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Click on the picture below to hear the exclusive song premiere of "Hideaway".
Bobby Long's new album, Ode to Thinking, comes out on August 7 via Compass Records. Below, the British singer-songwriter who calls New York City home shares a track from the album, "Hideaway," a kiss-off to a wayward lover that splits the difference between The Beatles and Joe Cocker.
How did you write "Hideaway?" Originally, I wrote the chorus as something different. I always loved it, but it never clicked into place. I was mucking around with the riff that underlines the chorus part, and I wanted to write something that was a bit raggedy like "Dig a Pony." I just started playing the chorus again so it came together really well. I was actually inspired to write this about this person that I knew who just seemed to love scorching myself and people around her. So it's kind of a distant finger in her general direction.
How would you describe the new record? It's always hard to describe, but I guess the whole album is about the songs. Every instrumentation or harmony part is dedicated to making the song better. It was a case of removing ego as players and as a singer and trying to do what's best for the writing and the listener really.
Have you been to Nashville much? What do you think of it? I really like Nashville. It's a great great town. It feels special. I love the history of the place, and there are lots of great things happening musically right now.
What's the last good concert you've been to? Wow, that's tough. I saw John Prine, and he was the best.
Bobby Long is a singer-songwriter from the United Kingdom, who lives in New York. In this exclusive video, Bobby plays "1985", a song off of his upcoming album, Ode to Thinking, and talks with Project UROK about his struggles with mental health issues that run in his family. If you would like to find out more Project UROK, or if you know someone suffering from mental health issues, please visit their website.
While Bobby was touring back in March, he stopped by the Big Light Studios in Nashville to record a new Daytrotter session. The session includes four songs from his upcoming record "Ode to Thinking" which will be released on August 7th, worldwide. Two of the songs can be streamed, although to hear the full set of songs you can become a member of Daytrotter to hear the full stream.
Tracks 1. Welcome to Daytrotter/That Little Place I Knew 2. I'm Not Going Out Tonight 3. Kill Someone 4. Treat Me Like a Stranger
A SINGER-songwriter’s new album may have been born in the USA but he says Wigan is very much home.
Bobby Long, who lived in the borough until he was six and still has family in Swinley and Orrell, travelled from his home in New York to Texas to record third album Ode To Thinking.
Bobby’s family left Wigan for Wiltshire and he then made his way Stateside after studying at London Metropolitan University.
His latest album sees him strip back the sound of previous recordings to concentrate on his voice and guitar, while he says the studio in Austin allowed him to subtly absorb some of the state’s history in country, blues and jazz music into the record.
Despite the trans-Atlantic setting and influences, which started aged 11 when his dad Chris introduced him to blues, Bobby says it is the north of England which still feels like home to him. Bobby, 29, said: “I’ve got more family ties to Wigan than anywhere else and whenever I go back it feels like home. “I really like the place, it feels like a home base. I love the people and I’m also a rugby league fan and like to go to a game when I’m here.“It definitely influences my music and in particular my lyrics, especially with the northern sense of humour I was brought up with.”
Blues/folk misfit Bobby Long learns the art of compromise
“I love that record … I’m really proud of it.”
The album to which Bobby Long is referring isn’t the new Ode To Thinking, but 2013’s Wishbone, his second and final release for ATO. And the reason he’s talking about it, quite frankly, is because the guy interviewing him won’t shut up about it. “This is one of the most in-depth Wishbone interviews I’ve ever had—I was hoping for this kind of interview when it came out,” says Long with a chuckle. “It just shows you that, sometimes, things don’t stick.”
Wishbone’s swept-under-the-rug status was all the more perplexing given the strength of its songs—nearly every one an engaging marriage of the Englander’s competing passions for folk, blues and Britpop. If any album that year was equipped to bridge the divide between “September Gurls” and “The Thrill Is Gone,” Wishbone was it. So, is it any wonder that ATO didn’t quite know what to do with the thing?
“I don’t want to be one of those people who slags off their old label—there were some really lovely people there,” says Long, who’s now settled in Beacon, N.Y. “I was instantly put in the singer/songwriter bracket, so I was kind of rebelling a bit. I remember playing a song for the people in my camp early on, and one said it reminded him of Coldplay. I was like, ‘Well, isn’t that a good thing? They sell a shit-ton of records.’”
To be clear: Nothing on Ode To Thinking sounds even remotely like Coldplay. Recorded by Mark Hallman at his Congress House Studios in Austin in September, the album was funded by a PledgeMusic campaign after Long cut ties with ATO. “It was just me and the producer in the studio; I played whatever, and Mark played the rest,” says Long. “We’d start a song in the morning, and we wouldn’t stop until we were finished. We did 24 tracks in, like, 10 days.”
With its crisp, unobtrusive production and emphasis on Long’s gritty, increasingly nuanced vocals, Ode is a solid compromise between Wishbone’s burly full-band sound and the sparse, live-to-tape feel of 2011’s A Winter Tale, produced by Grammy winner Liam Watson (White Stripes). “Not a lot of people work with Liam Watson on their first record—he’s a maverick producer,” says Long. “Maybe I should’ve recorded this album first.” Perhaps that would’ve made Wishbone easier to swallow.
There is now only 15 days left until the release of Bobby Long's new album "Ode to Thinking" on Compass Records. Please countdown with us, and be ready to download your digital copy on Friday, August 7th. Please feel free to to share the countdown clock and post on your social media pages.
We we're lucky enough to have a video of Bobby performing at Glastonbury this past week. Thank you to Bobby's management for providing this video to share with his fans. Here is Bobby's closing number "Cold Hearted Lover of Mine". He was backed on the Acoustic Stage by UK musicians Alex Starling (keyboards and bvs) and Alex Sharman (bass guitar), who tour as The Ghosts, and Chris Duffy (drums).
The full set list was...
Who Have You Been Loving Something Blue, Something Borrowed Hideaway I’m Not Going Out Tonight Treat Me Like A Stranger Devil Moon Cold Hearted Lover of Mine
Four new shows have been added to Bobby Long's Ode To Thinking European leg of the tour. Tuesday, November 3rd at Hare and Hounds Birmingham, Wednesday, November 4th at the Night and Day Cafe in Manchester, Thursday November 5th at King Tuts, Glasgow Scotland and Friday November 6th at the Borderline in London. Tickets for all dates go on sale this Friday, July 10th. Tickets can be purchased at the links listed below.