With a creative peak that continues to shoot skyward, Paul Weller releases his 15th studio album On Sunset on June 12th on Polydor Records.
On Sunset features ten classic yet modern Paul Weller songs. On Sunset is a soul album. At the same time it’s also an electronic album, an orchestral album, an album packed with masterly pop songs and heart-tugging ballads, and an album filled with touches of experimentalism. It’s also an album that sees Weller taking a rare glance into the rear-view mirror as he speeds into the 2020s.
Weller started work on On Sunset soon after finishing 2018’s masterpiece True Meanings. Opening track ‘Mirror Ball’ was from the TM sessions and originally slated as a b-side. Thankfully it was rescued for the new record as its shimmering opener.
As ever, Weller retains a rigorous forward-looking focus when it comes to seeking out the best contemporary sounds and music. But lyrically, Weller – back on his old home, Polydor Records for the first time since the Style Council days – is also starting to look back on the past with the insight of age especially on songs like ‘Old Father Thyme’.
Most of the album sees Weller multi-tasking on various instruments with accompaniment from his regular band – Ben Gordelier appears on all tracks and Andy Crofts on most, whilst Steve Cradock pops up with his guitar on 4 songs. An eclectic and sometimes surprising gathering of guests appear on On Sunset including Slade’s Jim Lea contributing violin to the Bonzos-esque ‘Equanimity’, and Paul’s old Style Council pal Mick Talbot adds his signature Hammond Organ sound to 3 tracks. The beautifully lush ‘More’ features a verse sung by French singer Julie Gros, from the band Le Superhomard (whose album Meadow Lane Park was one of Weller’s favourites of 2019) as well as the return of The Strype’s guitarist Josh McClorey. English folk trio The Staves contribute backing vocals for 3 tracks. Once again Hannah Peel sprinkles her magic over the album with string arrangements and The Paraorchestra were invited to add their expertise to 4 tracks.
A taster from the album, ‘Earth Beat’, is available now on all digital platforms. With its cutting-edge R&B feel ‘Earth Beat’ features guest vocals from rising artist Col3trane.
On Sunset tracklisting:
1. Mirror Ball
3. Old Father Thyme
6. On Sunset
9. Earth Beat
Written and recorded at Weller’s de facto HQ, Black Barn Studios in Surrey, On Sunset was produced by Jan “Stan” Kybert and Paul himself with help from Charles Rees. String arrangements by Hannah Peel.
As well as digitally, the album is released on CD , Deluxe CD (includes extra tracks), double gatefold vinyl, coloured vinyl and good old-school cassette.
With the previously announced forthcoming May tour already sold out, Paul will be taking to the road again in Autumn. Dates are:
Oct 25 BELFAST ULSTER HALL
Oct 26 DUBLIN OLYMPIA
Oct 29 PLYMOUTH PAVILION
Oct 30 SOUTHAMPTON GUILDHALL
Oct 31 BRIGHTON CENTRE
Nov 02 HULL BONUS ARENA
Nov 03 YORK BARBICAN
Nov 05 LEICESTER DE MONTFORT HALL
Nov 06 LEICESTER DE MONTFORT HALL
Nov 07 BLACKBURN KING GEORGE’S HALL
Nov 09 CARLISLE SANDS CENTRE
Nov 10 MANCHESTER APOLLO
Nov 12 DUNDEE CAIRD HALL
Nov 13 NEWCASTLE CITY HALL
Nov 14 NEWCASTLE CITY HALL
Nov 16 EDINBURGH USHER HALL
Nov 17 BRADFORD ST GEORGE’S HALL
Nov 19 LONDON BRIXTON ACADEMY
Nov 20 O2 KENTISH TOWN FORUM
Nov 21 O2 KENTISH TOWN FORUM
Earth Beat can be purchased via the following link