Paul Steel Announces new album Carousel Kites
Due out on Raygun Records on 13 July
Listen to first single “Music Makes Me Feel So Alone” here
Order link here: http://radi.al/PaulSteel
The first five tracks from the album will be released as a digital EP on 11 May
Photo credit: Keith Davey
“Music Makes Me Feel So Alone” is the first single to be taken from the epic, ambitious new album Carousel Kites from English musical visionary and songwriter Paul Steel, which is due out on 13 July via Raygun Records. The video is a light animation of a drawing by Tom Heron from The Xcerts, who illustrated each song on the album. The track was premiered by Clash, who described it as; “baroque, eccentric nuggets of pop-laden whimsy.”
Excessive, irreverent pop made for it’s own sake, “Music Makes Me Feel So Alone” is a kaleidoscopic journey through the highest points of melodic pop sophistication. With nods to Gershwin, The Beatles, Todd Rundgren, The Beach Boys, Burt Bacharach, Phil Spector, The Free Design, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop and the “Green Hill Zone” music from Sonic The Hedgehog.
A mere ten years since Paul Steel’s extraordinarily ambitious debut as a nineteen-year-old April & I, Carousel Kites is a loose concept album reflecting his rocky trajectory through the quagmires of the music industry, finding salvation through a cosmic Mr Ben inspired shop portal. A fifteen-track odyssey, Carousel Kites is made up of three distinctive parts, which will be released as EPs in the lead-up to the full release. “Music Makes Me Feel So Alone” is taken from Part I, which is out on 11 May, before the full album release on 13 July.
The intervening years saw him hailed as the second coming of Brian Wilson by pop royalty including Andy Partridge from XTC, Van Dyke Parks and Sean Lennon, as well as Beach Boys collaborator and poet Stephen Kalinich, who became a friend and mentor. He was signed to and then unceremoniously dropped by a major label for not being commercial enough, and then found regular work as a jobbing songwriter for the likes of Nicola Roberts, Mika, Empire of the Sun, Luke Sital-Singh, The XCERTS and countless other mind-numbingly bad pop wannabees. His music also features in the Oscar winning film The Shape Of Water by Guillermo Del Toro.
Weary of writing music for other people, he felt it was time to go back in to the studio and wanted to release another album before he was thirty. Recording for hours in isolation at his home studio, he got two years in with nothing complete to show for it and no end it sight. It was literally sending him mad. It wasn’t quite Brian Wilson with Smile but it wasn’t far off. Luckily in the ten years he worked as a writer and producer he’d made some talented friends who lent their talents to the cause to help get the ball rolling again.
People like long-term collaborator Nick Littlemore (Empire of the Sun, Elton John v Pnau), actor and saxophonist Ralph Brown (Withnail & I, Star Wars), labelmates and old friends The XCERTS and Luke Sital-Singh (who was also experiencing a major label dropping), his original guitarist Rachael Wood (taking leave from her gig as musical director for Cirque Du Soleil) and legendary poet and Beach Boys lyricist Stephen Kalinich. After some much needed human interaction and some time off the album began to pull focus again. Still fatigued and in desperate need of a fresh pair of ears he called on friend and mix engineer Mark Allaway to take over mixing duties. After an intense month-long mix frenzy the album was finally complete.
By design Carousel Kites is a challenging and relentless listen but he’s finished it and it’s glorious. It might be everything a record shouldn’t be in 2018, it’s greatest strengths are also its biggest weaknesses but it’s the record he set out to make from the start and entirely on his own terms.
1. Ready To Fly
2. Last Guilt Trip
3. Music Makes Me Feel So Alone
4. Do What Everybody Else Does
5. Carousel Kites
6. Crayola Springs
8. Island In The Sky
9. Duck Duck Goose
10. Y3T1 Rawk!
11. Stare of the Old Eye
12. The Dream Is Over
13. I See Sadness
14. Tick Tick Tick (All The Boxes)
15. Never Age A Single Day