Blair Dunlop – ‘Eternal Optimist’ – live at Blue Print Studios
*Track from the new album ‘Gilded’*
Blair Dunlop announces the release of his third studio album ‘Gilded’ on May 6th 2016. An accomplished writer, guitarist and vocalist, Blair will also be heading out on a 16 date UK tour to promote the new record, kicking off April 20th 2016 in Shrewsbury, including a launch show at London’s Lexington on April 25th.
‘Gilded’ follows on from Blair’s highly acclaimed 2014 release ‘House Of Jacks’ and his outstanding debut album ‘Blight and Blossom’ in 2012, which saw him win the BBC R2 Folk Horizon Award. Blair is a story-teller, known for his cerebral life affirming lyrics and the new record fares no differently – ‘Gilded’ is a collection of stories and reflections, recorded in live takes at Manchester’s Blue Print Studios. On this record Blair remains true to his folk roots lyrically whilst continuing to push musically into new areas.
Album opener ‘Castello’ sets the tone for the narrative nature of the record with lyrics inspired by the dreams, lineage and experiences of a woman Blair met while staying at a 14th century Italian castle during a European tour. ‘Eternal Optimist’ was born of his frustration and intrigue at the digital world we now live in, ‘our real-world experiences seem increasingly subservient to the digital facades we are obsessed with maintaining and refining’ explains Blair. ‘First World Problem’, which, written with Blair’s old Albion Band mates, also reflects on society and the lack of compassionate, consequence-based thinking in the Western world, he muses ‘money talks, at the expense of workers’ welfare, quality of produce, culture and the sustainability of the planet’.
Some tracks on the album are more personal. ‘She Won’t Cry For Me’ is a reflective song about the intricacies of a relationship and how the attitudes within it change over time. Blair was also lucky to co-write some songs on the album, writing with Dave Burn from the band AHAB and also with Gita Harcourt-Smith, with whom he co-wrote album closer ‘Phoenix’ on which they explore parallels between the mythology of the Phoenix and someone close to Blair’s heart.
Blair’s career goes from strength to strength. He has won awards, toured all over the UK and overseas, collaborated with a variety of writers and musicians, moved to London and set up his own record label (Gilded Wings Records), all of which have informed, and are reflected in, his mature and astute musical musings. The Guardian described him as ‘an increasingly adventurous songwriter’, and it rings even truer now. Blair has the confidence and experience to make the music he has always wanted to.
She Won’t Cry For Me
First World Problem
Temper Your Smiling
Up On Cragside
Let’s Dance to Paganini
No Go Zones
I Don’t Know
2016 UK Tour Dates – Tickets on sale now see BlairDunlop.com for details
20/04/2016 – Henry Tudor House – Shrewsbury
22/04/2016 – The Rainbow – Birmingham
23/04/2016 – Jericho Tavern – Oxford
24/04/2016 – Folk House – Bristol
25/04/2016 – The Lexington – London
27/04/2016 – Sneaky Petes – Edinburgh
28/04/2016 – Brewery Arts Centre – Kendal
30/04/2016 – The Plough – Torrington
01/05/2016 – Marshall Acoustic Sessions, Marshall Village Hall – Marnhull
02/05/2016 – Band On The Wall – Manchester
05/05/2016 – The Place – Bedford
06/05/2016 – Railway Inn – Winchester
07/05/2016 – Folk On The Pier – Cromer
25/05/2016 – The Music Room – Liverpool
26/05/2016 – The Flowerpot – Derby
27/05/2016 – Greystones – Sheffield
Blair will also play a number of UK festivals this summer. Those already announced include:
29/05/2016 – How The Light Gets In Fest – Hay-on-Wye
03/06/2016 – London Folk Fest – The Bedford
04/06/2016 – The Acoustic Festival of Britain – Uttoxeter
More festivals still to announce.