STEPHEN FRETWELL: “Busy Guy” limited pink LP.

STEPHEN FRETWELL: “Busy Guy” limited pink LP.

£21.00

STEPHEN FRETWELL: “Busy Guy” limited pink LP. Released 16th July 2021

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SKU: VSJ002022 Category:

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STEPHEN FRETWELL: “Busy Guy” limited pink LP. Released 16th July 2021

After an absence of 13 years Stephen Fretwell announces his long-awaited third
album, ‘Busy Guy’, released via Speedy Wunderground. Described by Fretwell
as “a song cycle of sorts,” the album examines the seasons of a life, exploring
fatherhood, grief and rebirth, with Fretwell’s trademark eloquence and wit.  ‘Busy Guy’ was produced by Fretwell’s close friend and Speedy Wunderground
label boss, Dan Carey. They recorded the whole thing one hot July afternoon in
just two hours. “I was so fired up, I just rattled off the songs,” Fretwell says. “I
assumed it was the run-through, but Dan said he thought we’d got it.” The next
day, Carey assembled “a palate of sound” involving keyboards and an electric
guitar. “Dan said, ‘I’m just going to react to the songs over the next few hours’,
and that’s the finished record, besides some cello.”  The album title was also Carey’s idea. Fretwell explains: “Years ago, Dan asked
why I always carried a copy of The Guardian, a notebook and a pen when all I
did was go to the pub. I said: if you go to the pub at 11am with a newspaper, a
notebook and pen, you look like a busy guy rather than a pisshead. It became a
joke between us. The joke too is that I didn’t do any music for years.”  The album was recorded at Dean Street Studios in Soho, not far from where
Fretwell now lives, and London looms large on the record, in titles like ‘Oval’ and
‘Embankment’: stops on the Tube and urban images shimmer as Fretwell
captures a city full of pride and secrets. He wrote most of the lyrics for ‘Busy
Guy’ sitting in the British Library, “taking the songs to pieces and reassembling
them, refining the words, thinking about the stories.”  There are moments of visceral delight, of ripeness and fullness in nature – blood,
milk and honey, peaches and almonds – all set against the backdrop of the slowburn of long-term love. Fretwell is a true poet with his imagery – taking us on a
tour of the universe as he tries to conflate the experience of loss and love on a
major scale, yet never wanting to assume grandeur, always dancing that fine line
between statement and question. He takes us right up into the cosmos, to “moon
craters” and “crazed constellations” (‘Green’), to religion’s saints and angels, and
right back slap-down down to earth again – in the grotesque detail of horseflies
twitching in last night’s wine glasses, and the fridge-cold lagers the narrator of
‘Pink’ has brought for the beach: a peace offering but also an opt-out.  ‘Busy Guy’ is a record that dips into darkness but ultimately shines in its own
light. A record that symbolises a waking up. A fresh start. A newness that bears
the weight of the past but uses it to great effect.  Available on transparent pink heavyweight 180g vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

Tracklisting
The Goshawk and the Gull
Remember
Embankment
Oval
The Long Water
Orange
Pink
Cooper
Almond
Green

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