Today, 4th November 2016 sees the release of Will Varley’s beautiful and powerful new album ‘Kingsdown Sundown’, released through Xtra Mile Recordings.
Recorded underneath a pub by the sea in Deal, Kent as the waves roared outside, Kingsdown Sundown is a bleak and uncompromising critique of the human condition, journeying deep into our dreams, faults, regrets and politics.
Check out the new video from album track ‘February Snow’
Coinciding with the release is the news that Varley will be playing his biggest show to date at the impressive and legendary O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empireon 25th November 2017. Tickets went on sale today HERE.
Speaking about the show, Will says: “I used to play an open mic night across the road from Shepherds Bush Empire. I never thought years later I’d be headlining there.”
This headline show at London’s Union Chapel later this month on 18th November had sold over out a month in advance.
The songs on ‘Kingsdown Sundown’ are more visceral and uneasy than before, with fights in KFC descending into world wars, the all too real plight of refugees and the recent rise in hate crime. A collection of folk songs written over the course of the last year while travelling and touring – written on tour buses and trains, scribbled on the back of set lists and receipts – Will says “these are the most honest songs I’ve ever written and they represent new ground for me creatively. They may not be radio friendly, or even ‘friendly’ at all, but I’ve been wanting to make a record like this for a long time.”
First track to be lifted from the album ‘To Build A Wall’ – an unnervingly timely indictment of simplistic solutions to incredible complex problems on both sides of the pond – has been added to the Radio X Evening Playlist and is receiving plays and support from Steve Lamacq on 6Music.
Watch the simple but provocative video here:
The rest of the album is hazier, more spectral and a phantom of memories, dreams, and hopes. If there’s one song that haunts as much as it heals and warms the soul, it’s ‘Let Your Guard Down’ which sounds like it was sung deeply into the howling wind in defiance, in hope and fear. The most directly political song ‘We Want Our Planet Back’ feels strongly enough to strap on an electric guitar and strum over Will’s patient protest, but it indirectly lends its brooding power to ‘Too Late Too Soon’ which seems ready to crumple and break, a sandcastle made of a simmering mood. ‘Back To Hell’ could have come from any period in superstitious folk history, a tale of vague menace, mysticism and the underworld. Finally, ‘We’ll Keep Making Plans’ threatens to build to a crescendo, but instead lets us drift out into a mental sea where the sun is setting on what we knew in favour of the unknown, resolving to carry on, continuing to build our futures on shakier foundations. It’s somehow not dispiriting; it’s more driven by determination to allow sadness not to rule our lives, but be an important part of it.
Will Varley UK & Ireland Headline Tour:
08/11 Glasgow, King Tuts
09/11 Manchester, Gorilla
10/11 Newcastle, Cluny
11/11 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
15/11 Portsmouth, The Wedgewood Rooms
16/11 Bristol, Thekla
17/11 Brighton, Komedia
18/11 London, Union Chapel SOLD OUT
23/11 Galway, Roisin Dubh
24/11 Dublin, Whelans
25/11 Belfast, The Sunflower
26/11 Cork, Cyprus Avenue