As the year draws to a close, we picked our favourite Albums of 2020.
2020 will end on a high with the freshly announced collaborative album that pairs two of our favourite musicians: marvelous composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan and wonderful and inimitable multi-instrumentalist and improviser Richard Youngs. Entitled Twelve of Hearts, the upcoming album marks their first collaboration and was in the works for several months, with O’Sullivan based in London and Youngs based in Glasgow. The two experimental songwriters followed specific rules to compose a cycle of 12 songs based on one chord progression, that came to be called Twelve of Hearts. As Youngs pointed out, “Each song has four chords. No more. No less. They cycle without variation. They never change key“. O’Sullivan had this to say about it:
“The writing process had a geometric quality. Not too much fuss. Just a simple adherence to this method. It’s basically a grid-like structure – concrete pillars in square formation, consonant and unbending and always in a supporting role to these liquified poems and suspended songs. It’s hard and soft at the same time.”
Youngs also stated:
“We did all of the album remotely. It started when Daniel sent me a sprawling improvisation and there was a short section crying out for these four chords. Before we could help ourselves, we had stumbled on the formula – something that seemed to take us from song to song. The same four chords, harmony vocals, some ornamentation, and a lead vocal. We became really focused on it – anything that deviated got rejected. Finding variation in the predictability became quite surprising. I think it shifted some of my ideas on songwriting.”
Twelve of Hearts is set for release on December 1st through O Genesis Recordings but we can already hear the first celestial single, ‘Don’t Hang with Angels’. It comes with an accompanying video directed by Harry Miller.
Earlier this year, London based composer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan unfurled his wonderful new album called Folly. Now he is sharing a new single off it, ‘The Diamond Vehicle’, which he explained “was fired into my mind via the vast active living intelligence system. I was making a pot of earl grey and then zap!”. The single comes backed with an unreleased track, ‘No Fate In Sound’, which features a guest contribution from Jessica Moss on violin and backing vocals. ‘The Diamond Vehicle’ is also being offered with an accompanying video directed by Daisy Dickinson.
In other related news, Daniel O’Sullivan has announced a handful of Autumn dates, including a show at The Lexington in London on September 13th. Take a look at all the live dates below:
13 Sep – London, The Lexington, (w/ Dream Lyon Ensemble* and Brigid Mae Power)
14 Sep – Dublin, The Sound House
16 Sep – Aarhus DK, Tape (w/ Dream Lyon Ensemble*)
18 Sep – Copenhagen DK, Alice (w/ Dream Lyon Ensemble*)
26 Sep – Rotterdam NL, Worm
Today sees the release of Daniel O’Sullivan‘s new album Folly, and he had already enticed us with two singles, ‘Silhouette’ and ‘Under The Knife’. For another wonderful and gentle taste of what´s on offer, take a listen to a new cut from the record, ‘Amnion’.
Folly is out now through O Genesis Recordings.
“Partly inspired by a biography of Michelangelo, partly about my son’s birth, ‘Under The Knife’ is about the violence of transformation. Just as much about texture as it is melody, each instrument was recorded one by one and I kept thinking ‘could a song feel like marble?’ Something to do with weight and density maybe, but at the same time trying to convey the lines and contours of a human hand.”
‘Under The Knife’ comes with an accompanying video by Daisy Dickinson and you can watch it below.
Folly is out on April 5th through O Genesis Recordings.
London based multi-instrumentalist Daniel O’Sullivan has announced the release of his second album under his own name, following 2017’s VELD. Entitled Folly, the new record was mostly written in London and arrives on April 5th through O Genesis Recordings. Composed around the time of his son’s birth and the passing of his friend Ian Johnstone, Folly embodies feelings of both joy and suffering. “Joy is inseparable from suffering and sometimes those polarities arrive at the same moment”, explained O’Sullivan. “Music offers a vessel to contain the unspeakable.”
Speaking about the writing process behind the record, O’Sullivan has this to say:
“Writing songs alone can take some time even if a song arrives fully formed in your mind. The execution of it involves long durations with each individual part of the arrangement until it reaches something concise. The song tells you what it needs and I try not to force ideas onto it. These songs are outside in rather than inside out, there was always a latency between the birth of the song and my understanding of its purpose. Folly is looking at who is doing the shaping, most of these songs are about writing songs.”
Ahead of the album’s release, we can already hear the first marvellous single ‘Silhouette’.
In other related news, and coinciding with the release of Folly, Daniel O’Sullivan has a special two-night residency in store for us at Sutton House in Hackney on April 5th and 6th, where he will perform songs from Folly with his ensemble and both nights will features stellar guests appearances from the likes of Richard Youngs, The Silver Field, Peter Broderick and Thighpaulsandra among others.