James Dean Bradfield has shared details of his new solo album ‘Even In Exile’.
The Welsh musician and Manic Street Preachers songwriter broke cover last month, sharing two new solo songs.
Working with lyrics from Patrick Jones – playwright, writer, and brother of Nicky Wire – the songs were intriguing, and sat comfortably in their own world.
A full album is to follow, with ‘Even In Exile’ set to land on August 14th through the Orchard.
The lyrics focus on Chilean poet-singer-activist Victor Jara, with James explaining: “Sometime at the start of 2019, Patrick gave me a handful of poems each of which touched on different aspects of Victor Jara’s life. When I read them, I was struck by the idea that if a life means anything, it will continue after death. That thought stuck with me and made me want to turn Patrick’s words into a record.”
“One of the reasons Victor’s story chimed deeply – then and now – because as with so many other politically active people’s stories from that era, it results in death. The idea now that freedom of political thought might end in death is still too shocking to contemplate, yet we live in an age where oppositional politics leads to untold bitterness and a total lack of empathy, compromise or respect. It is so destructive, I think this period of history points to so much that’s relevant right now.”
Citing the way Billy Bragg and Wilco connected sound and lyric on ‘Mermaid Avenue’ as a primary inspiration, he continues: “I started each track with just guitar and vocal and built it up from there, this is an album that wasn’t jammed – it was quite a precise procedure of finding the right architecture for the lyrics. That meant it was never envisaged as an album I was going to take out on the road.”
New song ‘The Boy From The Plantation’ is online now, and it seems to tap into James Dean Bradfield’s indie roots – is there a touch of Johnny Marr in the bright guitar line?
Tune in below.