Will Varley is pleased to announce details of his fifth studio album, Spirit Of Minnie, released 9 February 2018 through Xtra Mile Recordings. Preorder it now.
Following 2016’s much praised Kingsdown Sundown and a sold out show at London’s Union Chapel, the new album marks a distinct change of direction for the singer songwriter, as it's the first time he has recorded with a full backing band. Produced by Cameron McVey (Massive Attack, Portishead, Neneh Cherry), the new album expands on the pared back musical palette of Varley’s previous sound, all the while retaining his gift for painterly, affirming and immediate lyric writing.
Listen to opening track 'All Those Stars' below.
For the first time, Will assembled a full band to draw out the galaxy-spanning atmosphere within the core of his songs. A nod to his previous brush with Ursa Minor, 'All Those Stars' brings you into the warmth, and invites you to admire the grain of the songs while lost in the ambience. By the time you reach the halfway point, 'Statues', Will's songs have been lifted by pedal steel, violins, piano, bringing them a visual quality, like seeing things in colour for the first time. The title track is a career highlight – a tale that recalls folk-storytelling traditions and folklore (“to us she is vast and ancient, to the universe she is still a child”) with the swell of its drama built from an eerie collage of acoustic sounds, a reminder of how potent a vision an intimate room of unplugged musicians can conjure. The album closes with a story of humanity, our place on the Earth and our curiosity, and our follies, set to an ebbing and flowing ocean of strings guided by the pull of the band at its heart. As ever, Will has taken us on his travels, asked big questions and explored further than before, away from the stark rolling hills of Kingsdown Sundown to the wide, expansive and mysterious landscapes of Spirit of Minnie.
After a run of UK shows the album will come out on the same day he plays his biggest headline show to date at the iconic 02 Shepherds Bush Empire. Will is accompanying the announcement by releasing a brand new track from the album on Spotify and other digital platforms along with his entire back catalogue which, until now, could not be found on any streaming sites.
Aided by McVey’s nuanced, widescreen production and the warm cascading sound of his new band, ‘All Those Stars’ offers the perfect first glimpse into ‘Spirit Of Minnie’, straddling Will's sound and style from past to present. Counting the likes of Billy Bragg, Valerie June and Frank Turner as his fans, and with tours scheduled across Europe and America, the young songwriter from Deal seems poised for a huge 2018.
Spirit Of Minnie tracklisting
1. All Those Stars
2. Seven Days
4. Breaking the Bread
6. Spirit of Minnie
7. Let It Roll
UK HEADLINE TOUR (all upcoming Will Varley dates on our Gigs page)
01 Leeds @ Brudenell Social Club
02 Edinburgh @ La Belle Angele
03 Manchester @ Club Academy
06 Southampton @ 1865
07 Cardiff @ The Globe
08 Bristol @ Trinity Centre
09 London @ Shepherds Bush Empire