Electric Soft Parade Festival for Music Minds Matter

Sat 26 May 2018 – Circle Arts Centre, 55 North Street, Portslade, Brighton, BN41 1DH. Visit link for more info: Chord Orchard presents a new one-day Festival raising funds and awareness for Music Minds Matter, providing mental health support for the music industry. Featuring: BC Camplight, The Electric Soft Parade, Danny & The Champions Of The World, Diamond Family Archive, Brother Twain, Fierce Friend, The Delta Bell, Hattie Cooke + DJs, fully stocked bar and stalls. TICKETS: eventbrite.co.uk/e/mind-my-music-tickets-42785094369



New Electric Soft Parade album?

From the Electric Soft Parade Facebook So if Alex and I were to do ESP #5 and fund it through some sort of Kickstarter-esque crowd-funding setup, would you lot support us in that kind of endeavour? We’ve umm-ed and ahh-ed about how to do some new stuff for quite a while now, and this looks like it might be the most feasible way forward. It may even allow us to tour the record at home and abroad, etc etc. We’d start album 5 tomorrow if we knew we could afford studio time and turn out the best fucking record of our career for our none-more-loyal peeps! Whadda y’all think?

The Fiction Aisle – limited download EP

facebook.com/thefictionaisle To coincide with our shows this week (see Facebook) we’ll be issuing a limited download EP featuring a new mix of Blue, along with remixes of the lead track by Acquaintance, JØTA and British Sea Power, available completely free from our Soundcloud page from 28/08/15. It is with great pleasure that we can also announce the upcoming release of our debut album proper, Heart Map Rubric, available digitally worldwide (with extremely limited edition hand-numbered gatefold digipaks available direct by mail order from Chord Orchard), 27/11/15. Pre-orders from late October…

Blue JØTA Remix

goldflakepaint.co.uk Blue announces the arrival of his latest grouping, however, and the track is every bit as searingly sensitive as we’ve come to expect. Shaped by White’s dimmed lead vocal, the track is a nocturnal ode to self-inspection, a darkened unraveling that comes alive under a weighty backdrop of flourishing instrumentation which always treads one step behind the protagonist.

themetropolist.com The Fiction Aisle is a new band, of sorts. If you’re Brightoner though, you might know them. Tom White of the Electric Soft Parade has always been busy, be it playing with Sparks, Patrick Wolf or his own solo efforts. He’s now sitting soft, musically. For all the thrashing we love as teenagers, Tom’s moved, big-time, into an orchestral Burt Bacharach-esque appreciation of lounge music in it’s finest, most stirring, form.

Having previously only teased out a couple of remixes, including one of British Sea Power’s Loving Animals, Blue, the Fiction Aisle’s debut offering – and let’s be clear this is a band, a 10 piece band no less – has the percussive soft salsa-shuffle of Sergio Mendes, the piano tinkles of New York’s early morning cocktail club performers and Tom’s voice croons like Robert Wyatt in a deeper baritone.

Being a 10-piece everything is here; a brass swell, rhythmically plucked guitars, lingering pianos. Yet whilst the band has more than enough capacity for bluster, this is a soft piece. The chorus shimmers… softly. Tom reflects on a love not quite strong enough to endure… softly and without malice or regret. It’s sublime.

Lounge music and the theatre of musicals are maybe niche genres when it comes to the average music fan’s repertoire, but they shouldn’t be. In many respects both are genres in desperate need of resurrection for music’s sake if nothing else, and The Fiction Aisle have the talent to turn an ember into a fire. The Fiction Aisle are a band at the start of an exciting journey, and Tom White a writer moving beyond being a proponent of the zeitgeist into a truly unique voice.

