FORMER Idlewild guiding light and fine solo folk artist in his own right, Roddy Woomble is shaking it all up on his latest single, “Architecture in LA”, the second to be taken from his forthcoming album Lo! Soul.
Leaving those deep folk textures behind, he instead dives into the lo-fi Moog soul sunshine for a pretty gleam of a tune with hiphop scansion and a sweetly dreampop vibe, eyes cast way west to the City of Angels.
Roddy says of the song’s genesis: “I’ve been fascinated by the design and architecture of Los Angeles for a long time. I’m fascinated by the city in general, the history of Hollywood and the film industry.
“There is no linear thought process to the words of “Architecture in LA”’: phrases like ‘collective melancholy’ and ‘cash-point technology’ sit alongside statements like ‘material dreams won’t set you free’ and references like epistemology and the American Mercury car.
“The ‘minimal city’ is literally a city that has been emptied – like all the footage we saw of cities around the world during lockdown. Empty streets, no people and closed up shops and bars. It looked wrong, but eerily calming.
“I wanted the song to sound optimistic, to contain some sort of sunshine. In my mind the architecture of LA is how I imagine summer, it captures it somehow. A permanent, weird summer.”
Roddy put together the material for his new album in the Hebrides during the on-off purdah we’ve been living, proving that there’s no chains on the imagination.
This latest single comes armed with a brilliantly trippy visual cascade from regular collaborator Danny Grant; you can watch that here. Danny says: “I wanted to reflect the absurd and surreal nature of lockdown in the video without getting too dark, the song being as uplifting as it is.
“I built a strange island environment in a game engine and was able to walk around in virtual reality and capture footage on the fly.
“Much of the album was made on an island, so it felt fitting to inhabit this virtual island for a while.”
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.