One of Britain’s best live bands Stereophonics will embark on a major UK & Irish arena tour in spring 2018 following the release their new album, ‘Scream Above The Sounds’. ‘Scream Above The Sounds’ was primarily recorded in the band’s HQ in west London with a further session at RAK Studios. Created with the help of regular collaborator Jim Lowe, it’s an album in which creative sonic touches add to the band’s emphasis on songwriting and melody.

Twenty years after their debut ‘Word Gets Around,’ Stereophonics’ tenth studio album ‘Scream Above The Sounds’ was released on October 27th (via Parlophone Records) and follows ‘Keep The Village Alive’ which went straight to No.1 when it was released in 2015 and became their sixth chart-topper after ‘Performance And Cocktails’ (1999), ‘Just Enough Education To Perform’ (2001) ‘You Gotta Go There To Come Back’ (2003), ‘Language. Sex. Violence. Other?’ (2005) and ‘Pull The Pin’ (2007).

As one of Britain’s best live bands Stereophonics have been touring and performing to sell-out crowds across the globe. This summer alone they headlined Kendal Calling, Y Not Festival and Victorious Festival as well as taking to the stage at BBC Radio 2’s Live In Hyde Park last weekend.  

Stereophonics consists of founding members Kelly Jones (vocals/guitar) and Richard Jones (bass) along with Adam Zindani (guitar) and Jamie Morrison (drums). Long-term keyboardist Tony Kirkham joins the band for live shows. 

Kelly said of the songwriting process that he began to write, “Big, anthemic songs that are rallying against those anxious feelings that have flooded through cities. Every song offers a sense of release,” he says, “Even when there’s nostalgia, fear or anxiety, they’re still all offering hope and room to manoeuvre.”

The first single, ‘All In One Night,’ represents the band’s affection for the melancholy. Set to a consistent mid-paced rhythm which evokes a nocturnal motorway drive, it finds the narrator’s life taking a dramatic turn as night brightens to day. Influenced by the Sebastian Schipper film ‘Victoria’, it’s a song that had an unusual genesis – Kelly started it when the band had an unscheduled day’s stay in China before he finished it back home in London. Even the atmospheric call of the chorus was fortuitous, being an adaptation of a vocal exercise he was using.  Watch the video here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo5gI3sZ4A4

‘Scream Above The Sounds’ has been released on digital (standard and deluxe), CD (standard and deluxe) and vinyl LP formats. It’s available to order from http://www.stereophonics.com with ‘All In One Night’ provided as an instant download.

Rising from pubs to stadiums, Stereophonics’ accomplishments are near limitless. Six No.1 albums. Eleven Top 10 singles, including the chart-topping ‘Dakota’. Headline sets at festivals including Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, V & the Isle of Wight. Huge headline shows at Slane Castle, Edinburgh Castle and the Cardiff Community Stadium. Tours with David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, The Who and U2. When recently asked what he was listening to, Bob Dylan replied, “Stereophonics.”

Now, founder members Kelly Jones (vocals/guitar) and Richard Jones (bass) are joined by the relative newcomers, Adam Zindani (guitar) and Jamie Morrison (drums), along with long-term live keyboardist Tony Kirkham. “It’s like when you think of Ronnie Wood being the new guitarist in The Stones,” laughs Kelly. “That new guy syndrome never wears off.”

Each Stereophonics album attracts a new legion of young fans who are discovering them for the very first time. What’s more, it’s an audience that’s split evenly between male and female. So when the Joneses greet their huge crowds, they inevitably see that the front few rows are packed with people in their teens and early-twenties. 

Twenty years after they first broke through with ‘Word Gets Around’, both founder members are more interested in continuing to progress rather than reflecting upon the past. As Richard explains, “We’re always trying to move forward, to find new things we can do, and to discover what people like about us.” It’s a stance that’s reflected throughout their forthcoming tenth album, ‘Scream Above The Sounds’.

For this album, Kelly began to write, “Big, anthemic songs that are rallying against those anxious feelings that have flooded through cities.” A strident melodic rush in the finest of Stereophonic traditions, opener ‘Caught By The Wind’ is the most striking example of that approach, but the whole collection is permeated with positivity. “Every song offers a sense of release,” he continues. “Even when there’s nostalgia, fear or anxiety, they’re still all offering hope and room to manoeuvre.”

If ‘Caught By The Wind’ captures Stereophonics at their most immediate, the first single ‘All In One Night’ represents their affection for the melancholy. Set to a consistent mid-paced rhythm which evokes a nocturnal motorway drive, it finds the narrator’s life taking a dramatic turn as night brightens to day. Influenced by the Sebastian Schipper film ‘Victoria’, it’s a song that had an unusual genesis – Kelly started it when the band had an unscheduled day’s stay in China before he finished it back home in London. Even the atmospheric call of the chorus was fortuitous, being an adaptation of a vocal exercise he was using.

While ‘All In One Night’ is clearly fiction, the album’s centrepiece, ‘Before Anyone Knew Our Name,’ is a plaintive piano ballad in which Kelly reflects on the loss of the band’s original drummer Stuart Cable, the adventures of the band’s early days, and his own fatherhood. Given the subject matter, it’s no surprise that Kelly struggles to discuss it in any depth beyond the basic writing process, but the lyrics speak for themselves: “I miss you, man… We had the fire, had desire, but what went wrong then?”

“Hearing those lyrics brings up all those of memories of Stuart,” explains Richard. “Where we came from, all the work we put in, and the band’s history. It’s one of those songs that anybody could relate to in some kind of way.”

While ‘Scream Above The Sounds’ doesn’t consciously reflect on the ‘Word Gets Around’ era, both ‘Before Anyone Knew Our Name’ and the lo-fi ‘Boy On A Bike’ suggest that looking back is the best way to move forward. Regarding the latter song, Kelly states, “That talks about when I grew up in a very small town and having that freedom of being on a bike on a white blanket of snow. That image is something I go back to, to calm myself down when it all gets a bit intense.”

The album was primarily recorded in the band’s HQ in west London with a further session at RAK Studios alongside a few elements which remained from the ‘Keep The Village Alive’ sessions at ICP Studios in Brussels. 

Created with the help of regular collaborator Jim Lowe, it’s an album in which creative sonic touches add to the band’s emphasis on songwriting and melody. ‘What’s All The Fuss About?’ is a case in point with a Latin American feel and rousing trumpets while ‘Geronimo’ explodes from stomping blues into a wild, improvised freestyle with a touch of the Tom Waits about it. Less dramatic but similarly unconventional are the ‘Tom’s Diner’ feel of the percussive loop that swings under ‘Would You Believe’ and the vocoder that subtly accents Kelly’s vocals on ‘Taking A Tumble’.

 

Stereophonics will be performing in Bimringham Genting Arena, 1st March 2018.

Tickets are available from www.gigsandtours.com, www.ticketmaster.co.uk and www.stereophonics.com. 

 

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