Perry Blake releases his new single ‘Ordinary Day’ on February 28th
California is an ultra cool combination of mournful dollops of Bowie, Bacharach, Divine Comedy, lazy funk and Tindersticks. The Irish TImes
What Blake has demonstrated is that he can make an arch, lush string and bass filled trendy version of easy listening. The Sunday Tribune
Blake certainly has an ear for a melody and a knack for a killer arrangement. Physiotherapy for the soul. Hot Press
Perry Blake’s career, has seen both sides of the major record label love affair. In 1998 signed to Polydor , he was hailed as the next big thing, with the release of his eponymously titled album. Then within a few months he was dropped from the label in favour of a potential British answer to Britney Spears.
However, Perry then signed to the hip French label Naïve and released his second album ‘Still Life’ to critical acclaim and commercial success both in France and the rest of the continental markets.
2002 saw the release of his third album, ‘California’ both on the continent and here in Ireland. Recorded in Belgium and co-produced by Italian composer Marco Sabiu, the album draws comparisons with classic Motown, with the use of lush strings, brass and choral arrangements. Combining the freshness and pop sensibility of his debut album and the organic texture and depth of ‘Still Life’, the album shows a new authority in songwriting..
Ordinary Day is the first single release from the album and is coupled with the Anglo-French version of the same song ‘Un jour comme les autres’ ,featuring the famed French chanteuse Nancy Danino.
For more information contact Elvera at Reekus records on 01 6675840, or visit www.reekus .com
Stevo Berube at
Berube Communications on (01) 476 3603 or 087 244 2695 firstname.lastname@example.org
When Sligo-born Perry Blake released his first, eponymously-titled, album with Polydor in 1998 there was a buzz of expectation in industry circles. Here was a rare package: an articulate songwriter with an exceptional melodic sense who understood, instinctively, the art of constructing a pop song. Citing influences as various as European cabaret, west coast funk, and 60’s & 70’s film scores (especially Bacharach and Barry), Blake compiled a collection of songs that uplifted with their melodic hooks as much as they saddened with their glimpses into the damaged or disappointed lives of his characters.
The reaction to his debut album was ecstatic. A number of music magazines tipped Perry Blake as the “next big thing”. Jo Wiley, on BBC Radio 1, made his first single, “The Hunchback Of San Francisco” her single of the week. Word was beginning to get around. Meanwhile, Universal swallowed polygram, and anything that wasn’t Britney was booted out. The musical antennae of the French however had been picking up something distinct and original from across the water. (The album went Top 40 in France), and already Blake was becoming a cult figure there. Not surprising, then, that he was soon signed by hip French label, naïve, for his second album.
“Still Life” was released in December 1999. It was a darker album than the debut; perhaps a purer expression of the melancholic soul of Blake’s song writing. Propelled by some glorious ensemble playing, and the growing assurance evident in Blake’s singing. There was an altogether more organic feel to the album, further bolstering his reputation among his fans, especially in France, but also extending this reputation to other European countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and Greece. However, he remained virtually known in Britain and Ireland.
After touring the songs in Europe, to increasingly enthusiastic audiences and to massive critical acclaim, Blake went back into the studio having been invited to write the soundtrack for a French film - “Presque Rien”. Three new songs were recorded and combined with “Wise Man’s Blues” and “This Time It’s Goodbye” from “Still Life”, were released as an EP soundtrack for “Presque Rien” in May 2000.
More live dates followed in Europe, to growing audiences. One of these, at the Cirque Royal in Brussels for Belgian cultural week, became a live album released in September 2001. “Broken Statues” saw the songs from the earlier albums deconstructed and re-invented with the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelles. It also saw the inclusion of Blake’s personal take on the Diana Ross “I’m Still Waiting”. The album’s austere arrangements and emotional directness again drew glowing reviews from the European music press with Holland & much of Scandinavia now joining in singing his praises.
On to 2002. The new studio album “California” is due from Perry Blake in April. And, it promises something quite special indeed: a new authority in the song writing, coupled with a sound that seems to incorporate the freshness and pop sensibility of the first album, with the organic texture and depth of “Still Life”. The new songs bristle with an excitement and immediacy that demand attention. Recorded with a live band over a 12-day period last autumn in Belgium and co produced by Italian composer Marco Sabiu, the album draws comparisons with classic old Motown, using lush strings, brass and choral arrangements. It has always been difficult to find a box to put Blake’s music in, but with “California” he has made a record that is instantly recognisable as Perry Blake. The “California” of the title is not so much a place as a mood, or an emotional state, which keeps them going; keeps them dreaming. The songs are all the more affecting because the lyrics and mood often subvert the musical arrangements and production.
Established fans will not be disappointed. They may, however, have to make space for a new legion of admirers, because “California” seems certain to change Perry Blake’s status as one of Europe’s best-kept musical secrets. Initial listening may give the impression of a more upbeat sound, but this album works in a very subtle way. Beneath the accomplished and confident surface lies the old cast of characters - the loners, the lost, the defeated lovers, who drift through the legion of admirers, because “California” seems certain to change Perry Blake’s status as one of Ireland’s best-kept musical secrets.
For more information contact:
Elvera Butler at Reekus Records on (01) 667 8540 or email@example.com
at Berube Communications on (01) 476 3603 or 087 244 2695 /
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