In anticipation of the February 8th release of new album True North, and in celebration of his 78th Birthday, Michael Chapman has shared a new track, album centerpiece “Truck Song.”
Listen to the slow-rolling “Truck Song” featuring Chapman’s signature, agile guitar work, BJ Cole’s soaring pedal steel, and SarahSmout’s plaintive cello playing, confirming the exultant return of Chapman the songwriter HERE.
Michael recently spoke with Aquarium Drunkard about the few years he spent on musical hiatus in the early 1960s as a photography instructor. The album’s artwork features his own abstract black & white photography from this time period, illustrating another side of Michael’s creative practice.
Head over to Aquarium Drunkard to learn more HERE.
True North is the masterful follow-up to Michael Chapman‘s universally celebrated 2017 album 50. Due for release February 08, 2019 on Paradise of Bachelors, True North was announced in late 2018 with the release of the “gripping” (Brooklyn Vegan) album opener “It’s Too Late” described by The Guardian as a “sage, yet defiant assessment of boozy regret.” and followed bytheunflinching, bittersweet “After All This Time” featuring the voice of UK songwriting hero and longtime Chapman friend and collaboratorBridget St John.
True North finds the elder statesman of British songwriting and guitar plumbing an even deeper deep and honing an ever keeneredge to his iconic writing. This authoritative set of predominantly new, and utterly devastating, songs hews to a more intimate sonic signature—more atmospheric, textural, and minimalist than 50, stately and melancholy in equal measure. Recorded at MwnciStudios in rural West Wales, True North surveys home and horizon, traveling from the Bahamas to Texas to the Leeds of Chapman’s childhood, haunted by the mirages of memory and intimations of mortality. Joining him on this introspective journey is a cast of old friends and new disciples: the aforementioned Bridget St John sings, andonce again Steve Gunn produces and plays guitar, collaborating with cellist Sarah Smout and legendary pedal steel player BJ Cole, who has accompanied everyone from John Cale to Scott Walker, Elton John to Terry Allen, Felt to Björk.
The elegiac True North navigates the treacherous territory of time, resulting in the most nakedly personal album of his career, his most authoritative, unguarded, and emotionally devastating statement. The album begins with the gnawing regret of “It’s Too Late,” and every song Chapman sings thereafter directly references the passing of time—its blind ruthlessness, its sweet hazy delights—in noirish language almost mystical in its terseness and precision. This is Chapman at his darkest and most nocturnal, yes, but also his most elegant and subtle, squinting into the black hours with an unseen smile.
● The follow-up to the critically acclaimed 50 (2017, PoB-029) features Steve Gunn (producer, guitar, drums), Bridget St John (vocals), BJ Cole (pedal steel guitar), and Sarah Smout (cello).
● Deluxe 140g virgin vinyl LP features heavy-duty matte board jacket, printed inner sleeve with lyrics, and high-res Bandcamp download code.
● Available in a limited red-wine color vinyl edition, as well as on standard black vinyl.
● CD edition features six-panelgatefold jacket with LP replica artwork.