“I’m drawing on the urgency of the moment,” reflects Grant-Lee Phillips, “The things that eat away in the late hours.” That urgency inspired the headlong rush of Widdershins available February 23 via Yep Roc in which Grant-Lee Phillips invests the insight, nuance, and wit that has distinguished his songcraft over the past three decades in a riveting dissection of today’s fraught social landscape.
Beneath the moment’s tumultuous veneer, Phillips uncovers resonances spanning centuries, patterns echoing from the present day to the distant past. Its twelve tracks were cut largely live in the studio with the sharp trio of Phillips (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Jerry Roe (drums), and Lex Price (bass) serving as messengers. Says Phillips, “This moment is explosive, volatile, and heightened. It’s important to me that the music reflect that…” By turns sardonic, provocative, and illuminating, Widdershins (produced by Phillips and mixed by Tucker Martine) delivers its poetic truths through Phillips’s peerless melodic sensibilities, carefully balancing intensity and vulnerability.
A now seasoned songwriter and performer, with more than two decades experience first as front man of the acclaimed Grant Lee Buffalo then as an accomplished solo artist, Phillips awakens comfort and hope by shining light into darker corners. “I hope to express my faith in people, my faith in the good ideas we’re capable of, and that regardless of what opposition we face, the fact that we can surmount these things,” he concludes. “We can stare them down, laugh at them, belittle them, and drive the darkness back into a hole.”
Label: Yep Roc
Catalogue Number: CDYEP2556
Release Date: 23 February 2018