Fans of Ralfe Band can rejoice, with news about the new album and more live shows being announced, including some forthcoming festival dates!
The live dates are as follows:
17th – 19th May – Wood Festival, OXFORDSHIRE
Monday 3rd June – The Castle, MANCHESTER
Tuesday 4th June – White Heat @ Madame JoJo’s, LONDON
10th August – Wilderness Festival, OXFORDSHIRE
30th August – End Of The Road Festival, DORSET
Don’t forget that their new album Son Be Wise is released on Monday 3rd June. By way of celebration here’s the new video for the first single from the album ‘Come on, Go Wild’ (previously available as an audio file only). Of the track, Oly Ralfe has said, “I wanted to cheer myself up with a fun song. It came to me while jamming to an old ‘80s drum machine, and it made me laugh whenever I played it.”
The video plays out like an ode to Jacques Tati, with Oly & Heather Willensky aiming to, “Create a film that captured a bit of Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday with a bit of a dark, intriguing twist!”
We can also share with you some further information about the new album, which draws inspiration from Oly’s life of living between England and Berlin, and his adventures in Iceland, Mexico and the USA:
Son Be Wise marks a new chapter in Oly’s songcraft, drawing on a kaleidoscope of inspiration from Eric Satie’s music to Borges’s Labyrinths and Emily Brontë’s poems. Of his lyrics Oly continues, “I like my songs to be slightly mysterious. I’m inspired by lyrics that possess puzzling intrigue, straddling places and perspectives.”
© Ralfe Band/Highline Records
The album’s musical journey takes us from the sweeping opener ‘Ox’, to the anthem ‘Barricades’, through hushed vocals and echoing synths on ‘Magdalena’, expansive eastern strings on ‘Oh My Father’, delicate motifs in ‘Ladder’ and the stormy finale of ‘Cold Chicago Morning’, closing with the introspective waltz “Boy With an Old Tin Drum”. All underpinned by Oly’s distinctive piano.
The album also features backing vocals from Alessi Laurent-Marke (aka Alessi’s Ark), who appears on four songs in total. Piney Gir also lends her voice to ‘Dead Souls’. Oly says “It’s the first time I’ve used female vocals. I love the interplay of male and female voices like Serge and Jane.”
The album was recorded in the UK, beginning with Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi) in a remote Wales studio, continuing with Andy Ramsay of Stereolab in South London, and was completed in rural Oxfordshire. On his writing process Oly has said, “I’ve been a nomad these last few years, writing my songs on the move. I find different locations make me feel alive and conjure up ideas.”
Alongside Oly’s vocals, piano, guitar and accordion, the key players are Nick Fowler (bass, guitar), Garo Nahoulakian (guitar) and Mike Monaghan (drums), who also make up the live line-up. Long-term Ralfe Band players John Greswell (strings, viola, mandolin), Andrew Mitchell (guitar) and Ben Nicholls (lap steel guitar) add to the sound, along with guests Rob Ellis (drums on Cold Chicago Morning), Blur and Radiohead brass and woodwind player Steve Hamilton, saxophone by Pete Wareham of Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland and Garance Louis on accordion (we love a bit of detail, we do!).
Roll on 3rd June, we say!