On the eve of another busy school holiday season, versatile singer-songwriter Ric Neale has unveiled the first taster of his upcoming concept album Lullabies For Parents. Round The Outside is available to stream/download from today and showcases his knack for universal, emotive songwriting with piano melodies that recall peak-period Billy Joel and Elton John. The album, a set of songs inspired by parenthood that will be instantly relatable to Mums and Dads everywhere, will arrive on Friday 6th July.
“Lullabies For Parents came out of the realisation that no one writes music about it. Parenting can feel pretty lonely and unlike heartbreak, there is nothing for me to listen to that makes me feel less alone,” explains Neale. “When I started writing an album about it I knew I had to talk about toddler groups, which is what Round The Outside centres on. I’ve spent so much time at them with my two kids and they’re an amazing metaphor for parenting; you sit around the edge of a room while they go into the middle and you hope you’ve given them what they need to survive. This extends to when they grow up, even when they leave home. I didn’t want these songs to be saccharine or self-congratulatory, I wanted them to be just like parenting – filled with love, doubt, worry and a fear that I’m messing it up.”
Ric has released a series of albums and toured extensively in the UK, both solo and with artists like Hue & Cry and Jason Donavan. Last year’s reimagining of the Beach Boy’s classic Pet Sounds also saw him performing the entire album live to celebrate its 50th anniversary. As a musical director and performer Ric has also graced stages at Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse, Manchester’s The Palace Theatre and Festival No 6.