Joseph Arthur Emerges From 'Shadows'
Singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur has signed a new deal with Vector Recordings, which will release his fourth studio album, "Our Shadows Will Remain," this fall.Singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur has signed a new deal with Vector Recordings, which will release his fourth studio album, "Our Shadows Will Remain," this fall. Sessions for the 12-track set began after Arthur gave up his New York apartment and headed for New Orleans with little more than his clothing and guitars.
When he eventually returned to the Big Apple to complete work on the project, Arthur hung his hat at friends' houses and wound up meeting neighbors who proved essential to the finished album.
"One of the places I stayed was [drummer] Greg Whiz's in Brooklyn," he tells Billboard.com. "[Producer] Ken Rich lived above him and that's how I met him. He introduced me to [vocalist] Julia Darling and [pianist] Andrew Sherman. None of this would have happened if I had my own place. It actually became a big, expensive-sounding record in places thanks to my very poor lifestyle, which is pretty ironic!"
Highlights include the strident, layered "Can't Exist" and "A Smile That Explodes," featuring Darling on vocals. The Prague Philharmonic adds string accompaniment to "Stumble and Pain," "Echo Park" and "Even Tho." The sessions were also informed by Arthur's protracted departure from Peter Gabriel's Real World label, which signed the artist in the mid-'90s after receiving one of his demo tapes.
While declining to discuss specifics about the split, Arthur admits, "I've had some difficulties and that's not a lie. This definitely seeped into the material. But I think struggle is good. It makes things feel necessary, you know? Art borne out of necessity has more power to it than if it's just for sh*ts and giggles."
"Our Shadows Will Remain" is the follow-up to 2002's "Redemption's Son," licensed by Real World to Enjoy for North American release. That album's "Honey and the Moon" was featured on the recent soundtrack to the hit Fox series "The O.C." Arthur also contributed a new song, "You're Strange," to the "Shrek 2" soundtrack. As previously reported, his cover of the Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses" will be issued Aug. 24 on Capitol's expanded edition of Faultline's "Your Love Means Everything."
For now, Arthur is gearing up for his first live appearances in several months, beginning tomorrow (July 14) in Brooklyn, N.Y. The solo shows will find him unveiling a host of songs from the new album, only three of which have ever been played live.
"When I first started releasing records, I was always so concerned with playing my newest songs; ones I'd written after the record came out," he says. "Now I'm more interested in seeing how I can interpret the record. I've never really done that specifically. But it's a good test, and I feel confident because while I've been rehearsing, all the songs sound good to me."