Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Black Swans

blackswansmusic’s avatar
What do you get when you put in five years hard graft to learn your craft and believe in what you're doing - the debut album 'The Life We Chose' by Liverpool band Black Swans of course.  It's recently been released along with the latest single 'Be There' to critical acclaim and looks like becoming one of the best 'breakthrough' albums of 2013.
'Really really good' NME - 'Epic' Q magazine - 'Effortlessly cool' GQ magazine (UK)

 "Over the years we've realised many things," says singer Jamie Wright. "For example: you never write a song for the sake of writing a song. It has to mean something, to say something, to communicate. And never underestimate the importance of melody. You can't be self-indulgent. You've got to be streamlined, you've got to capture the attention immediately."

Black Swans are  certainly managing to capture the attention as the single 'Be There' has already been included on a new compilation album by LA label Alexis Records and is garnering worldwide airplay on over 3,000 stations!  Their sound is very much destined for the big stages and, in the same vein as Scotland's Vigo Thieves they're producing modern day anthems.

Jamie Wright and Adrian Crane, 29 and 32 respectively, have known each other since schooldays. Growing up together on the Wirral, they came together out of a common love of the same music.

"We came of age during Britpop," says Jamie. "Oasis, Blur, Suede, and, before them, Stone Roses."

But their respective musical educations began much earlier than that. Ade was a classically trained pianist, Grade Eight and concert hall-bound, before, as so many teenagers do, ultimately gravitating towards the guitar, convinced it was the more exciting instrument. Having mastered the piano, he decided he'd be able to teach himself the guitar without the benefit of lessons. 

They played in various bands throughout their school years, but by the time Jamie left university, he fell into a full time occupation, while Ade landed work as a studio engineer.   In 2006, Jamie gave into the obvious, aware that he was never destined for a desk job. 

He ditched the office environment, and formed a band with Ade instead.  His sister had recently invested in a bar in Liverpool, and was looking for an act to grace its small stage. Her husband and brother realised that this was the perfect opportunity to try out some of their songs.  

Quickly gaining a local reputation, they found a bassist and drummer, and their first band, Hudson Fall, was born.  A straightforward rock and pop outfit, Hudson Fall fly-posted their many live shows right across Liverpool and the north-west for the next four years, recording a couple of EPs and an album along the way.

"We got a lot of advice from a lot of people over those years, but much of it turned out to be bad, or else not quite right for us," Jamie says now. "But it was a useful experience, and we learned a lot from it."

"The record industry has changed,"  - Jamie says -  "You don't necessarily get anywhere by playing live tirelessly and endlessly. You do so by playing the right shows, by choosing wisely, and by building up a following online.  This is what we plan to do."

Black Swans album, meanwhile, ably speaks for itself and was co-produced by Andrea Wright, who has worked with both Coldplay and Echo and the Bunnymen, The Life We Chose has the sheen of the former and the grandeur of the latter, along with the honesty and punch of Biffy Clyro and early Radiohead.  It's a great record and a convincing statement of intent.

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