TPA News – January 2022

Latest Prog News from across the progressive music spectrum & updated throughout January 2022

12/01/2022: Alex Lifeson’s Envy Of None stream Liar

Alex Lifeson has announced details of his new musical project, Envy Of None, accompanied by the first music to be released from the forthcoming album…

Alex Lifeson is no stranger to the concept of evolution. As a founding member of Rush, he’s been able to explore more musical ground than just about any other guitar player out there – taking rock to new progressive heights throughout the decades and always in the most wildly inventive of ways. His influence can be heard on countless bands around the world, from indie shoegaze and math rock to heavy metal and beyond. Over the last few years Lifeson has been focusing on a new project that, no matter how well-acquainted you are with his discography, will undoubtedly shatter all seeds of expectation and blow the mind. That project is Envy Of None.

The new band, also featuring Coney Hatch founder/bassist Andy Curran, accomplished producer and engineer Alfio Annibalini and singer-songwriter Maiah Wynne, will be releasing their self-titled debut album on April 8 via Kscope. Its 11 tracks – which ricochet between various shades of alternative, experimental and synth rock – throw surprises at every turn, twisting dark melodies against contemporary pop hooks. Lifeson himself is proudly aware of how little of it crosses over with the band that made him famous.

However, it was only when singer Maiah Wynne became involved that this truly started to feel like a band destined to go somewhere. Her haunting melodies and soul-baring intensity is – by the admission of her own bandmates – what truly brought this music to life. All things considered; she is a star in the making… “I sent over an early version of the song Shadow,” explains Andy Curran. “When I played what she’d done back to the others they were like, ‘Who is this crazy talented person?!’

The album’s first single, Liar, is out now. Its industrial beats, driving fuzz bass and atmospheric guitars concoct a seductive swirl indeed – thrilling in ways closer to the darker art rock of Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle than anything these musicians have been known for prior.

The album’s first single, Liar, is out now. Its industrial beats, driving fuzz bass and atmospheric guitars concoct a seductive swirl indeed – thrilling in ways closer to the darker art rock of Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle than anything these musicians have been known for prior.

“Maiah became my muse,” continues Alex Lifeson. “She was able to bring this whole new ethereal thing through her sense of melody on tracks like Liar and Look Inside. After hearing her vocals on Never Said I Love You, I felt so excited. I’ve never had that kind of inspiration working with another musician. When we say she’s special, it’s because she’s really fucking special!”

“One of my favourite things about these songs is the intimacy of them,” reveals Maiah Wynne. “It makes them feel different and more honest. There are some heavier songs too, like Enemy, and then tracks like Kabul Blues, that sound completely different to anything else.”

The album closer, Western Sunset, which was penned by Alex Lifeson in tribute to his dear friend Neil Peart. It’s a highly emotive piece of music to honour a man deeply missed by the rock community at large, and even more so by those who were lucky enough to know him. “I visited Neil when he was ill,” says Alex Lifeson. “I was on his balcony watching the sunset and found inspiration. There’s a finality about a sunset that kinda stayed with me throughout the whole process. It had meaning. It was the perfect mood to decompress after all these different textures… a nice way to close the book.”

SOURCE: Kscope

12/01/2022: Jethro Tull release animated video for The Zealot Gene

Ahead of the release of Jethro Tull’s The Zealot Gene, scheduled for release on 28th January 2022, via InsideOut Music is this animated video for the title song…

“The title track offers many allusions to the radical, politically-charged world of populism in leadership,” explains Ian Anderson. “As a song lyric, it sums up, for me, the divisive nature of societal relationships and the extreme views which fuel the fires of hate and prejudice, more so today perhaps, than at any time in history. Perhaps you think you know who I might have been thinking about here but, in reality, there are probably right now at least five prominent, dictatorial national figures who could fit the bill.”

Anderson holds no reservations about the role for which the mythos and themes of Biblical storytelling played in the lyrical content of the new album, saying:

“While I have a spot of genuine fondness for the pomp and fairytale story-telling of the Holy Book, I still feel the need to question and draw sometimes unholy parallels from the text,” he says. “The good, the bad, and the downright ugly rear their heads throughout, but are punctuated with elements of love, respect, and tenderness.”

SOURCES: Prog | Jethro Tull

07/01/2022: Spock’s Beard postpone UK tour dates

Spock's Beard

Spock’s Beard management have announced that the band’s March 2022 UK shows will now not be taking place due to the ongoing uncertainty over Covid restrictions.

14/03/22: Brundenell Social Club, LEEDS
15/03/22: G2 [The Garage], GLASGOW
16/03/22: The Robin 2, BILSTON
17/03/22: 229 The Venue, LONDON
18/03/22: HRH Prog, GREAT YARMOUTH

The band’s management have issued the following statement: “It is with great regret that Spock’s Beard is announcing the postponement of our upcoming UK 2022 Tour. We were super-excited to get back on the road and see everyone, it has been a long time since we’ve played live and we were really looking forward to it. We hope you will understand that with Omicron and the increased restrictions it just really became unworkable for us to tour just now.”

“We don’t yet have new dates booked as things remain so uncertain, but know that The Beard Will Be Back live, rocking you harder than ever! We look forward to seeing you then!”

SOURCE: Spock’s Beard

Keep up to date with the TPA Gig Guide – the UK’s most comprehensive prog gig listing.

07/01/2022: Nordic Giants announce new studio album

Nordic Giants’ new studio album Symbiosis is scheduled for release on the 4th February 2022, ahead of their UK Tour with Årabrot.

