Storied and prolific British musician Paul Weller is providing fans with an artistic balm to help navigate the continued lockdown. In a double bill of sorts, the singer-songwriter has announced not just the release today (25) of his upcoming single “Cosmic Fringes” but also the release of his next body of work, in the form of the album Fat Pop (Volume 1). Weller’s 16th solo set will be out on May 14, less than ten months after his last studio release, On Sunset.
Including “Volume 1” in the title so as to leave the door open for a second volume in the future, this new recording adventure comes off the back of the singer-songwriter’s momentous success with On Sunset, which he created during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Discussing the upcoming album, Weller said: “It’s a celebration of music and what it’s given us all. No matter what situation you are in, and we’re in one now, music doesn’t let you down, does it?”
“Cosmic Fringes” sees the frontman deliver deadpan vocals that perfectly sync together with an oxymoronic, pumping swing. It’s a precursor of the experimentation that fans can expect with Fat Pop (Volume 1), with each track possessing a potent individuality.
On Sunset was, typically, a critical and commercial success for Weller which claimed the No.1 spot in the UK to become his fifth solo album bestseller there. It was hailed by AllMusic as “fresh” and “distinctly belonging to Weller.” The Observer wrote: “There is warmth and succour here, undercut with a playful scattering of mischievous sounds.”
Undeterred by lockdown
After its completion and with his spring tour dates postponed, Weller started to record new songs on his own with just vocals, piano, and guitar. Undeterred by lockdown, he sent them to drummer Ben Gordelier, guitarist Steve Cradock, and bassist Andy Crofts to add their parts. The musicians then reconvened at Weller’s Black Barn studio in Surrey when allowed, to finish the album.
The stylistically varied album also features the ballad “Still Glides The Stream,” co-written with Cradock, the percussive “Moving Canvas”(a tribute to Iggy Pop), and ”dramatic, immediate pop symphonies” such as “Failed”, “True,” and “Shades of Blue.” Other guests include Liverpudlian singer Lia Metcalfe of the Mysterines, who also co-wrote “True”; British pop-rock longrunner Andy Fairweather Low, who adds distinctive vocals to “Testify”; and Weller’s daughter Leah, who co-wrote and features on “Shades Of Blue.” Hannah Peel returns with string scores for “Cobweb Connections” and “Still Glides The Stream.”
Fat Pop (Volume 1) is released on May 14 and can be pre-ordered here. Scroll down for the full tracklisting.
“Shade Of Blue”
“In Better Times”
“Still Glides The Stream”