DEBUT ALBUM ‘I PREDICT A GRACEFUL EXPULSION’ out 21st MAY
SINGLE ‘BLANK MAPS’ out 14th MAY
Cold Specks will release their debut album ‘I Predict A Graceful Expulsion’ through Mute on 21st May. A single entitled ‘Blank Maps’ will precede the album on 14th May.
A video to Cold Specks’ debut single ‘Holland’, which came out late last year, can be viewed here:
The band recently performed two songs on Later With Jools Holland:
Cold Specks is songwriter and vocalist Al Spx from Etobicoke, Canada, who now lives in London. The band’s name is taken from a line in James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’:
“Born all in the dark wormy earth, cold specks of fire, evil, lights shining in the darkness”.
Describing her sound as ‘Doom Soul’, Cold Specks’ music is steeped in the musical traditions of the Deep South. No wonder then that Al cites the Lomax Field Recordings and James Carr as influences along with Bill Callahan and Tom Waits. With a voice that evokes the ‘spirit feel’ of Mahalia Jackson and the visceral tones of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Cold Specks’ sparse arrangements and chain-gang rhythms stop you dead in your tracks.
“My little brother, who was spending his summers with our mother in Toronto, had always told me of this girl he was friends with that had this amazing voice,” recalls Cold Specks’ manager, Jim Anderson. “As a producer I’d heard that so often that I didn’t take too much notice. Then I came in one night to find him and a few friends drinking in the flat and playing a CD of her demos. I was completely transfixed and just kept pressing repeat. I knew I had to work with her. I eventually persuaded her to come over. At that point she had never played with another musician and was completely self-taught with her own unique tuning and timings, which we had to decipher.”
“Jim convinced me to fly out and work on the record for a few months,” explains Al Spx. “That was a year and a half ago. I guess I’m permanently based here now. I didn’t know anyone when I moved here. We needed musicians and Jim knew a bunch. Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey’s regular collaborator) has been helping out with some arrangements and percussion and Jim’s old friends Pete Roberts (guitar), Thomas Greene (piano) and Tom Havelock (cello) also play on the record.”
What People are saying about Cold Specks
“Positively spellbinding and downright possessed” NME
“Simply beautiful” Sunday Times
“Mind your back Laura Marling” Time Out
“A voice that makes your knees quiver… haunting” The Fly
“Haunting and healing in equal measures” The Guardian
“Haunting doom-laden soul” Vogue
“Strange, compelling, old-fashioned and timeless” The Observer
Catch Cold Specks Live
The band, who recently signed to Mute, head out on tour later this month.
Thurs 23rd Glasgow King Tut’s
Fri 24th Liverpool Leaf
Sat 25th Manchester Deaf Institute
Mon 27th Oxford Jericho Tavern
Tues 28th London Bush Hall
Weds 29th Bristol Louisiana