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Sunday, 9 April 2017


In the near four decades since the demise of the legendary Soft Boys, Robyn Hitchcock has skillfully navigated his own idiosyncratic path through the years and along the way been “almost famous” on the occasions new generations of lovers of whimsical, surreal psychedelia and excellent songwriting discover his records……it’s been a long strange trip with at least 20 plus album releases over this time. The muso’s favourite cult artist has always had more of a following in the States than in the UK, collecting “heavy friends” along the way and now has an East Nashville Zip Code on the letters that arrive in the post. Recorded in Nashville and described by its creator as “an ecstatic work of negativity”, the first-ever eponymous release of this legendary British artist’s career sees Robyn still hardwired into the psychedelic sounds of The Beatles, The Byrds and Syd Barratt/Pink Floyd but with a latent Country Rock influence exposed for the first time with producer Brendan Benson at the controls and backing by a crack band of fellow Music City pickers and players that includes guitarist Annie McCue, bassist Jon Estes, and drummer Jon Radford……….. harmony vocal contributions come courtesy of Alt Rock/Country heavy weights Emma Swift, Grant Lee Phillips, Gillian Welch, and Wilco’s Pat Sansone.

There is not such a thing as a bad Robyn Hitchcock album, admittedly some are better than others but they are always packed with fantastic songs and never disappoint. Robyn Hitchcock immediately stands among the most energized and ambitious recordings of the iconic troubadour’s long career. The album sees Hitchcock casting familiar shapes into surprising new forms, the whimsy and surrealist sounds and visions that first stimulated his work are now ribboned with experience and hard-earned wisdom with Robyn in a more reflective mood in his seventh decade. Songs like ‘Sayonara Judge’ are gorgeous and intense, rife with avant imagery, astringent wit, and righteous anger. Spanning dystopic psychedelia (‘Mad Shelley’s Letterbox’, ‘Time Coast’), inspired folk baroque (‘Raymond and the Wires’, ‘1970 In Aspic’), even rambunctious liver-fried country (‘I Pray When I’m Drunk’), Robyn Hitchcock has all the elements of the best Hitchcock albums in place but they sound as if they have been assembled the wrong way round on this occasion……………’s the same as before but different. For long term fans this is yet another excellent record to add to the collection and for those new to strange world of Robyn Hitchcock, it’s an ideal entry point into the great man’s wildly brilliant oeuvre.

Due for release on vinyl and CD by Yep Roc Records on 21/04/2017 the self-titled new album from Robyn Hitchcock will be available from all good record stores and is also available for pre-order now at the official Yep Roc Store here…………

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