James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra unveil video for new song “There Is No Upside”
13 January 2021
New album The Wide, Wide River, due January 22nd
Today, James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra (JY & TSHO) are pleased to share their new song and video “There Is No Upside”; taken from their new album The Wide, Wide River, released later this month on January 22nd.
“There Is No Upside” was the first song JY & TSHO recorded together in Sweden; James had arrived at the studio that morning, and after some brief introductions, they began to record.
Yorkston didn’t want to direct anyone too much, but instead encouraged a welcoming, instinctive, free-spirited and joyful atmosphere. “I wanted the players to be themselves. It was important we captured these early attempts at the song, when the wildness and energy of exploration were still present”.
One of the most upbeat songs on the album, with its swirling strings and twinkling bells, Yorkston says of “There Is No Upside”: “I simply asked the band to react to what I was singing, however I was so enthralled with Ullis (Ulrika Gyllenberg)’s fiddle playing, my one suggestion was she solo wildly throughout. She was a little shy at first, but I played her the Linton Kwesi Johnson track ‘Story’ and she got what I meant.” The lyrics reveal a little more, however; Yorkston adds: “I wrote this song in frustration at a friend who’d chosen to take the big flit… leaving the rest of us somewhat bewildered. I can see how this may seem to be about Brexit. It’s not - but if the cap fits…”
The video’s director and animator Jonna Hallberg said: “The song inspired an idea where the people and their surroundings are stuck in their own behavior, both physically and mentally. It’s a deeply touching song moved by a lot of energy, where the illustrations and the motions reflect a feeling of my interpretation of the song’s intention and atmosphere, without being too distinct.”
The Wide, Wide River is a soothing, warm and sublime listen, whilst also highlighting Yorkston’s skills for songwriting, collaboration and as a musical conductor. The album takes in past loves, advancing age and friends, now gone, whilst also containing some of the most sanguine songs Yorkston has ever made.
The Wide, Wide River is James’ tenth album for Domino, not to mention his three albums as part of Yorkston/Thorne/Khan and his two books. A prolific writer, Yorkston has worked with a wealth of talent over his two-decade career including Four Tet, Alexis Taylor, KT Tunstall, Rustin Man, Simon Raymonde, Norma and Mike Waterson, Martin Carthy, Max Cooper, David Wrench and many others.
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