James Harries (UK)
British singer-songwriter James Harries is an established and well-respected troubadour also known for his film music (e.g. Lidice in the Czech Republic).
His last album (“Voice Memos”) was recorded entirely on his mobile phone whilst on tour across Europe, and through word of mouth and social media it gained him an even larger fan base.
It is regarded as probably the first album to be officially released that was recorded on a phone.
Fans and critics have often compared him to Damien Rice and Jeff Buckley.
The follow up to this intimate lo-fi recording is an expansive studio album entitled “Until The Sky Bends Down”. Released in September 2015, it has attracted glowing reviews from music critics and radio and has gone down a storm with fans.
It is the first time that the Manchester native has surrendered almost complete control to a producer (in this case the talented Irish producer Paul Bell), and as he says, “jumped off a cliff into the unknown.”
The first single “Salvation” is a mind blower if you’ve followed his career up until now. The near whimsical romanticism of a young singer/songwriter has not completely gone but a new matured sound has emerged, a new pop sensibility with powerfully beautiful and vast arrangements and lyrics full of life and hope.
His writing and voice have and always will be his powers and they are intact and better than ever.
But James hasn’t totally abandoned his characteristic intimate sound. The album is divided into two halves: the first “band side” is both majestic and courageous, while side two sees James Harries solo, with just a piano or guitar.
Recorded in the Czech Republic the album features guitarist Josef Stepanek, bassist James Vejnar, drummer Jan Janecka.
It was mixed by the respected engineer Ondrej Jezek and the bold graphic design of the album was created by Stefan Osciatka.
“Until The Sky Bends Down” was released on the homegrown Czech label Tranzistor, and will also be released in a limited edition on vinyl.
Transformations can be tricky but not this time, James Harries has come into his own.