O’Connell & Love
(Alabama 3’s Larry Love and Brendan O’Connell)
release debut album ‘Minesweeping’
out 6 July 2015 on Mountmellick Music
album preceded by 22 June single ‘Hangover Me’
– launch show 29 July, 100 Club, London –
WATCH Video for ‘Hangover Me’ below
Click here for a first listen of album track “It Was The Sweetest Thing”
Minesweeping is the new album by O’Connell and Love, a collaboration between Larry Love (lead singer, Alabama 3) and long-time songwriting partner Brendan O’Connell, who co-wrote much of Larry’s first solo album, Ghost Flight, released under the name of Robert Love in 2006. Kris Kristofferson credited Ghost Flight as “one of the best debuts I’ve ever heard.”
WATCH / STREAM / POST Video for ‘Hangover Me’
Always working together between their personal music ventures, Brendan and Larry are proud to release their new material. Joining them are featured guest vocalists Rumer, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Tenor Fly, Pete Doherty,Aurora Dawn and June Miles-Kingston (backing vocals Fun Boy Three, The Communards, Big Country). The cast of guest musicians is no less diverse, and includes Seggs Jennings (The Ruts DC), Jay Darlington (Oasis),Seamus Beaghen (formerly of Madness), Owen If (Stereo MCs) and Rob Shirakbari (Music Director for Dionne Warwick, and formerly keyboardist, arranger and Music Director for Burt Bacharach.)
Click here for a first listen of album track “It Was The Sweetest Thing”
Album preceded by ‘Hangover Me’ single – out 22 June
O’Connell & Love – “Minesweeping” Album Launch
with special guests Kodiak Island and Morton Valence
29th July 2
O’Connell & Love on stage at 20.45
at The 100 Club
100 Oxford Street
O’Connell & Love and their band will be on stage at 20.45, joined by some of Minesweeping’s featured guest artists and musicians.
Supporting O’Connell & Love will be Kodiak Island, on stage at 20.00, and Morton Valence, on stage at 22.00.
Kodiak Island is the new 4-piece fronted by Jo Bartlett, formerly of It’s Jo and Danny and The Yellow Moon Band, and founder of the Green Man Festival. Celebrating the release of their new single The Sooner, released June 29th, Kodiak Island are on stage at 20.00.
Morton Valence, the first family of Urban Country, are still riding high on their critically acclaimed 4th album ‘Another Country’. Their albums have been garnering 4 and 5 star reviews across the board including Mojo, Classic Rock, Uncut and Q magazine. Morton Valence are on stage at 22.00
Tickets are available at: https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/oconnell-love-morton-valence-and-friends-11a6a1
O’Connell & Love: http://oconnellandlove.com
Morton Valence: http://www.mortonvalence.com
Kodiak Island: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kodiak-Island
Venue link: http://www.the100club.co.uk/
These unusual collaborations bring a genre-defying album full of surprises, just as the title Minesweeping implies. An eclectic box of songwriting treasures, it’s a complex album that will draw you in deeper with each listen. “There is no greater joy or honour for musicians than exploring the cultural and musical crossovers that occur when we visit each other’s trenches, try out each other’s armoury and venture together into no man’s land” says Love.
In the same way that Johnny Cash marshalled Rick Rubin (hip hop / electro pioneer) to oversee his final and majestic “American Recordings” sessions, O’Connell & Love were determined to nail the lie that only a bona fide folk/country/blues producer was worthy of the Minesweeping project.
Consequently, and determined to ‘urbanise’ their take on all things folk, they corralled the legendary dance producer Wizard (a.k.a. Greg Fleming) to oversee the recording process. Famed for his work with the Chemical Brothers , Dizzee Rascal, X-Press 2, Wiley, DJ Fresh, M.I.A./Diplo, Lyza J, Chase & Status and a host of other dancefloor luminaries, Wizard brought a unique approach to the situation.
As music becomes less and less homogenised and the likes of Snoop Dog work with country and western/Nashville players, O’Connell and Love, bang on the zeitgeist, believe Wizard’s take on acoustic music (i.e. he doesn’t have a clue who Nick Drake is!) places Minesweeping in a category all of its own…folk music with a hand grenade!
“I feel that Minesweeping is a much stronger album than Ghost Flight.” says O’Connell. “We really have crafted the songs on it, going back over them and bashing them into shape. Ghost Flight took approximately 7 days from writing, recording and mixing it. Minesweeping has taken 7 years.”
“Many of the songs were born in Hastings, one stormy winter week. Looking at a choppy English channel changing from grey to green, rolling thunder clouds giving way to bursts of bright sunshine was a great inspiration. You can hear in songs like ‘Where silence meets the sea’, that there is definitely a nautical feel running through the album.
“Larry seemed irresistibly drawn to the extremely depressing seaside amusement arcades, where he soon blew his week’s allowance on the one-armed bandits…but some great lines came out of it, such as ‘She’s a slot machine winner trying to lose control, He’s a transatlantic sinner trying to find his soul.”
