Announces forthcoming album The Boombox Ballads, due 14th August
Shares video for new single ‘Sometimes’
Confirms London live show for May with strings
Playing Green Man Festival
Sweet Baboo (aka Stephen Black) is pleased to confirm his fifth album, The Boombox Ballads will be released on August 14th through Moshi Moshi. Watch the video for forthcoming single ‘Sometimes’ here – due 18th May:
Fittingly, ‘Sometimes’ was the first song to be recorded for the album. Sweet Baboo says of the track: “It’s a simple song in two parts. Instrumentally, the verses are kept simple to draw the attention to the voice. Lyrically, the verses rely on the often-used subject of being away from your loved one.
“The discordant strings are a nod to Van Dykes Parks, and musically the unfinished feel of the production is trying to emulate ‘Smiley Smile’ and ‘Wild Honey’ by the Beach Boys.”
Recorded in one day, mixed in another and never revisited again throughout the rest of the recording process, ‘Sometimes’ is also the only song that features Black on all instruments except strings.
On The Boombox Ballads, Sweet Baboo wanted to explore more what it was to be a ‘Singer’ as opposed to a ‘Singer Songwriter’, a term – that to him at least – seems to have picked up some negative connotations in recent years. With that in mind, there was a tentative channeling of Harry Nilsson and latter day Scott Walker (‘You Got Me Time Keeping’) in both his songwriting and by working with an arranger (Paul Jones) for the first time who helped him paint the most vivid accompaniments possible.
This idea of separating the singer from the songwriter is perfectly encapsulated in the album track ‘I Just Want To Be Good’ written for and about Sweet Baboo by his friendCate Le Bon. This process leaving nothing but his voice to guide himself to the emotional centre of the song.
Watch Sweet Baboo’s album trailer here – where you can hear clips of ‘You Got Me Time Keeping’.
A native of the North Wales countryside, The Boombox Ballads follows Black’s Motorhome Songs EP, his 2013’s acclaimed Ships and 2010’s I’m A Dancer / Songs About Sleeping – both nominated for the Welsh Music Prize.
Sweet Baboo’s dry wit and melodic flair have seen him become a firm favourite with BBC 6Music’s Marc Riley (who has had him in session more than any other artist), and deservedly recognised as one of the country’s finest performers.
For his album launch show in London this May, Sweet Baboo will be accompanied by an all new band and a string quartet. Additionally, he and touring partner The Pictish Trail will be reunited at Green Man Festival in Wales.
Upcoming UK dates
Thursday 23rd April – Focus Wales Festival, Wrexham
Thursday 21st May – London Fields Brewery, London Tickets
20th – 23rd August – Green Man Festival, Wales
2. Got To Hand Onto You
3. You Are Gentl
4. Two Lucky Magpies
5. The Boombox Ballad
6. You Got Me Time Keeping ft. Laura Bryon
7. Walking In The Rain
8. I Just Want To Be Good
9. Tonight You Are A Tiger
10. Over & Out