Rave Reviews For The Anchoress

It’s hard to escape all the amazing reviews coming in for The Art Of Losing, the follow up album from 2016 debut Confessions Of A Romance Novelist by The Anchoress.

Below are the latest reviews printed in Mojo, Classic Pop and Record Collector, as well as a short Q and A interview also from Record Collector.

With just under two weeks until release on March 12th, it is certainly going to be if not THE album of the year, then definitely one of the biggest albums of 2021. Do I smell a Mercury nomination….?

The latest single release is the title track itself. Take a listen by finding the YouTube link further below.

Pre-order copies are selling out fast. You can order by going to the store: https://TheAnchoress.lnk.to/TheArtOfLosing

Maxed Out In Minutes – The Anchoress Q&A For Rough Trade

It seems a bit surplus to need of highlighting this, as the tickets for it have already gone – FLOWN OUT ON THE WINDOW in mere hours (perhaps only minutes? Bloody quick sticks anyway!) – but I will talk of it anyway.

On release day, Catherine will conduct a Q&A for Rough Trade, hosted by Pete Paphides about her new album, The Art of Losing.

Thank god I didn’t hang about in getting my ticket as there was only a limit of 300 available. Perhaps that may expand to further tickets released? Who knows? Perhaps the Q&A can be seen later?

I’ll look forward to it and count the days. Have been counting the days of release anyway.

In the meantime, you can check out current single (and title track) The Art Of Losing below.

The Anchoress – Premiere Of “Show Your Face” Single And Album The Art Of Losing Ready To Pre-Order

I sadly missed the premiere radio play of The Anchoress’s new single, Show Your Face, this afternoon on BBC Radio 6 Music with Steve Lamacq as I was making my way into Glasgow’s West End (for my belated birthday treat of seeing GlasGlow at the Botanic Gardens – some vids and pics in a separate post for those interested. Lol) just as the show was starting.

But here is the video of the single on YouTube. What a fab video. And what a fab synth sound on the song. It’s well braw! I loved it when I heard it the first time at the Meltdown Festival in 2018. Geez! Feels like forever ago now!

But the other fab news is, we have a release date and pre-order details for the new Anchoress album, The Art Of Losing! Yaaaay! Awesome news! It’s a while off yet. It’s not out until next March, but Catherine tells me we will get to hear a new track each month until the album is released.

Details for pre-ordering can be found HERE

I have pre-ordered this beautiful bundle pictured.

And, of course, you can keep up-to-date on all the news by checking The Anchoress and Catherine’s social media pages.

Happy days!

Breaking News: The Anchoress Announcement Tomorrow!

Catherine will be on BBC Radio 6 Music making an announcement on Steve Lamacq’s show at 4pm GMT tomorrow!

And…I just realised I might miss it! I’ll be leaving the house some 10 mins later to get to the city. Oh, bum! I’ll have to catch up! And I’ll share all the details here, of course.

Stay tuned! You can also check Catherine’s various social media too, either as herself or as The Anchoress.

EXCITING!

Review: In Memory Of My Feelings – Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler

It has been a little over 10 years since Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler first decided to team up with each other and work on producing music together. They quickly felt they had the makings of an album together. Little by little things came together, building on their work together when time allowed. A few years down the track with Catherine working on her on solo career as The Anchoress, and then being part of the touring band with Simple Minds and in between those things juggling with continuing work with Butler on what would become In Memory Of My Feelings. Talk about multi-tasking!

The album was all but completed for a number of years. Davies and Butler suffered knock backs. Record companies would show an interest and then inexplicably go cold on the idea. But both Catherine and Bernard knew they had a diamond here! They just needed someone else to see, feel and hear it! Enter Pete Paphides and his newly established record label, Needle Mythology. He knew the gem that was before him. And so, with one last little hiccup along the way (the test pressing of the album causing a problem which meant a one month delay from the initial release date of September 18th), Friday – at last – saw the release of In Memory Of My Feelings, on vinyl, CD and in digital format and through streaming services.

Was it worth the wait? My opinion – a resounding YES!

The Breakdown: It’s beautiful melancholia. Catherine has a knack for that. Its sparse chords and mirrored vocal harmonies exude fear and regret but…there is light. The best melancholic songs always bring a hope with them. There is hope. It ends in hope. There is love. Strength. And the offering of courage.

Ten Good Reasons: It has been my earwarm all day! There is sass and sensuality and sultriness. Relationships when they hit the rocks and flatline. Do we push on? Is there any sense in doing so? That’s what I hear in this song. Again, impeccable harmonies and fabulous guitar work from Butler. The final 30 seconds of the song is just…perfection. That repetition of “what a mess we’re in” and then the ending piano chords. Geez…I know that is something. Or is a nod to something familiar but I can’t put my finger on it! (Catherine might tell me if she sees this?)

