FORMER Idlewild man turned solo songcrafter of considerable talent, Roddy Woomble has finally turned his hand to a follow-up to 2017’s The Deluder; he’ll be releasing his new album, Lo! Soul, in May, by way of previewing which he’s just dropped a lead single, the (almost) title track “Lo Soul”. Take a listen and read on.
As will surely be the tale of so many albums in this weird time, Lo! Soul was recorded under circumstances straitened by the lockdown – partly at Roddy’s home in the Hebrides, partly at collaborator Andrew Mitchell’s studio in Dundee, throughout 2020.
Roddy says: “I’m a collaborative songwriter, used to working in a room with one or more people, or a band, and I think my songs benefit from that human connection and response.
“With lockdown last year my initial reaction was not to work on songs. It offered a pause for us all, and like many others I found myself alone and reflecting. Concentrating on reading and writing. Considering maybe working on a book of poems instead … .
Gradually though, I started developing songs on my acoustic guitar which I would record on my phone and send on to Andrew in Dundee.
“Around then, my friend and musician Danny Grant, based in Glasgow, began sharing his wonderful electronic grooves and rhythms with me. I started improvising over these with my poems. It didn’t feel like an album we were creating at this stage though, more a scrapbook of this particular moment.
“As restrictions eased in the summer I spent three days in Andrew’s studio recording vocals and developing these ideas. Other than this, the album was all recorded remotely – Dundee, Glasgow, and the Hebrides”.
“Lo Soul” marries that characteristic strong vocal of Roddy’s with lo-fi beats, synths and piano, and strikes a balance between the optimistic and the pessimistic; there’s so a folky yearning in that melody.
Roddy adds: “I have always been an admirer of the word ‘Lo’, Walt Whitman uses it quite a bit – (…’Lo, the unbounded sea’…) It is a call to attention, in its dictionary definition.
“I’m using it like a wake-up call – a wake-up call through the ages!”
“Lo Soul” is out now on all digital streaming platforms.
Roddy’s also confirmed and rejigged a string of live dates, running over summer, autumn and into next year. The shows originally scheduled for May 2021 have now been put back to March 2022; original tickets will still be valid. The autumn dates will include Roddy’s biggest solo headline show yet, at London’s Union Chapel. The dates are as follows:
July 29th, Irvine, Harbour Arts Centre;
July 30th, Dundee, Dundee University Chaplaincy Centre;
July 31st, Topcliffe, Deer Shed Festival;
August 1st, Middlesbrough, Town Hall;
August 6th, Strathaven, Frets Acoustic at the Strathaven Hotel;
August 7th, Sheffield, Greystones;
August 8th, Sunderland, Lamplight Festival;
September 26th, Chester, St Mary’s Creative Space;
October 3rd, Aberdeen, Lemon Tree;
October 4th, Galashiels, Mac Arts;
October 5th, St. Albans, The Horn;
October 6th, Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach;
October 7th, Coventry, The Tin Music & Acts;
October 8th, Reading, South Street Arts Centre;
October 9th, London, Union Chapel, and
October 19th, Newcastle, Hapless Weekend at the Cumberland Arms.
March 15th, Manchester, Night & Day;
March 16th, Birmingham, Hare & Hounds;
March 17th, Oxford, Jericho Tavern;
March 18th, Winchester, The Railway Inn;
March 19th, Newport, Isle of Wight, Quay Arts Centre;
March 20th, Guildford, The Boileroom;
March 22nd, Lewes, Con Club;
March 23rd, Cambridge, Portland Arms;
March 24th, Leeds, Brudenell Social Club;
March 26th, Edinburgh, Summerhall, and
May 24th and 25th, Lerwick, The Dowry.
Roddy Woomble’s Lo! Soul will be released digitally on May 21st, followed by a vinyl and CD release on August 13th, including a limited edition indie record store exclusive coloured vinyl pressing. You can pre-order your copy here.