After a rollercoaster twenty-five year career as an artist, curator and tastemaker, James Lavelle returns with UNKLE’s fifth studio album, The Road: Part 1 – a collection of fifteen new UNKLE tracks inspired by his curation of 2014’s Meltdown Festival at Southbank, their most successful to date. Following a technical error at the manufacturing plant, The Road: Part 1 will now be released on August 18th. Pre-order the album with exclusive bundles via Pledge Music.
The Road: Part 1 is a collective creative venture with musicians including London folk-rock artist and poet Keaton Henson, Primal Scream’s Andrew Innes, The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss, long-time UNKLE collaborator Mark Lanegan and Mercury prize nominee ESKA. Lavelle also found new friends and collaborators in Queens of the Stone Age drummer Jon Theodore and Beck drummer Justin Stanley, who make definitive contributions throughout the record.
The latest track from The Road: Part 1 , “Looking For The Rain”, – currently riding high on the BBC 6 Music Playlist – is a call to arms in our turbulent modern world written by Mark Lanegan with string arrangements by Will Malone (Massive Attack, Unfinished Symphony and UNKLE‘s Lonely Soul amongst others). The video, by visual artist Doug Foster, was created by “filming a variety of subjects from nature, such as water, crystals and plants. The footage was composited in several stages to eventually form a moving tunnel of light that features synchronized repetition and bilateral symmetry.”
Recorded in UK, Europe and Los Angeles’ Pink Duck Studios, The Road: Part 1 is the product of a desire to create something fresh and innovative, that also celebrates the rich history of UNKLE, and showcases a new wave of talent such as Elliott Power, Mïnk and YSEÉ. The album also features long-term collaborators Philip Sheppard, Chris Goss, Twiggy and Troy Van Leeuwen.
Lavelle set out to make a record that tapped into the multicultural landscape of modern London. His mission was to unite the eclectic mix of ideas, cultures and genres under the UNKLE umbrella and create something unique.
James Lavelle praises the role of collaboration, and its importance at the core of the project: “I hadn’t made a record in a long time, and the incarnation of UNKLE had changed in that now, it was me on my own. For that reason, I wanted to make a record that I hadn’t been able to before, going back to the roots of where I came from, with a foot in modern London.”
Whilst The Road: Part 1 may be their fifth studio album, it is in many ways a new beginning. With shows booked throughout the year in the UK (and hopefully some U.S. dates to be announced) and The Road: Part 2 already in the making, it feels that even after 25 years, the road for UNKLE has only just begun.
‘The Road Pt. 1’ Available for pre-order here: http://smarturl.it/UNKLE-TheRoadPt1