24 June 2014

Anja McCloskey returns with her second album, Quincy Who Waits

Anja McCloskey second albumn Quincy Who Waits

Anja McCloskey returns with her second album, Quincy Who Waits

This summer Anja McCloskey returns with her second album, the enigmatically titled ‘Quincy Who Waits’ – Out 21 July on Sotones Records.

Her first new solo material since her 2012 debut LP ‘An Estimation,’ ‘Quincy Who Waits’ follows the winning formula of her first album; an eclectic collection, embodying elements of alternative, folk and traditional, built mostly around Anja’s masterful accordion. However where ‘An Estimation’ was an album about friendship, roots and belonging, ‘Quincy Who Waits’ covers issues of displacement, searching for a cultural identity and of leaving things behind – the result of two years of travelling.

It picks up where An Estimation left off but in a way working on Quincy Who Waits has taken me further,’ says Anja. ‘I have become more confident, musically and emotionally, through my travels and encounters and I feel that Quincy Who Waits encompasses this new found strength and independence.’

Written mainly whilst living and touring through America’s Mid West Anja recorded the album in her native Germany, enlisting help from the likes of Mikey Kenney (Ottersgear), Campbell Austin (Moneytree, TS Idiot), Swedish lapsteel-pioneer Fredrik Kinbom, Richard Lomax, Marcus Hamblett (Mariners Children, Eyes and No Eyes), Emma Gatrill, Oliver Austin and Hannah Miller of the Moulettes, and singer songwriter Dan Whitehouse.

Highlights include the joyous and mysterious first single, Too Many Words, and Insane, with its jaunty almost tango feel.  There’s the emotional turmoil of Why Tea, with its four different time signatures as well as 23 different instrument tracks whilst songs like Red, Zoom Permanent (with Dan Whitehouse) and title track, Quincy Who Waits In the Daffodils offer insight into Anja’s time in America. ‘I spent months touring through states like Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas,’ says Anja. ‘Which whilst wonderful and fascinating, was also a time of unfamiliar solitude.’

Red is the result of hours driving alone in silence through treacherous winter scenes, feeling miles away from home. Zoom Permanent is about lost friendship and disconnection and title track Quincy Who Waits in the Daffodils is about a memorial bridge in Des Moines, full of plaques with messages for loved ones. ‘One was dedicated “For Quincy Who Waits in the Daffodils”. It had fresh daffodils wrapped around it and I found it really moving. I don’t know who Quincy was, but this is a song for him.’

Elsewhere there are also some older songs, re-invented and recorded here for the first time. ‘Suit Yourself,’ one of the first songs Anja ever wrote as a solo artist back in 2008 was put aside as a work in progress. Here, with the help of double bass player Joe Kelly (Etao Shin) it’s been given a new guitar part and completely new violin arrangement, making it almost unrecognisable from the original.  Also included, the beautiful Henry Lives, the second single taken from the album and another song that was written over six years ago. “I originally wrote this for my folk-rock band Haunted Stereo. We played it live, but never recorded it and I’ve always thought that was a shame as it’s a lovely little tune full of positivity and devotion, whilst having an unattainable element to it.’ And finally The Calm, written at first as a contemplative piece sung in whispered vocals, which over the years has become an angry appeal. ‘I’m really happy with the dramatic touch it has, especially as it now feels like a triumphant victory rather than a feeble plea.’

Anja McCloskey released her debut album, ‘An Estimation’ in late 2012. Winning acclaim everywhere from Q Magazine, This is Fake DIY and The Daily Express to The Arts Desk and the 405. She was praised in the folk circles too, with For Folk’s Sake calling her debut “A wonderful album to simply get lost in.” Before this, she played accordion in The Irrepressibles and led Southampton folk-rock trailblazers Haunted Stereo. Since releasing her debut album Anja moved to America, and then back to Germany, all the time playing live and writing new music. Earlier this year she came together with singer songwriter Dan Whitehouse to release a joint EP, ‘Still’ recorded and released off the back of a joint Canadian tour. She also recently recorded a remix of a Moulettes song (Constellations) with Dan Smith of the Noisettes, released as part of a special bonus EP for their recent album.

Catch Anja live this summer:

6th July            Gilberdyke Village Hall, Gilberdyke (with Dan Whitehouse)
8th July            New Continental, Preston (with Dan Whitehouse and Avital Raz)
9th July            Old Church St Pancras, London, (with Dan Whitehouse and Esther Dee)
10th July          Marlborough Theatre, Brighton (with Emma Gatrill and Dan Whitehouse)
11th July          Googies Art Cafe, Folkestone (with Dan Whitehouse).
13th July          LOAF Festival, Stourbridge
13th July          Lazy Sunday, Worcester Arts Workshop, Worcester
16th August     The Art House, Southampton

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