This week I’m looking at the band UNKLE, an UK outfit composed of long time school friends James Lavalle and Tim Goldsworth. Over the course of their 5 album, 25 year career they’ve worked with a whole lot of other guest artists including their producer DJ Shadow, Thom Yorke from Radiohead, Mike D from Beastie Boys, Jason Newstead from Metallica, Queens of the Stone Age, Lupe Fiasco, Oasis, Massive Attack, and Linkin Park.
slide show of the artists UNKLE has collaborated with
I originally found Unkle from some housemates I used to live with years ago who played the song “The Answer – on a wire” [instrumental] which really struck a chord with me, one of my favourtie parts of the song is the transition between the two tracks “the answer” and “on a wire” from 4m20s to 4m40s. After that song, I looked at their “War Stories” album and it was all downhill from there.
Unkle is celebrating their 25th year anniversary this year and announced their new album “The Road pt 1”. They did an exhibition called “Daydreaming with UNKLE Presents…THE ROAD” at the Lazarides in SOHO London in celebration of the announcement, but I’m a bit late to the party (the show ran from 20th January to 23rd Feburary) but it sounded like a uniquely Unkle event:
“The exhibition is a collaboration between a number of very talented artists, presenting everything from paintings, videos, artefacts and film screenings; this is the definitive UNKLE experience. I look forward to welcoming visitors to daydream with us.”
In anticipation of the new album(1), I’m sharing with you a review of their newest album, “Where Did the Night Fall” their 5th studio album preceded by (in order): Psyence Fiction, Never Never Land, War Stories, and End Titles…Stories for Film. They re-released the album in a 2 disk special edition called “Where Did the Night Fall – Another Night Out”:
The first disc will contain the same songs that are on the original album but the second disc contains material from two of UNKLE’s previous EPs, plus a number of exclusive and rare tracks. It was released on 11 April 2011. (Source: “Where Did the Night Fall”, wiki)
Today I’ll be sharing with you the original 15 track version of the CD.
- “Nowhere” – 0:40
- “Follow Me Down” (featuring Sleepy Sun) – 4:23 (lyrics)
- “Natural Selection” (featuring The Black Angels) – 4:10 (lyrics)
- “Joy Factory” (featuring Autolux) – 3:59 (lyrics)
- “The Answer” (featuring Big in Japan) – 4:40 (lyrics)
- “On a Wire” (featuring ELLE J) – 4:52 (lyrics)
- “Falling Stars” (featuring Gavin Clark) – 5:48 (lyrics)
- “Heavy Drug” – 1:13 (lyrics)
- “Caged Bird” (featuring Katrina Ford of Celebration) – 5:08 (lyrics)
- “Ablivion” – 4:29 (lyrics)
- “The Runaway” (featuring ELLE J) – 3:45 (lyrics)
- “Ever Rest” (featuring Joel Cadbury of South) – 4:21 (lyrics)
- “The Healing” (featuring Gavin Clark) – 4:27 (lyrics)
- “Another Night Out” (featuring Mark Lanegan) – 5:12 (lyrics)
- “Close Your Eyes” (featuring ELLE J) – 5:25 (available on the Australian edition)
I like the overall story of the album and I love the characters introduced in this story type album, like oracles and travelers, road warriors, and lovers. The story feels like getting over a heartache (lost love, lost life, lost someone), the songs bobbing up and down between depression and cynicism before bouncing off bottom and beginning the healing process, as per track 13, before coming back to a stark reality: the return from the journey with track 14 Another Night Out which I think is the strongest ending to the narrative of the album but the track 15 Close Your Eyes does work well as an “aftercare” song after the emotional journey this album amounts to.
Some really specific notes:
–I love Rachel Fannan’s voice(2) with sounds like that growl opening stanza 2 at 30s (follow me down)
-The transition between tracks 5 and 6 is fucking stellar. It’s easily one of my all time favourite transitions
-I love the sound of track 6 “On a Wire”. Like not just drum line or the guitar, no. I like all of it. ALL.
-Are you really living
Or do you seek loving
Are you happy being
Or do you search for meaning
(love this so much, “The Healing” track 13)
-for some reason a lot of places have entirely different lyrics for track 13, I have included lyrics corresponding to the version of the song here
- I missed my mark, it’s no ordinary joy.
- She was in the band Sleepy Sun at the time of making this album (2010)