Wins the Help Musician’s UK / PledgeMusic Emerging Artists Award
Discusses healing his relationship with music
Plots headline London date at The Lexington on 12 October
New album Upwards of Summer out now
Watch live video of “The Combine” shot at Rough Trade East instore.
Ralegh Long‘s second album Upwards of Summer has won the Help Musician’s UK / PledgeMusic Emerging Artist’s Award. This award is for independent artists with no outside funding who exhibit the talent and DIY drive to build a sustainable, long-term career. Chosen by a panel of industry experts, including Victoria Ree (Universal Music Group) and John Dawkins (Various Artists Management – Charli XCX, The Libertines, Spiritualized), the award offers funding and career development.
The award marks the culmination of a wild journey for Long and Upwards of Summer. As Long himself says, “I am delighted and hugely grateful to win this award. This couldn’t have been further from how I imagined things turning out. I made the record as a last hurrah, as someone who’d almost given up; I never could have expected it would go on to win the Emerging Artist’s Award.” At the end of 2016, worn out and disillusioned with sustaining a self-funded and self-managed career, Long found himself wondering whether he would continue making music. Returning from touring, Long took time out to recover from mental and physical exhaustion, and to reasses his priorities. During this period he began to write again, tentatively at first, just to please himself, remembering what it what it felt like to pick up a guitar for the first time, and tapping into that place of instinct. He also began to heal himself by listening to his earliest musical inspirations, “For the first few days after that tour I went cycling in order to get some light and get over jet lag. I dug my old bike out of the shed and rode around listening to “Hey Jack Kerouac” by 10,000 Maniacs on repeat. I decided I would make one last record, something that would give me the euphoric lift I got from that song.”
Working with his touring band and producer Margo Broom, (Fat White Family, Phobophobes, Goat Girl) – with whom he made debut Hoverance – he recorded the album in a one-week stint – a liberating process, the he says healed his relationship with music. As he explains, “We treated it like it might be the last one and somehow that changed something significant about how I approached it. Fear went out the widow. I didn’t doubt, I didn’t second guess, I just trusted myself and I trusted those around me.”
The resulting album is a revelation. The piano, strings and woodwind of his debut are nowhere to be seen, exchanged for a jangle of chorus guitars and anthemic hooks that make up a thrillingly confident return – a powerful set of songs exploring the binaries of frustration and excitement, youth and age, restlessness and homesickness. Upwards of Summer has been described by CLASH as the sound of, “an artist revitalised and brimming with confidence”. The first single, “Take Your Mind Back”, landed immediately on Spotify’s Indie List and was picked up by Elton John for his Beats1 radio show, who described it as simply, “a great song”.
The album campaign culminates with a celebratory headline show at London’s The Lexington on Thursday October 12th.
Long released his debut album Hoverance to critical acclaim in 2015. This album of “spooky pastoralism” (Mojo 4*s) won praise from The Guardian, for its, “twilit ambience and demented beauty”. His followed-up this up with an EP We Are In The Fields, which was praised by Gold Flake Paint who said, “his folk-like tales precisely seasoned with a graceful sense of the outdoor surroundings he placed himself within.”
Tracks received heavy radio rotation from BBC6 Music presenters Lauren Laverne, Guy Garvey and Gideon Coe, as well as on BBC Scotland, Amazing Radio and internationally. To date, Long has over 2 million plays on Spotify. Long spent the summer touring, with many shows in Europe, which were hailed by Sky Arts as “calling to mind the atmosphere of Nick Drake”.
“Conjoins the moods of R.E.M’s Losing My Religion and Beck’s Sea Change” UNCUT
“An Artist revitalised and brimming with confidence” CLASH
“Upwards Of Summer swirls yellows and golds into the more sombre palette of debut Hoverance with mandolin, luminously swooning pedal steel and a crackling powerpop gloss…hints of the Lilac Time, R.E.M and Roddy Frame” MusicOMH
“Upwards of Summer is a revelation” ShireFolk