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Wednesday 16 August 2017

All This Life: Starsailor Return With Brighton Show & First Album For Eight Years

Forged out of the ashes of the Brit-pop explosion, Starsailor emerged onto the music scene in the early 2000s, gaining success and spearheading a new wave of English guitar bands.

Their debut album Love Is Here, featuring hit singles including "Fever", "Alcoholic" and "Good Souls", peaked at number two in the UK album charts in 2001 selling half a million copies in the UK alone. 

The band's second album Silence Is Easy was part-produced by Phil Spector, spawning further hit singles and setting the band up for a career that has seen the four friends travel the world and work with a host of artists including Brandon Flowers, Spiritualized, Donovan and The Charlatans as well as support legendary musicians such as the Rolling Stones, The Police and U2. 

With four albums and eleven Top 40 singles under their belt, they took a break in 2009 to concentrate on other projects before reconvening for a couple of shows in 2014, which led to a well received Greatest Hits album, which featured two brand new tracks, and sowed the seeds for a brand new studio album.

Bassist James Stelfox explains: "It was great being back on the road again together and it seemed like a natural step to make a new record"

"We always agreed we wouldn't force an album if there wasn't the demand and enthusiasm out there for it but thankfully there was," continues lead singer/songwriter James Walsh. 

"The greatest hits tour spurred us on to make the best album we could knowing how many people were out there still passionate about the band." 
The result is All This Life, a gleaming 11 track opus of razor sharp songwriting which is produced by Rick McNamara from Embrace and will be released through Cooking Vinyl on September 1st, 2017.

Tucked away in Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire, the recording process for All This Life was a much more relaxed affair than its predecessor, All The Plans (2009), and saw a revitalised Starsailor thriving with creativity and having full control on the songs" development.

"There was less pressure than on All The Plans. We seemed to have a lot more freedom on this record," says drummer Ben Byrne. 

"With All This Life, the band felt that the shadow of major labels watching over them had gone. 

"This felt more like let's give it everything we've got but try and enjoy the process as much as possible. We felt fortunate to be back in the studio," says Walsh

"We had a real buzz again and everyone was playing really well and enjoying the vibe. We just wanted to make the best record we possibly could," adds Byrne

Having always been focused heavily on their songwriting craft (Walsh has also written for the likes of Pixie Geldof, Eliza Doolittle, Tom Speight, Jessarae, Mel C, Professor Green and more), All This Life is a glowing testament to the creative ethic that Starsailor have held in high regard since their inception. 

Acclaimed over the years for the raw and personal lyrics that have always been an integral part of Starsailor's music, the new album features some of their most personal writing yet, with Walsh tackling heartbreak and grief through his pen. 

As Walsh reveals: "Both myself and Rick were going through emotional turmoil and relationship break ups so it was a cathartic experience for us. I think the message of the album is to keep going. It's going to be alright. 

"Mental health is at the forefront of the conversation these days. I hope people listen and realise that everyone goes through shit no matter how seemingly good their life is and that they can find comfort from that." 

One of the key tracks on the album is F.I.A (Fuck It All), a song as emotionally charged and convincing as any they have ever recorded. 

A rousing anthem of letting go of emotional baggage and the ties that hold us back, it's a message chiming with positivity in the face of hardship… something that had resonance for the band both personally and professionally.

It's no secret that the music industry has moved on enormously in the 17 years since Starsailor first emerged, but the band are rejuvenated with a new lease of life and a fresh outlook. 

"I think it's almost come full circle where we're more relevant than our middle period. I think people learn to appreciate how good a band is when new artists come and go but your influence and fan base stays." says Walsh.

"Expectations are very dangerous when it comes to chart placing and have lead to really low points for me. 

"We just want as many people to like it as possible, and to value every person that does. 

"It's a massive tonic regardless of radio or sales when there's loads of people singing the words back." 

"The ultimate goal with this album is to hopefully satisfy our fans, and prove to ourselves that we can still do what we do well," concludes keyboardist Barry Westhead. 

"If we get new fans on board along the way that would be great. If we get the chance to make another record after this one, it would mean we have achieved what we have set out to do with this album. That to me would be success."

Starsailor play Concorde 2 Brighton on 25th October. Their new album 'All This Life' is released on 1st September 2017. CLICK HERE for more info.

by: Mike Cobley


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