British singer songwriter J R Harbidge has announced that he will be releasing his debut solo album, the majority of which, was recorded at The Twang’s Jump The Cut studio. First Ray Of Light, will be via Absolute Label on October 5th.
The 10 track album has been Inspired by the likes of Jackson Browne, Ryan Adams, Bob Dylan, Crosby Stills & Nash and Neil Young and is a collection of soulful, country-tinged and often-contemplative songs. The album seeks to be both personal and political, but rooted in the everyday experience of coping with life’s ups and downs.
“Sometimes the only way to get something out is in a song,” says James. “You can find something positive in a rough situation; if you can write a song at least you’re perhaps turning it back on itself”.
The lead single, Turn The Screw, is an accusatory song about people in control who wreak havoc and cause damage with no comeback. It encapsulates the mistrust of the institutions that is so prevalent in the world, and how the rest of society has to suffer due to their actions. The sentiments in the song can be related to on both sides of the Atlantic.
The acoustic guitar led single is accompanied by a simple but effective video. Mainly shot in monochrome, with flashes of colour, it has 3 James Harbidges, playing guitar, bass and drums. The video perfectly compliments the simple song with exquisite melodies.
A rocker from the Black Country with strong roots in the Birmingham music scene, James Harbidge has been playing, writing and producing for over twenty years with over 1 million streams/views of his music. He has always had a love of production. Finding a home in fellow Birmingham band The Twang’s studio space enabled James to hone his craft, often working with and learning from producer Gavin Monaghan (The Editors, Ocean Colour Scene) which eventually led to him engineering JAWS debut album in 2014.
James’ musical nurturing came from his father, and embraced polarities. Every morning they’d listen to either Paranoid or Deja Vu, and along the way he also picked up an abiding love of The Beatles. Thus his instinct to rock was always tempered by a high regard for melody. The rock won out with Third Bullet, the trio he formed in the mid-noughties with Steve Busby and Matt Challoner. Labelled as a grunge band and a ‘more melodic Soundgarden’ their Revelations album (produced by Monaghan) gained good notices; Resistance Is Futile was used in a Harley Davidson advertising campaign and posthumously interest has continued to grow.
Although live dates have yet to be confirmed, you can expect an announcement of dates after the release of First Ray Of Light.