'Summoning Suns' is James Blackshaw's tenth studio album and the first recording to feature his voice and lyrics. Drawing inspiration from 60's and 70's singer-songwriters, baroque/orchestral pop and folk music, while still sounding contemporary, 'Summoning Suns' is Blackshaw's foray into more traditional forms of songcraft.
Blackshaw sings in a gentle but assured voice while his words combine his personal experiences, neuroses and fantasy through many layers of abstraction, poeticism and dark humour.
While the deft fingerpicking acoustic guitar style of Blackshaw's previous recordings is still a prominent part of the sound, the songs are lushly and intricately arranged for drums, bass, piano, violin, flute and pedal steel guitar and features contributions from Simon Scott (Slowdive), Annie Nilsson and Japanese musicians Mori Wa Ikiteiru and Kaoru Noda (with whom he duets in Japanese on one song).
"It's guileless, charming, and the anchor of a masterful few minutes of acoustic pop so good they make you ask an unlikely question: Why hasn't James Blackshaw been singing all along?" Pitchfork 7.9
released February 4, 2015
James Blackshaw - vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, piano, glockenspiel, organ
Charlotte Glasson - flute, violin, bass clarinet
Kazuhiko Masumura - percussion
Annie Nilsson - vocals
Takuro Okada - pedal steel guitar, banjo
Kaoru Noda - vocals
Simon Scott - drums, ambient guitar
Yu Taniguchi - piano
All music written by James Blackshaw. All lyrics written by James Blackshaw except ‘Towa No Yume’ written by Kaoru Noda. Published by Mute Song.
Recorded by John Hannon at No, October 2014. Mixed by John Hannon and James Blackshaw. Mastered by Michael Lawrence and James Blackshaw. Additional mixing and recording by Yusuke Odagiri, Takuro Okada, Tom Biller and Simon Scott.
Artwork by Ai Blackshaw.
Many thanks to all the musicians, engineers. artists and labels involved in the making of this record and to Jordan Anderson, Ben Chasny, Alex Cobb, Duane Pitre, Qu Junktions, David Tibet and my family for their kindness and support.