Sabotage (Looks So Easy): Rocking. Just – pow – straight in! Intelligent lyrics. Just punchy and ballsy. Again full of sass and attitude. We’re not gonna take deceit lying down.

In Memory Of My Feelings: It’s like three songs in one! What a break up song! Just, the musical weaving and blending, ducking and diving. The harmonies! My god, the harmonies on this album are flawless! Delivery on the lyrics “because you can’t take it back / you’ve done it now / and that is that” during the bridge breaks (right term?) are just beautiful. This could be my favourite track on the album. It just has such layers to it. And the dark and light of it. It interplays with mood and colour. Light and shade. It’s fabulous!

I Know: Or is THIS my favourite track? THE HARMONIES! I want to die! And with Butler’s guitar riding it all underneath…geez! It really is a beauty this one. Tenderness. Such tenderness to it! A love that is blossoming yet already faltering? Everything is all tentative. It’s beautiful, this. Just really beautiful.

Judas: LET’S ROCK! Just to dry up those tears shed from the beauty of the previous track. It’s a rollercoaster, this album! A rollercoaster of gems! Just absorb the sensuality and sultriness of this one. And just eat up that jangling guitar. Sell it to me, brother! (I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. Lol)

No More Tears To Cry: It’s almost a gospel tune. What fabulous lines “here in my mouth / here in my heart / is the place where the hunger starts”. And fabulous guitar work for BB. Esp. on this track. His guitar work is strongest on this. Great middle solo. Oh, it’s SSOOO good!

The Waiting Game: I don’t usually hear much of Manic Street Preachers influence on Catherine, but I hear it really strongly on this track. Abandonment? It’s the worst! It’s the daisy petal game, this song. “He loves me. He loves me not.” We’ve all done it, even if just metaphorically most times…picking them petals off the daisy. Life is a waiting game…for buses, trains, planes, people to tell you they love you and want to be with you. This song is catchy AF.

The Patron Saint Of The Last Cause: When you don’t feel you are worthy of anyone’s attention or interest or kindness. Melancholic again, but delivered to sound lighthearted. “Hey, I’m a fuck up. Don’t be bothering yourself with me” to an upbeat tune.

F.O.H.: Again, those bloody harmonies. Hell! And then…
To be honest…this is the only track I am kinda grappling with. I don’t know what to make of it still. I am not saying I don’t like it. I just don’t find it so easy to express how I feel about it/what I’m getting from it. The jury’s out a little…but that’s okay. If we say this is one only song I am really not gelling with that well with then, that gives this album a massive 9/10!

The Bonus tracks:
Live To Tell is a stellar version of the Madonna original. Much more emotional to me. Catherine’s vocal performance utterly perfect. Lovely space left on the track too. Excellently executed. Better than the original.
The Patron Saint Of The Lost Cause (Harmonium Version) the air of lightheartedness on the album version is diminished somewhat by the barebones harmonium sound. It isn’t a bad thing. I really like both versions.

Why this album was such a long push to get to be released is truly perplexing having listened to it several times now. The rejecting record company’s loss and Needle Mythology’s gain. Congratulations to Catherine and Bernard. And well done to the both of you for having the courage of your convictions to know that what you had produced here deserved to have an audience because you were both SSOO right!

In Memory Of My Feelings is a very strong album. Great lyrics, fabulous harmonies, musically “on point”. Everything just fits.

I can’t recommend this album enough!
It’s near faultless.
It has to be a 9/10!

Jim’s Thoughts On Mac & Co – CAD & BB Album Review

A couple of little snippets from the latest Mojo magazine – Jim’s fave offering from the Bunnymen and In Memory Of My Feelings gets reviewed.

P.S. I wish I could be as unaffected as Jim is at the thought of someone not thinking of me with the fondest of thoughts – as the idea of him feeling that way with me (ie: he cannae stand me!) makes me want to cry my eyes out.

On My Radio – CAD and JDB

Firstly – coming up this evening, Catherine Anne Davies and Bernard Butler are talking to Janice Long on BBC Radio Wales about their collaboration producing the album set for release next month, In Memory Of My Feelings. The album was originally due for release last Friday but some vinyl pressing issues meant that the release was delayed by four weeks.

Click on the photo of Janice to be taken to the relevant page. You can listen in live tonight from 7pm on Radio Wales via the BBC Sounds app.

In connecting Welsh relations – James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers joined Gary Davies (sitting in for Ken Bruce) for his “Tracks Of My Years” playlist. Included in his choices was Speed Your Love To Me. Someone kindly extracted the relevant part of the program on Radio 2 and posted it to YouTube.

Get listening!