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When: 7.30pm on Wednesday 15 May 2019
Where: The Kings Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN

PLEASE NOTE: This show has sold out. Watch this space for details of future James Yorkston shows.

We’re delighted to be welcoming James Yorkston back – this time, to the Kings Arms, with guest Viking Moses.

James Yorkston will release his new album The Route to the Harmonium on 22 February 2019; produced by Yorkston and David Wrench, it is James’ first solo record since 2014’s Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society (CRAWS) and follows the two collaborative albums he made as one third of Yorkston/Thorne/Khan as well as the release of his debut novel Three Craws in 2016.

Alongside the announcement, James has shared new song My Mouth Ain’t No Bible – one of three thrilling spoken-word pieces on the record. It thrums insistently, military snares punching away, Yorkston’s delivery interplaying as two competing voices, one of himself, the other a lost musician friend, ‘a spare hand, a hired hand, a deck hand’ who was unable to prevent self-destruction.

The album was almost entirely recorded by James himself, in the small Scottish fishing village of Cellardyke, where he lives. Yorkston’s studio is a ramshackle old loft space, originally used to repair fisherman’s nets, and now stuffed full the antique instruments James has collected throughout his life as a musician. Having created hours of recordings, James called up his old collaborator David Wrench – the mixer and producer who has worked with the likes of Caribou, Four Tet, Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs and David Byrne – and someone who has worked on James’ albums since 2003 – to help make sense of the sessions.

The Route to the Harmonium (or, ‘the search for peace’) is intensely personal; it’s the sound of home, of undisturbed craftmanship. Listen closely and you can imagine him putting it together. Overlaying vocal and guitar tracks, adding further with Dulcitones, harmoniums and autoharps, with nyckelharpa, the distinctive Swedish stringed instrument given to him by a friend. And friends and family, past and present swim all over his songs. Remembering them, and those you’ve shared life with, those who leave and those who remain, is the strongest thread running through these affecting, extraordinary songs. This is Yorkston’s world and could be nowhere else in music.

James adds: ‘I guess, as a musician and writer, I find myself reacting to what goes on around. So, this album is about life, the life that carries on around me. There’s family, place, and the being away from family that the life of a touring musician brings… But there’s also reference to friends departed – the hows, the whys – When a friend jumps ship it’s always a haymaker to the gut, you know? And this album is about them, but it’s more about us, us who are left behind…’

Tour support comes from Viking Moses. Viking Moses announces his fifth album, Cruel Child, out Friday 5 April on Epifo Music, plus a new video, and an international tour. Nearly 13 years since his proper debut as Viking Moses, Baltimore musician Brendon Massei is slated to release his fifth album. As one would expect from someone who is noted for having consistently toured since 1993, Cruel Child offers a dozen dusty and deep and wistful explorations of the soul, written in such a manner they could only have come from a master traveler of dark and imposing paths both literal and philosophical.

Yet in darkness, light; it would be wrong to fully assume that Cruel Child is an album that wallows in its misery. Yes, Massei sings with a deep and haunted voice reminiscent of Mark Lanegan, Will Oldham and David Eugene Edwards, but like those masters, Massei is adept at hiding beautiful, tender, and positive messages that are shrouded in mystery and melancholy. Cruel Child is an album of dark sounds, to be sure; it is a beautiful darkness, though – one that should not be feared, but embraced. It is an album that unfolds itself slowly; its foreboding and lonely trails growing lighter on subsequent listens, revealing hidden beauty and truth with every visit.

PLEASE NOTE: This show has sold out. Watch this space for details of future James Yorkston shows.

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