THE artist we once knew as Thea Gilmore, for 19 albums no less, is changing her name to Afterlight, the title of her upcoming release too on October 1.
The Oxford singer-songwriter, 41, will showcase the new record on her first ever completely solo tour, complementing material from all stages of her career at a sold-out Pocklington Arts Centre on October 8 at 8pm.
In her official statement, she opens by saying: “Afterlight is doing it just like Chekhov said. She was always the loaded gun that appears in the first act. Now, as the third act unfolds, it’s time to put on your bulletproof vest.”
She continues: “After the stop comes the start. After the dark; the light. This is not a drill. Afterlight is a real account of one woman’s journey from impressionable 16-year-old bound into a toxic working and romantic relationship with a man 23 years her senior, to a brand-new artist and free woman finding her own beginning.
“Written, produced and performed by Afterlight, the eponymous debut spans the brutal truth of the opening track – an account of all the damage wrought upon one small life – through the slow, painful realisation that her entire world was built on control and lies, on to the emergence of a woman learning for the first time who she really is, making new connections and, finally, finding her own voice.
“Only now that she has freed herself of that life has Afterlight been able to complete a different kind of debut – not so much a new artist as an artist renewed.”
Postponed by 12 months due to the global pandemic, her tour now takes place under the new name but will still find the former Thea accompanying herself on guitar, keyboard and loop station.
Her October 8 audience is promised “a chance to hear some of her most special songs exactly the way they entered the world – raw, unadorned, delivered intimately by that long revered, hauntingly beautiful voice”.
Since first stepping out aged 18, she has released 19 albums, 6 EPs; been lauded by Bruce Springsteen; collaborated with roots royalty Billy Bragg, Joan Baez and The Waterboys; performed on BBC Radio 2 with Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and contributed songs to the soundtrack of BAFTA-winning film Bait.
Always keen to explore new musical boundaries, now she stretches herself further on and as Afterlight. Look out for a second album, The Emancipation Of Eva Grey, arriving on October 1 too.