Jamie Lidell, the celebrated singer and electronic musician known for his unique, soulful voice and funky, improvisational live performances, has enlisted an all-star group of collaborators for his upcoming album "Compass," due May 18 on Warp Records.
Guests on "Compass" include Beck, who shares production an songwriting duties on one of the album's tracks; breakthrough Canadian singer/songwriter Leslie Feist and keyboard whiz Gonzales, both of whom have performed and recorded with Lidell in the past; Wilco keyboardist Pat Sansone; and Chris Taylor, multi-insturmenatalist, producer and bass player from the lauded indie rock band Grizzly Bear. Producer/keyboardist Brian Lebarton, singer Nikka Costa and legendary session drummer James Gadsen also appear on the album.
As with Lidell's previous two albums, 2005's "Multiply" and 2008's "Jim," the music takes a wide open approach to music, deftly mixing elements of classic funk and soul, Aphex Twin-style electronic manipulations and lo-fi 80's style analogue synthesizers. The disparate elements are held together by Lidell's gifted vocal and songwriting talents that are both a nod to great music of the past and a taste of tomorrow's sounds.
"I wrote every song in a month," Lidell says, "It's been an emotional couple of years, so I tapped into what I wanted to say and started writing. There was a lot to draw on."
Lidell, who performs both solo and with an ever-changing group of live musicians, toured extensively in 2008-9, including an extended European jaunt with Elton John. He debuted some of the "Compass" songs at a London club performance in January. Currently on solo tour in Australia and New Zealand, Lidell plans a full world trek with a new, stripped-down band, following the album's release.