Berlin-born, London-based singer-songwriter Roxanne de Bastion has announced details of her second album ‘Heirlooms & Hearsay’ to be released on the 5th May. Following her 2013 debut album ‘The Real Thing’, Roxanne de Bastion’s new album is assured, thematically complex and showcases the kind of growth as an artist and writer that years of touring and working on your craft earns you. Listen here
The last twelve months have been a hugely busy and important time for Roxanne, they saw her touring heavily, playing shows with the likes of Martha Wainwright, Thea Gilmore and Ricky Ross, performing on the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury, releasing an EP and become a tireless advocate for independent artists (Roxanne sits on the FAC Board alongside Imogen Heap, Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien, Annie Lenox, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, Kate Nash, Travis’ Fran Healy, Katie Melua and Everything Everything’s Jeremy Pritchard) Never one to sit still for too long, Roxanne will be heading out on a huge US tour before the release of her new album and UK tour.
The main subject of ‘Heirlooms & Hearsay’ is Roxanne’s grandfather, Stephen de Bastion (or Istvan Bastyai von Holzer), a pianist from Hungary who made a new home for himself and his family in Stratford upon Avon after enduring the Second World War and the Communist takeover of his homeland. Roxanne draws parallels between his historical experiences and the experiences of people like her Grandfather, fleeing persecution today.
Musically, Roxanne de Bastion writes beautiful and clever pop songs, but lyrically, the songwriter tends to delve deeper than many of her contemporaries. Writing politically is something Roxanne seems to have been destined to do, growing up in Berlin and taking a hammer and chisel to the Berlin wall as a toddler and then watching the history of the city be developed over is something that has inspired her for a long time. ‘Heirlooms & Hearsay’ see’s Roxanne writing about the importance of remembering our shared history, the chilling ramifications of creating lists of people and exploring how trauma is passed on through generations.
On the subject matter that inspired the album, Roxanne de Bastion explains – “I never knew my grandfather, only the many stories. When I heard a recording he made of his piano composition “The Old Mill”, I was in tears. How can our collective memory be so short? We are two generations on, but here we are again, with events and rhetoric so similar. We are all a product of our circumstance and we are all also profoundly influenced by what has come before. What’s important is that we don’t continue to make the same mistakes. I wanted to somehow reach through time with this album, by writing songs addressed directly at my grandfather and to have him talk back at me. I really hope he wouldn’t mind me using his composition and voice on my album.”
Roxanne will be launching ‘Heirlooms & Hearsay’ with a UK headline tour and two album launch shows in London at the Sackler Space in Camden’s Roundhouse venue and at Leaf in her beloved Liverpool where the singer lived for a time.
Heirlooms & Hearsay is available to pre-order now.