It has been just over a year since we released We’re the Ones and we’re still feeling grateful for all the support and kind words. The intervening time presented many personal challenges for all of us but a serious batch of material was ticking along in the background. I’d long been considering an album that focussed on one figure and given how prescient, incisive and perennially relevant so many of her observations were I kept coming back to Lorraine Hansberry. There was already enough of a concept to apply a title: Aphelion (“the aphelion is the point in the orbit of an object where it is farthest from the Sun.”) The album would become a tribute to a true visionary who guided us towards the proverbial light.
Then COVID-19 broke out and stopped everyone in their tracks.
Fortunately right before lockdown we managed to record brass and string sessions for two new tracks with our long time collaborator Emma Johnson’s outstanding Horns for Hire along with stalwart maestro Kieran O’Malley on violin. That meant we could at least finalise two tracks and have something to release for all of you while stuck in lockdown. These were Concrete Things and The Prize; the first two singles from Aphelion released March 30 and today (May 8) respectively. These give a sense of the breadth of material on the album: it will have many different vocal treatments, varying musical styles and cultures, and the aforementioned overarching theme with Lorraine Hansberry’s voice woven throughout.
At the time of writing Aphelion is roughly 3/5 done; mostly written and at more than half produced. It has not been easy to work on it during this period but progress has been made. We’re aiming for a release towards the end of 2020 and will keep you posted. There may be one more single before then and perhaps a partial preview. We want to do anything we can to help keep your spirits up as well as ours. Love to you all.