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NEW ALBUM: Grant-Lee Phillips - Widdershins
#1
GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS ~ Widdershins
 
[Image: MI0004385327.jpg?partner=allrovi.com]
               
Track listing: 

  1. Walk in Circles
  2. Unruly Mobs
  3. King of Catastrophes
  4. Something's Gotta' Give
  5. Scared Stiff
  6. Miss Betsy
  7. The Wilderness
  8. Another, Another, Then Boom
  9. Totally You Gunslinger
  10. History Has Their Number
  11. Great Acceleration
  12. Liberation
 
Personnel:

Grant-Lee Phillips - Art Direction, Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Photography, Primary Artist, Producer, Vocals
Lex Price - Bass
Jerry Roe - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
 
Widdershins is an archaic word with a somewhat witchy connotation meaning counter-clockwise, or contrary to the sun’s course – the opposite direction in which things should naturally flow, and considered unlucky by some; it’s a word I learned as a child, from fairytales. I seem to remember reading an interview somewhere that mentioned that the cover artwork, i.e. the photograph was entirely serendipitous - that the person in the background was there purely by coincidence.
 
Wow. This is a breezy album – blows out all the cobwebs! Harking back to something of the rockier sound of Grant Lee Buffalo on some numbers while losing nothing of the thoughtfulness, measure, intelligence, humour and slightly slower folkier leanings of the GLP I have come to know and admire. One of the many indie artists who may sadly, never go down in the annals as having been of any renown, but it doesn’t matter – he just carries on doing what he must and there is some considerable drive behind this release. He himself speaks of an ‘urgency’. It’s loose without being chaotic, no nonsense, rattling on at a smart pace and varying between almost garage rock and well placed ballads. As the title indicates, he too has something to say about the present state of world affairs and those closer to home, both personal and political, and it’s all delivered in palatable chunks in well-considered order. Not sure of the running time but it feels like around 45 minutes.
 
Oddly enough – despite what could be fairly depressing subject matter, i.e. the human condition, avarice, puppet masters, etc., it’s not a downbeat listen and I’ve come away from the second spin feeling as though Mr Phillips has not disappointed and has not made me feel miserable - there's always hope. I’ll bag it, I think.
 
Very new so my chosen tracks are not yet appearing on YT. They would be “History Has Their Number” and “The King of Catastrophes” …. so here is one of the punchier tracks – “The Wilderness” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvuviw8A1BY

And a quieter one – “Totally You Gunslinger” … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_owuO4WvreM

Aaaaannd - just found this nice little clip … gives a good idea and you’ll hear snippets of tracks … I see he also refers to widdershins as a ‘witchy’ word …



"The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson
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#2
"the wilderness" has a Brian Fallon quality in the vocals, love it!

"totally you gunslinger", also as a familiar sound but I cannot put my finger on it, again, love it!
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