It feels like an age since Thea Gilmore released Avalanche but it's only been two and a half years. So what has changed? Well, quite a lot actually: Thea parted from her longstanding record label Flying Sparks, two of her immediate family battled serious illnesses and she then split with her partner of seven years. To cap it all, Thea returned from a US trip and was diagnosed with clinical depression, which perhaps explains away the fact that she didn't go anywhere near a studio or a stage for the first six months of 2005. When she did, though, she came up with Harpo's Ghost Ã¢Â€Â“ a record that's going to haunt your stereo for years to come.
Thea recorded her debut album aged just 17, when she entered a spell of productivity which saw her record and release six albums including four "official" releases and two cult albums in just four and a half years. In 2001, with the release of Rules For Jokers, Thea hit some kind of national nerve and garnered some attendant airplay , but it wasn't until 2003's Avalanche that she finally began to make significant waves. Avalanche became Radio 2's Album Of The Week and spawned two hit singles including her first certifiable Top 40 hit, Juliet.
Over the years, Thea has gathered countless plaudits:
"The best British singer-songwriter of the last 10 years Ã¢Â€Â“ and then some!"(UNCUT)
"Gilmore is already in a league of her own." (Q)
"So good, it's scary!" (MOJO)
"The most provocative songwriter to emerge from England in years."
Ã¢Â€Â¦are just some of the things that have been said about her. Avalanche was truly a quantum leap forward and "a breakthrough record" (Times) to boot and you can bet that Thea remains the only artiste to have her under-$50 video shown on Top Of The Pops.
Thea Gilmore writes lyrics that combine awesome poetic grace with a 21st century barbed undercurrent. She delivers razor sharp missives on life, love, sex, death, politics and wars (both personal and global) and all with an achingly-beautiful delivery which melts hearts in an instant. Someone once remarked that Thea is a 'hellraiser with a voice like honey' and if you get to meet her you will know what they mean. Barely out of her teenage daze, Thea was being compared to everyone from Joni Mitchell to Ryan Adams and Tom Waits and now, at the tender age of 26, Thea is going to make you think sweet somethings all over again.
Produced by Nigel Stonier and mixed by Steve Evans (fresh from his acclaimed work on Robert Plant's Mighty Re-Arranger album), the record also features a guest appearance on backing vocals (on three tracks) from longstanding friend and acclaimed singer/songwriter Kathryn Williams, as well as two Mike Scott co-writes.
Thea Gilmore has always been the most gifted of writers but this album is without a doubt her greatest work to date.
Harpo's Ghost will be released on Sanctuary Records on 21st August 2006. The single Cheap Trick will be released on 14th August.
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