The Fiction Aisle – New Single

The Fiction Aisle – New Single: Major Seventh / Each & Every One Debut AA-side single, released to coincide with Record Store Day 2015. Written by Thomas White. Recorded and mixed at Church Road Studios, Sept 2014 – March 2015. Thomas White: vocals, guitars, keys – Heather Urquhart: vocals – Louis Macgillivray: guitar – Adam Kidd: guitar – Alan Grice: keys – Craig Chapman: trumpet – Gemma WIlliams: clarinet – Holly Fitzgerald: clarinet – Jordan Duggie: bass – Alex White: drums, percussion. The Fiction Aisle FacebookChord Orchard Label

A Promise Kept seems to be also known as Major Seventh.

magicrpm.com And it is precisely The Fiction Aisle that interests us today on the occasion of a brand new single. Openly influenced by The Clientele and Broadcast or jazz luminaries like Chet Baker, Thomas White offers with A Promise Kept and Each & Every One two precious compositions arranged with the tact that is known to him, directing without blinking the nine musicians of his together pop. Another title, Blue, was unveiled last November.

tastyfanzine.org.uk There’s a feel much akin to ‘Mars Audiac Quintet’ era Stereolab when listening to this Brighton combo’s Double A-side header “A Promise Kept”. The climb on this track is reminiscent of some of the music in James Bond’s ‘Moonraker’, especially during the assassination of Drax’s deadly weapon! I’m enjoying the outro of polished sax, which more than suits their wall of sound. Tight rhythms complement the brass section, with spells of what sounds like a xylophone. “Each & Every One” has more of a jazz influence to it. I like the lyrics as they relate to isolation and realism. Ry Cooder springs to mind with this offering and maybe even The James Taylor Quartet. I could imagine this going down well in The Bee’s Mouth on Western Road, so may have to venture to my old place of residence to catch them live at some point.

Q + A with Alex White at CMU

Brothers White

Q + A with Alex White at CMU – Click the link for a very long interview, here’s a few quotes:

Being brothers we were never really ‘apart’ as a group, and actually having most people think we’d split up, or weren’t doing any more records, was quite liberating in that we were able to work on upwards of a hundred songs for this new record and work our way through to the very best stuff at a pace we were comfortable with.

The songs were formed over a rather long period, some coming in a while back, but most probably came in an inspired burst of Tom’s writing in the last year or so. We had an initial meeting with Helium, the label that we are now with, in which Chris, the label boss and producer of the album, made the point to us that though there was some excellent stuff we had written, he wanted to get back together with us and make a ‘great’ record, a classic. With that thought in mind, Tom was inspired to go back to the drawing board and really push himself. During this period he wrote ‘Summertime In My Heart’ and several other of the bigger pop tunes on the record, responding directly to Chris’s desire for the ultimate pop record.

The actual work on the album started over a year ago, and gradually we worked through everything with a tooth comb until we had what we as a team deemed the right result. It really was like making a film or something, rather than just getting in a room and playing. It took the best part of a year to get right, and in my view it’s a perfect piece of work. Given the time spent on it, and the time away in between sessions to refocus, it’s been a privilege to get to work in this way, and to really make sure we had something we were proud of and that people would enjoy.

The natural disposition of the writing in the band has tended towards more pop based ideas and sonics, based on what we’ve been immersed in over the last few years. Always big pop fans, we decided to let this be our pop masterpiece!

Hopefully the sound is more refined and more ‘mature’; I don’t know, personally I hate all those words, it just makes the stuff sound dull. Actually I’m very proud of this record and I think it’s a genuinely great thing, which is more than I can say of any of our other records. That itself is an achievement in my view, when one can truly be happy with what one envisages and what one actually creates.

Across the album, I’d say there are feelings of love, of expression of one’s feelings, of discovery and reflection, of loss and all that brings, and mainly of total, unashamed honesty. There’s a lot of pretending in music in my view, and it’s a pleasure to sing lyrics that are totally from the heart and unapologetically straight and honest. We lost our mother to cancer a few years back and while it was a devastating time, I think she would be very proud to hear the words in these songs that relate to that experience. The raw expression of love and death that comes through in these songs is some of the truest emotion I’ve ever known people around me to be able to convey. It’s very humbling.

Frankly, as long as there’s an audience for it, and even if there isn’t, we’ll probably keep doing albums sporadically until we die or get sick of it, neither of which I can foresee with any clarity. I feel like we genuinely add something to the music scene that others cannot and it’s worth seeing where that takes us for a while longer yet.