Using cello, vocals, orchestral arrangements, choral ensembles, location samples, synths and piano Abi Wade explores human nature through real and abstracted personas on her debut album ‘Beautifully Astray’.
Haunting brass and a blissful wind section filters through sweeping strings to form an orchestral arrangement that perfectly complements Wade’s heartfelt lyrics on relationships and human nature.
New single ‘Reasonable Doubt’ is about exploring the insular side of human nature in relation to the ecological and political environment. Abi says “I imagine a twisted and broken playground scene with a self-involved cheerleader lording over her clique in the setting of an apocalyptic world. They just carry on regardless to the destruction around them, all except for a shunned onlooker looking at them in disbelief”
The song was built around the beginning cello riff and developed with the addition of field recordings taken from a children’s playground, sequenced drums, analog synths, driving piano chords and warped bv’s.
Abi wrote most of the tracks on the album on cello initially in various locations of her old hometown of Brighton, from the living room of her seafront apartment to the dark belly of Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. From this starting point, Abi set out on a sonic exploration, getting field recordings in locations as diverse as a printworks, a tap dancing club and following a chance meeting there, a fishing boat:
“After the tap dancing class I was explaining to the man who ran it how I was trying to get onto a boat to record some sounds and by pure coincidence it turned out he was a fisherman, I did not expect a tap dancing fisherman! It was truly an amazing experience to go out first thing on to the water and share a moment of time with such an interesting character.”
Following a move to Camden the tracks were fleshed out with orchestral arrangements and were recorded in Jay Malhotra and Sam Duckworth’s Amazing Grace studio in Hoxton. These sessions included brass, wind and choral ensembles. Abi then worked with ‘the patron saints of print’ Eley Kishimoto to create the visuals for the album matching the story of each print and pattern to the story of each song. Their patterns are featured on both the album and single artwork and has been a source of inspiration throughout the making of the album.
‘Beautifully Astray’ which comes out on 6th April, was recorded with support from Help Musician’s Emerging Excellence award, and the release with support from PRS for Music Foundation’s Women Make Music.
While developing as an artist, she has toured the UK & Europe with Patrick Wolf, sold out her debut EP and released music on the label set up by Daniel Copeman of Esben & The Witch and has played shows with the likes of CocoRosie, Polica, Michael Kiwanuka, Other Lives, Deptford Goth and festivals such as End of The Road, The Great Escape and Wilderness.
The album ‘Beautifully Astray’ is available to pre-order and includes exclusive interactive artwork available to those pre-ordering the album. Abi says “The idea is inspired by the dadaist approach using surrealist techniques to inspire”. RSVP a creation of your own using elements from the artwork itself to inspire a new song by Abi Wade responding to and incorporating the words that are received.
Reviews for the album have been very flattering – “Brilliant” – The 405 and “Stark glitchy electronics juxtaposed with warming acoustic cello and violin, and semi pop vocals.” – God Is In The TV.
You can pre-order it here: https://abiwade.bandcamp.com/album/beautifully-astray
4th April: St Pancras Old Church, London with support from Emma Gatrill + AK Patterson
5th April: Nightingale Theatre, Brighton with support from Emma Gatrill + AK Patterson
8th April: Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate with S A R A S A R A + BABII
17-19th May: Alternative Great Escape, Brighton
Emma Gatrill is a multi-instrumentalist based in Brighton, UK. Her second LP ‘Cocoon’ showcases a huge leap forward in scope and imagination. The harp, tender vocal and unique take on classic songwriting are still at the core, but the arrangements draw from a much wider and often darker sonic palette – introducing vintage mono synths, drum machines and vibraphone. Gatrill’s circle of influences has widened too – from the joyful experimentation of Juana Molina to the intelligent pop and texturally rich arrangements of Julia Holter and My Brightest Diamond. http://www.emmagatrill.com/
has been dubbed ‘a woman possessed’, disappearing to a place of disconcerting enchantment when she sings. Her unique vocal style evolved from a range of voices she found expressive as a child; spending each extra hour after school seizing every opportunity to mimic her obsessions – Ella Fitzgerald, Bjork, Jeff Buckley, Judy Garland, Portuguese Fado musicians; learning the subtleties and characteristics in each voice. https://www.facebook.com/akpattersonmusic/