Released 3 June 2016
If anyone is truly deserving of the title of ‘artist’, it’s the mercurial talent that is Joseph Arthur. He’s been unleashing material for over a decade and a half, his sheer poetic nature and experimental drive gaining him a deservedly fine reputation in the process.
Multi-instrumentalist that he is, for ‘The Family’ Joseph single handedly takes on vocals, drums, drum programming, pianos, guitars and synths. A first for Joseph, who for the most part writes songs from guitar, the whole album was written at the piano – a Steinway Vertegrande from 1912, that he’d recently acquired. This aged instrument ‘so full of character and history, and owned by just one family until it ended up in Joseph’s industrial studio space in Red Hook, Brooklyn’ was a potent source of inspiration.
Mixed by Tchad Blake, and hatched with Arthur’s usual attention to detail, the whole shebang is a lovely thing to bring back to Real World, the label that first signed Arthur back in 1997.
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A gorgeous stew of sound
“This album began with two things; a 1912 Steinway piano that Arthur found at a bargain price, which led him to begin writing on piano, rather than guitar; and a song called You Wear Me Out, whose exhausted title typifies the complex family dynamics that became the theme of the entire record…. we come to him for a gorgeous stew of sound.”