STARSAILOR release their new single 'Dead On The Money'

Starsailor
Credit: Andy Earl

Starsailor shares new single "Dead On The Money", “a song about being flat broke but full of hope,” says Walsh, “although I like the fact it means exactly right too. Like knowing deep down you’re on the right track even though recovery is slow.” It is the opening track on the forthcoming new album Where The Wild Things Grow, which is released on 22nd March.

Last October, Starsailor announced their return with Where The Wild Things Grow, the title track of their first album in six years, produced by Rick McNamara and set for release on 22nd March 2024. They quickly followed this with Heavyweight and the announcement of a March / April Tour.

Formed in and around Wigan at the start of the millennium and featuring James Walsh (guitar, vocals), James Stelfox (bass), Barry Westhead (keyboards) and Ben Byrne (drums), Starsailor have released five albums to date, including Love Is Here in 2001, Silence Is Easy in 2003, On The Outside in 2005, All The Plans in 2009 and All This Life in 2017. A greatest hits compilation entitled Good Souls: The Greatest Hits surfaced in 2015, featuring all ten of their UK Top Forty singles to date, including their biggest hit, "Silence Is Easy", which reached No.9 in 2003.

Listen to 'Dead On The Money' - BELOW:

On the new album, Starsailor canter through a record of astonishing complexity: the folk-tinged "Flowers" (featuring some stunning lap steel from Spritualized’s Tony ‘Doggen’ Foster) was inspired by a documentary about a flower seller in Aleppo who “just kept setting up his stall, despite the bombs going off around him, dedicated to providing a tiny haven of beauty during such a devastating time”; "Enough (I Should Be Home By Now)" has a wonderful, rolling, mid-Atlantic quality reminiscent of the Eagles’ finer moments; and "After The Rain" - (featuring slide guitar from the aforementioned Foster, “the most joyous song to put together, just a lovely process” – was inspired by The Band, Crosby Stills and Nash, and the Laurel Canyon scene.

Themes of love and hope pop up all over the record: on "Hard Love", Walsh muses on the simplicity of single life when compared to the complications and range of emotions of a relationship – spoiler alert, he comes down on the side of the relationship, if it’s with the right person - whilst "Hanging In The Balance" is about that delicate time, “the early stages of a relationship when it’s starting to get real and you’re on the precipice between it becoming something life changing or you both going your separate ways.” Best of all is "Where The Wild Things Grow" itself. “I wrote it in my old flat at night,” says Walsh which has that slightly uneasy, otherworldliness reminiscent of those early Bowie or Pink Floyd recordings. “I could hear the pipes creaking. I was thinking of Maurice Sendak and Stanley Donwood’s Radiohead art. There’s an early Ed Harcourt song called ‘Beneath The Heart Of Darkness’ that’s an influence too. The brooding otherworldly darkness.”

Where The Wild Things Grow – the album - features additional guitar work by Tony “Doggen” Foster from Rick McNamara and Travis’s Andy Dunlop and backing vocals by Lucy Joules (Sam Smith). Rick, who produced the album, is now unofficially ‘the fifth Starsailor’, or, as Walsh puts it, “another creative in the room who really cares about the songs and pushes us to our limits.”

Over the past two decades, Starsailor has been compared to everyone from Neil Young and Van Morrison to Wigan compatriots. The Verve – Walsh cites the latter’s homecoming show in front of 33,000 people at Haigh Hall on 24th May 1998 as a revelatory experience – although, concurrently, perhaps we should add Tim and Jeff Buckley and Arcade Fire to that increasingly debatable list. Whatever your pronouncements on the matter, one thing’s for sure: Where The Wild Things Grow bears up to candid analysis, repeat listens proving it to reveal layer upon layer of casual observations and quiet reflections on life being loved, and love being lived. It’s also an album that has no right to be as good as it is - and yet here it is.

LIVE DATES

22nd Mar Warrington - Parr Hall UK

3rd Apr Birmingham - O2 Institute UK

4th Apr Bristol - O2 Academy UK

5th Apr Edinburgh - Queen’s Hall UK

6th Apr Sunderland - The Fire Station UK

8th Apr Leeds - Brudenell Presents UK

9th Apr Brighton - Concorde 2 UK

11th Apr Amsterdam - AmMelkweg OZ Netherlands

12th Apr Brussels - La Madeleine Belgium

 

Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as hosting interviews for the weekly XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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