NEIL COWLEY is someone who has lived and breathed music his whole life.
He took on a Shostakovich piano concerto at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall at the age of 10; not so many years later he developed a reputation as a go-to pianist and keyboardist in British funk, working with Zero 7, Gabrielle and The Brand New Heavies.
A solo LP release under the nom-de-musique Diamond Wookie paved the way for his musical home of most of the past decade and a half, the Neil Cowley Trio; seven albums with the trio climaxed in the piano and tronica-led excellence of 2016’s Spacebound Apes, which includes melodies of swell and grace such as “Weightless”.
One final 12″, the electronica remix EP Spacebound Tapes, emerged on Phases in 2018 before Neil announced the trio were going on hiatus.
Now, following a period of reinvention and self-discovery as an artist, Neil is releasing a series of three EPs, each entitled Building Blocks, chronicling his reconnection with his principal instrument and old friend, the piano. These EPs will smooth the path for Neil’s debut solo album under his own name next year.
The first three-track EP, Building Blocks Pt.1, is available to purchase in digital format now over at his Bandcamp page; it features the gorgeous exploration of “Eureka Pulse”, the video for which you can watch below. A smattering of electronica – in the pulsing and the fleshing out of the delay, subtle washes – gives the perfect, delicate framing for his innate melodicism to breathe within. The clip was filmed in the fine setting of the formerly ecclesiastical space St George’s, Bristol.
And don’t you think the world needs more contemplative beauty of this kind, right now, with an autumn of such uncertainty ahead of us?
Building Blocks Pt.2 is set to follow on October 2nd, with Building Blocks Pt.3 to follow on the 23rd of that month. Climb aboard now; Neil’s artistry can only bring sunlight in these shortening days.