James Yorkston & The Second Hand Orchestra released single and announces album
4 November 2020
Their new album ´The Wide, Wide River´ due January 22nd 2021. The single ´Struggle´ is out now via Domino.
James Yorkston and The Second Hand Orchestra will release ´The Wide, Wide River´ on January 22nd. The album came to be after the blossoming of a long-term friendship between James Yorkston and Karl-Jonas Winqvist, the Swedish music producer, leader and conductor of The Second Hand Orchestra.
Alongside the announcement, James Yorkston & The Second Hand Orchestra (JY & TSHO) are pleased to share the first song from the record, ´Struggle´. With its lyrics: “And I hope I can tell you that I love you, when you are too old to be told”, ´Struggle´ is a tender and beautiful love song to James’ children. “It’s me telling my kids that it’s ok to not be ok, and that indeed, sometimes I struggle” adds Yorkston. right moment and jump on board, like when I’m pushing my kids round on a roundabout in the local park. I love that everyone was singing along so freely when we recorded this. There were vocal mics for everyone, and people would just lean in with a harmony, every now and then. It gives it a very communal feeling.”
That communal feeling is apparent across the entire album. Recordedand mixed in Sweden over the course of three days with a selection of musicians Winqvist had brought together, including Peter Morén (Peter, Bjorn & John), Cecilia Österholm (one of Sweden’s best-known nyckelharpa players), Emma Nordenstam (piano & cello) and Ulrika Gyllenberg (violin). The studio approach with The Second Hand Orchestra was entirely improvised around Yorkston’s songs, and the only song they heard in advance was ´Ella Mary Leather´; Yorkston didn’t want to direct anyone too much but instead, allowed for a welcoming, instinctive, free-spirited and joyful atmosphere. ´The Wide, Wide River´ isa soothing, warm and sublime listen, whilst also highlighting Yorkston’s skills for songwriting, collaboration and as a musical conductor.
The record 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.