Cut to the chase. It gives me great pleasure to announce that my debut album 'Outside There's A Curse' will be released this January via Xtra Mile Recordings, home to friends and peers Chris T-T, Frank Turner, Dive Dive and others.
The reaction to this news (which arrived at the same time as Midi Midi's BMG publishing deal) has been so overwhelmingly positive, I'm genuinely touched. At the same time, I'm scared, excited, honoured and apprehensive in equal measure. Understand, Xtra Mile are a label who know what they're doing, with a wealth of experience and fantastic drive.. trying to market my album recorded largely on my bedroom floor full of pop culture references and particularly shoddy production values.
Not that I don't think OTAC is a bad album - far from it, it's turned out better than I could have ever anticipated, and I'd happily go to war for eight of its ten offerings (and the other two are bound to be the popular ones, right?) - but if you'd have told me before I started recording that it would be picked up by XMR, I might have taken a different approach. Still, if they're willing to take the risk it just goes to show how much faith some people have in me, and by that I'm talking not just about Xtra Mile, but also Frank Turner and Evan & Dani Cotter who more than had a hand in getting this together. I'm not saying there was any chinese water torture, but there must have been at least a nipple gripple involved.
The album will mix old stuff ('Oh My Days' and 'The District Sleeps Alone Tonight' cover) with newer stuff (those of you attending shows recently might have heard 'Toil' and 'Tell Avril Lavigne I Never Wanted To Be Her Stupid Boyfriend Anyway') and some stuff which is neither old nor new ('JJ Abrams'; 'Singalong'), and I'm aided along the way by everyone's favourite pedalsteel-er-ist Kurt Hamilton, Richard Goodspeed on piano and introducing Reading's (nay, the world's) premier drummer James Mead Esq and a collection of others (Adrian Pearson and Chris Sartin of Dolly & The Clothespegs, Tom Crook of Band of Hope). It's the most ambitious project to date, I almost had some kind of crazy breakdown making it, and there have been times where I've thought if I ever see or hear this album again for as long as I live, that still would not be long enough, but hearing it for the first time when it was mixed made up for it.
But really.. Xtra Mile? I still don't quite believe it. When I think of how many superb records I've owned with that logo on (the first being Reuben's 'Racecar Is Racecar Backwards', the most recent Chris T-T's incredible 'Love Is Not Rescue'), that mine can be counted amongst them is just bonkers.
There are too many thanks to be handed out, so I'll save it for the CD sleeve.
Pre-order links, tracklist, tour dates and artwork nonsense to follow.