BADLY Drawn Boy, alias woolly-hatted Damon Gough, will release his first studio album in a decade, Banana Skin Shoes, on May 22 on the AWAL label.
Trailered as a “truly personal and heartfelt collection that skips between musical idioms and emotional extremes”, the 14 tracks were completed last year by Gough at Eve Studios, Stockport, with producer Gethin Pearson, who also mixed the recordings.
Earlier, Gough had worked on tracks for the album with legendary producer Youth at his London studio; Keir Stewart (ex-Durutti Column) at Inch Studios and Seadna McPhail at Airtight Studios.
Badly Drawn Boy last released a studio set, It’s What I’m Thinking Pt 1, Photographing Snowflakes, in October 2010, since when he has composed the soundtrack for Being Flynn, Paul Weitz’s 2012 American film starring Robert DeNiro and Julianne Moore.
This month’s album spans the opening blast of forthcoming single Banana Skin Shoes, with its riotous Beck-meets-Beastie Boys “cartoony” hip hop throw-down, to the immaculately tailored closer I’ll Do My Best, a nod to Gough’s failings, a prayer to his partner and a lyrical tip of the hat to his hero Bruce Springsteen. Take a look at the animated video for the single by award-winning film directors Broken Antler at https://badlydrawnboy.lnk.to/bss-vid
In between the two bookends are the retro-futurist pop of Fly On The Wall, evoking the Eighties’ pop-soul of Hall & Oates; the lush piano-and-strings ballad Never Change and the Motown-echoing soul stomper Tony Wilson Said, a celebration of the late, great fixer of the Manchester music scene.
I Need Someone To Trust begins with a nod to Chicago’s soft-rock 1976 chart topper If You Leave Me Now, branching into a spiritual song of salvation-seeking, while the beautiful, loving I Just Wanna Wish You Happiness sees 50-year-old Gough “dig deep to alchemise the trauma of a break-up into a song of salutation to his ex”.
The track listing on Badly Drawn Boy’s eighth studio album will be: Banana Skin Shoes; first single Is This A Dream?; I Just Wanna Wish You Happiness; I’m Not Sure What It is; Tony Wilson Said; You And Me Against The World; I Need Someone To Trust; Note To Self; Colours; Funny Time Of Year; Fly On The Wall; Never Change; Appletree Boulevard and I’ll Do My Best.
After his sold-out London show at The Roundhouse in January, the 2000 Mercury Music Prize winner will announce more live dates over the coming months. He played Yorfest at York Racecourse in September 2017.