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Songs For Somewhere Else


London-based psych-folk-country quintet The Hanging Stars present their second album Songs For Somewhere Else. Taking cues from both sides of the Atlantic, they mainline the dying embers of the early '70s psychedelic folk and cosmic country scenes, transforming them into an energized new sound for modern times. This album follows on from their critically acclaimed 2016 debut Over the Silvery Lake (CRO 003CD), which received praise from The Times, who described it as; "An album with enough of a hazy, sun-dappled charm to make the capital's dreariest weather bearable", as well as Uncut, who proclaimed that it was; "a promising debut from London's The Hanging Stars, who switch deftly between deliciously sentimental Americana and swaggering psychedelia." Their second album is more varied than its predecessor and sees them expanding into new territories whilst continuing to channel an English wistful ethereality grown from American soil. Tracing their inspiration from Dennis Wilson to Gram Parsons and On The Beach-era Neil Young (1974), they equally draw from early gospel soaked Spiritualized, jangle pop, spaghetti western soundtracks, old bossa nova records, and prohibition-era blues. Joining founding members -- songwriter, singer, and guitarist Richard Olson (The See See, Eighteenth Day of May), Sam Ferman on bass, and Paulie Cobra on drums -- were contributions from now permanent members Patrick Ralla (Alan Tyler Show, Edwyn Collins) on guitars, keys and vocals, and Joe Harvey-White (pedal steel, dobro), bringing new perspectives to the band's work. They had a collective attitude to performances on the album, with additional input from US friends Collin Hegna (Federale, Brian Jonestown Massacre), Miranda Lee Richards (on the emotive duet "How I Got This Way"), and Christof Certik (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Winter Flowers), as well as Alison Cotton on viola (Left Outsides, Eighteenth Day Of May), Luke Barlow (Nought) on flute and Thomas Wake on clarinet. Touching on themes of fear of pain, death and failure, the songs strike a rich emotional chord. From the pensive melancholia of album opener "On A Sweet Summer's Day", to the Big Star-tinged lead single "Honeywater" and the gorgeous instrumental "Djupsjön", inspired by the dense southern Swedish pines of Olson's childhood, the album is a varied delight. With this album, The Hanging Stars usher the next phase of their musical development, with Olson's astute lyrical observations and honeyed vocals at the fore, backed by the band's creative musical arrangements. Recorded at Bark Studios with Brian O'Shaughnessey.