8pm €32* Exactly three years since the release of his last solo LP, John Grant returns with his new album Love Is Magic. Even when the Michigan-born man released his debut solo album Queen Of Denmark in 2010, Grant laced sumptuous soft-rock ballads with an array of spacey, wistful synthesizer sounds, increasingly adding taut, fizzing sequencers, nu-synth-disco settings and icy soundscapes to the mix on 2013’s Pale Green Ghosts and 2015’s Grey Tickles, Black Pressure. Now, with his fourth solo album Love Is Magic, Grant continues to evolve, creating his most electronic record yet.
There’s much else to tell about Grant. The demise of his first band The Czars led him to abandon music for five years before an instantly acclaimed solo career, chart success and a Best International Male Solo Artist nomination at the 2014 BRITS. Sinead O’Connor and Tracey Thorn have guested on Grant’s records, he’s sung live with Alison Goldfrapp and Kylie Minogue, performed at the 2017 Songs Of Scott Walker (1967-70) BBC Prom, and co-written/sung on Hercules & Love Affair and Robbie Williams albums. Last Autumn he recorded the "Kindling" duet with Elbow then went on to tour with them. His music has been used in films such as Andrew Haigh’s drama Weekend and Daisy Asquith’s Queerama. In 2016, he fronted BBC Radio 4's Reimagining The City, taking listeners around Reykjavik, where he has lived since 2012 and in April 2017 he curated North Atlantic Flux: Sounds from Smoky Bay in Hull, showcasing thrilling and innovative musicians from Scandinavia and Iceland. But that is the past, just as Grant’s autobiography is the future. The present is Love Is Magic, the latest instalment in Grant’s astonishing story.
Support Act: Oblong
Oblong formed out of the occasional meetings/musings/musics of three friends, Ben ‘Benge' Edwards, Dave Nice and Simon ’Sid' Stronarch. Originally they were in a band together, along with others, in the early 1990s, but as time drifted by the three went their own ways, only occasionally meeting up socially. As those years turned into decades, the three found themselves increasingly drawn to their musical calling, and the social meetings began to revolve around writing and recording sessions, which involved Ben and Dave traveling across England to meet up at Sid’s rural home and studio. These sporadic road trips between London and the West Country eventually resulted in their debut album Indicator, released on Benge’s Expanding Records label in 2006.
Since then the three men allowed life to drift on once again, with Benge eventually moving Westward to set up an electronic music studio in a remote moorland location, in the summer of 2014. Before long the musical draw took hold again and they began meeting up in Cornwall and working on new material. The process once again was to slowly build up tracks and piece together an album of electro-acoustic music, following their instincts in a similarly uninhibited way, allowing their three very different sets of musical styles and influences to flow. The result is The Sea At Night (due for release in April 2019) an album as infused with nostalgia for past musical styles as it is with the dramatic moorland atmosphere surrounding the studio and nearby coastal landscapes.