Larry’s take on the week in Hastings comes in the style of his Alabama 3 preacher persona: “The combination of the weather, the hangover and the gambling desperados did nothing to cheer me up except to raise my glass one more time to heaven and pray to the Lord above to give me sweet inspiration. We retired to Brendan’s studio determined to somehow expiate the blues that had infused my sorry soul… and the Lord did bless us. From such melancholic beginnings did Minesweeping emerge. After a week holed up in Hastings in the company of John Jennings, aka Seggs from Ruts DC, I’m happy to say we salvaged our sorry souls with these righteous songs which we are now prepared to raise up to heaven.”
MINESWEEPING TRACK LIST:
1. LIKE A WAVE BREAKS ON A ROCK
An intense, bitter, almost malevolent opening track, with a persistent, hypnotic guitar riff giving a sense of something approaching. In fact, Love wrote these lyrics about inmates on death row. This track plays through the opening credits of Hackney’s Finest, a feature film released April 2015. A part of this track is also used in the climax of the film. http://hackneymovie.com/
2. CALL A CAB CINDERELLA feat. Buffy Sainte-Marie
Has a building, sweet, melodic intro, with lyrics that call to mind lost loves, missed opportunities, the end of the night, longing for the past, wishing for better times ahead. Buffy Sainte-Marie’s exquisite, haunting vocals lift this track to the ethereal at times, leaving you with a bittersweet feeling that someone forever lost will never be forgotten.
3. HANGOVER ME feat. Rumer
Anyone who has a friend that they love spending time with but know is bad for them will identify with this song. This J.J. Cale inspired back-porch anthem is a bluesy, rock and roll duet about the girl from high society looking for lowlife on the wrong side of the tracks. As they trade lines like insults or sweet nothings – it’s hard to tell which – Rumer’s angelic vocals contrast with Love’s growly baritone that speaks of late nights and no mornings.
4. IT WAS THE SWEETEST THING
This ballad takes us on a romantic, freewheeling journey across Europe with two lovers in the full bloom of youth, viewed from a nostalgic perspective long after the relationship is over. Think Van Morrison’s Tupelo Honey era, or perhaps The Faces.
5. GOODBYE TO MR BLUE SKY
A Neil Young inspired paean to a friend of Love’s who is dearly missed, and whose tragic end is chronicled in the song. With nods to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Have You Ever Seen the Rain?’, this song combines a 70s feel, with the slick production style of Wizard a.k.a. Greg Fleming.
6. SHAKE OFF YOUR SHOES feat. Rumer
Influenced by the bewitching English folk music of Nick Drake and Joe Boyd, with a nod to Laurie Lee’s ‘Cider With Rosie’. This song expresses the peace and beauty of the countryside, but also hints at how threatening and unpredictable it can be. It a simple tale of cider-driven seduction, we’ve all been there!
7. IF IT’S NOT BROKEN
The pace quickens to country rock and roll, inspired by The Band. It’s a song for the car windows down on a sunny day!
8. COME ON BOY feat. June Miles-Kingston
This is a song to encourage a mate whose once promising future was destroyed by his own demons – a rallying call to a lost friend who you hope might find himself again. It rolls with the pace of a Leonard Cohen song, but with a joyous lift at the end.
9. LOVE IS LIKE A ROLLING STONE feat. Tenor Fly
Empowered by the vocals of legendary reggae toaster Tenor Fly, this song celebrates the redeeming power and beauty of love, and has the feel and pace of a Stones/Motown dance floor number.
10. WHERE SILENCE MEETS THE SEA
Inspired by Celtic sea shanties, the dimming of harbour lights and the taste of rum and sea salt in the air, this song takes us back to the attic studio in Hastings where many of these songs were conceived. Having later witnessed the burning of Hastings pier from the studio window, O’Connell and Love looked back to what the pier meant to all those lovers that have ever considered throwing caution to the wind and jumping off the pier.
11. THE MAN INSIDE THE MASK
A withering critique of the hypocrisy of the male of the species. This one asks the kind of questions that lurk inside us all! Played in the style of up-tempo late 70s Dylan.
12. UNCERTAIN HARBOUR Feat. June Miles-Kingston and Anna Allen
A Celtic-infused ballad with a lullaby melody sitsalongside mysterious and rather menacing lyrics. With mournful violins and mixed with lines from The Circus Animals’ Desertion, a poem by W.B. Yeats, read by Anna Allen.
13. MINESWEEPING Feat. Pete Doherty
Returning again to the eternal theme of love lost and found, Minesweeping bookends the album with a last hurrah to love remembered in the trenches. Pete Doherty’s eloquent rendition of Wilfred Owen’s poem “Dulce et decorum est” unfolds the haunting imagery entwined in this song. The simple and sparse arrangements leave space for the imagination to evoke men and women behind the recently issued letters from the First World War trenches, which were the inspiration for this song.