his first solo album, then Weatherhouse (slightly more fleshed-out, as he puts it, working with Adem Ilhan and Quinta), Strange Dance sees Selway using all the craft and learning he has gathered over the last decade of solo work outside of Radiohead.
Selway – known predominantly known for his work Radiohead for decades – actually “sacked” himself from the drums within a couple of hours of recording. Instead, Valentina Magaletti brought her “distinctive voice” to the drums and percussion. Another vital voice is the arrangements by Laura Moody which complement Salogni’s production. On “What Keeps You Awake At Night”, for example, the strings and synths spool out deliciously, in a meditative loop, taking the listener somewhere far away, and then six minutes in, a new texture appears, staccato-like rain drops adding to the whirl. This sonic expressiveness is played beautifully by the LCO, conducted by Robert Ames, the Assemble Choir with arrangements by Juliet Russell, and the Elysian Collective.
“One of the things I’ve liked about this record is it’s me as a 55-year-old not trying to hide that fact,” says Selway. “It feels kind of unguarded rather than seeing that ageing process as something that needs to be hidden.” And there is a buoyancy and warmth to the record; a sense of optimism and hope. “I wanted it to have that space so if you’re listening to it you can lose yourself in it,” he says. “Almost like a refuge.”
A few minutes into the album closer “There’ll Be Better Days” a new motif appears, as if a rainbow is appearing in the sky: rain and sun, hope and despair, life and death, and, in all of it, a celebration of the power of music, to accompany us all on this strange dance of life on earth.
1. Little Things
2. What Keeps You Awake At Night
3. Check For Signs Of Life
4. Picking Up Pieces
5. The Other Side
6. Strange Dance
7. Make It Go Away
8. The Heart Of It All
9. Salt Air
10. There’ll Be Better Days
Pre-order Strange Dance by Philip Selway HERE
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