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Joseph Arthur Readies Three New Albums
One new album, dubbed "Invisible Parade," is already finished, having been recorded in 10 days in Berlin.With his song "In the Sun" the centerpiece of a digital charity EP spearheaded by R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur is in various stages of work on three new studio albums. The artist is also about to stage his first art exhibition before embarking on a seven-date U.K. tour.
One new album, dubbed "Invisible Parade," is already finished, having been recorded in 10 days in Berlin. "I had a bunch of songs I was writing on the road," Arthur tells Billboard.com of the 11-track set. "I'd been working on a bigger production record in Los Angeles for awhile, but I just wanted to do something really minimal. I've never done that before; something totally stripped-down. I decided to go to Berlin and find a studio and self-produce it."
Arthur says he plans to finish the L.A. sessions in March, all the while juggling work on a separate, entirely instrumental album. The only problem? The artist is currently without a label in the United States, having parted ways with Vector after the release of 2004's "Our Shadows Will Remain." Arthur was previously signed to Peter Gabriel's Real World imprint as well as Universal's Enjoy label.
"There's a couple of indies we're talking to, but I'm thinking about just going completely indie and putting [new music] out myself," Arthur says of finding a new label home. "I don't really see why not." However, the artist's draw continues to increase in Europe and the United Kingdom, where he will play London's 2,000-capacity Shepherd's Bush Empire on Feb. 24.
"[U.K. label] 14th Floor is just beginning to work ['Our Shadows Will Remain'] overseas, and it's doing really well," Arthur says. A new single, "Devil's Broom," will see U.K. release Monday (Feb. 13); the seven-inch vinyl edition sports a live cover of the Smiths' "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out."
As for Arthur's first art show, he has been in London hanging 20 large painted canvases at the Vertigo Gallery in anticipation of tomorrow's grand opening. Also in the works for this spring is an art book, which Arthur expects will be "a limited-edition, coffee-table sort of thing, but I'm sure it will be available on the Internet or boutique stores."
Asked if there's any chance all three new albums could see the light of day in 2006, Arthur offers, "That would be ideal. I would like that. It's difficult to make that happen, but I'm doing my best."