Nordic Giants - SymbiosisABOUT THE ALBUM: “Symbiosis represents the interdependent relationship of all life. The union and blending of polar opposites, the harmony created when two different elements combine.”

“This collection of songs blends light with dark, moments of ambience with power and the subtle with the mysterious. As a whole, the album encompasses a broad tapestry of weird and wonderful sounds, from vintage analogue synths, Tibetan bowls and even a Carnyx horn, to some familiar guest vocalists in the form of Alex Hedley and Freyja – adding their haunting and ethereal sounds on top of what what is predominantly a multi layered instrumental album.”

More infromation on the album can found HERE on the Nordic Giants’ website

SOURCE: Nordic Giants

Keep up to date with the TPA Gig Guide – the UK’s most comprehensive prog gig listing.

05/01/2022: Pendragon 2022 Tour Dates Postponed

[Photo courtesy of Jamie Robertson, used with his kind permission]

Nick Barrett has announced the postponement of Pendragon’s April UK tour dates along with their European dates scheduled for the following month. In his statement Nick comments:

“We are all so sorry to announce the postponement of our scheduled 2022 tour. We are aware that many of you lovely folk are in a situation where the possibility of the virus is a serious life threat and we don’t want to play in a position where you either have to decide to not come or put yourselves at risk.”

Ticket sales for most shows are a fraction of what we would normally sell, we understand that for many reasons you are delaying the purchase of tickets and we completely understand that – we unfortunately do not have the luxury of the “it’s too early to say” argument, our costs and planning need to start NOW.”

“A tour is like a bridge, if part of it is missing the whole thing will fail.” adding later “So rather than go headlong into a horrendous financial abyss I feel it’s better for us to cancel/postpone all our shows until we are 100% sure we can do this in a better environment.”

SOURCE: Pendragon

Keep up to date with the TPA Gig Guide – the UK’s most comprehensive prog gig listing.

02/01/2022: Karmamoi announce new studio album release in May 2022

Daniele Giovannoni producer and bandleader of Karmamoi has announced that the band’s fifth studio album, Room 101, will be released on 28th May 2022. The album features contributions from a number of guest musicians, including Adam Holzman (Steven Wilson) and Steve Unruh (United Progressive Fraternity ). Recorded in 2020 in Rome and London and mixed by Mark Tucker (Jethro Tull) in Oxford, the album is made up of seven tracks characterized by the sounds, harmonies and melodies for which Karmamoi have become well-known. Karmamoi previously released the title track – inspired by George Orwell’s ‘1984’…

SOURCE: Karmamoi

01/01/2022: Godspeed You! Black Emperor reschedule UK and European dates

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s upcoming European Tour is being postponed until September 2022. Although not due to infection within the band camp, the financial impact of the pandemic has made the tour impossible at this time: “upcoming scotland, u.k. and euro shows are all postponed. not because of pandemic, but because we’re living through the mess that austerity has wrought- a death narrative writ by dumb boss-logic, where workers are expected to slave thru plague years w/no reward but more precarity.”

The London shows at the Electric Ballroom will now take place on 20th, 21st and 22nd September 2022. Dates for the Manchester and Bristol shows will be announced shortly.

SOURCE: Electric Ballroom (Camden)

Keep up to date with the TPA Gig Guide – the UK’s most comprehensive prog gig listing.

01/01/2022: Steven Wilson 2022 updates

With little or no opportunities to tour Steven Wilson reveals a number of projections. These include a book, Limited Edition Of One, scheduled for March 2022, the previously announced new album release from Porcupine Tree – Closure / Continuation and a new Steven Wilson concept album for mid 2023.

Steven Wilson_2022“The first of these is a book, Limited Edition of One, to be published by Little Brown in late March. It was written under a “no rules” philosophy with the collaboration of rock biographer Mick Wall. As well as containing some autobiographical material, it also has a lot on my ideas about music and the way things have changed in my time as a professional, lists, photos from my personal archives, conversation transcripts and even some fictional elements. As there have already been a few books written about me and/or Porcupine Tree in recent years, I’ve chosen to focus on the stuff that people really don’t know about me. As you can probably guess, there will also be a special limited deluxe version. This will feature a second volume of supplementary material and photos, plus a 70 minute CD with “audio illustrations” of some of the things I talk about in the book, including mercifully brief extracts of my school bands, and early unreleased demos by No-Man and Porcupine Tree, among others. Although much of its musical merits might be questionable, my hope is to put you there “in the room” when I’m talking about my early musical endeavours.”

“The other major 2022 release will be the new Porcupine Tree album Closure / Continuation. The album was completed during lockdown, entirely written, produced and performed by just myself, Gavin and Richard, and will be issued in June on Music For Nations / Sony. I think it’s fair to say that it sounds quintessentially like a Porcupine Tree album, albeit with the benefit of all that the three of us have been doing during the 12 years since the last PT album. Like our best albums, it’s probably the kind you need to listen to several times before it sinks in. You can hear “Harridan” from the album now, with 2 more songs to be previewed online between now and the album’s release. There will also be a select run of concerts towards the end of the year. European shows are on sale now with North and South American shows to be announced soon. There are no plans for any future Porcupine Tree concerts beyond these (though never say never.)”

The third major project I’ve been working on is my next album, which I hope to release in mid-2023, a big conceptual thing partly based on a short story that appears in my book. A long way to go yet, but I’m excited about it and where the music is taking me, something completely different again with collaborators both old and new. I remain committed to the idea of building a body of work where every album has its own personality and unique place in the catalogue.

Continue reading HERE on the Steven Wilson website

SOURCE: Steven Wilson

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