Posted February 21, 2019
U.S.-based British singer-songwriter Bobby Long will begin a two-month tour on Friday, March 1 in support of his new album, SULTANS, which will be released by Compass Records that same day. First up is a show at the City Winery Loft in Manhattan where he will celebrate the album's release with a rare performance backed by a four-piece band. Among the players accompanying him that night will be SULTANS producer and multi-instrumentalist Jack Dawson and recording engineer/drummer Dave Lindsay.
"Nautical," the second track on the album, has been serviced to AAA radio. "I wrote 'Nautical' at the start of the writing process for SULTANS," explains Long. "It really dictated the direction of the album as a whole and set the tone. I had the riff for a while, but I couldn't find anything to do with it. Sometimes you have to let a song find you, and one day, it all came together. I think it's a bit catchy and gets under your skin in a good way." A video for the song is currently in the works.
SULTANS overall playfully pays homage to Long's love for the Beatles, particularly the Sgt. Pepper album, and the mix of music he heard at home growing up in rural southwest England. It also finds Long expanding on his spare, singer-songwriter arrangements for a more adventurous Beatle-esque sound that include psychedelic flourishes, electric guitar and keys. The two-part title track bookends the taut 10-song set of original material that effectively traverses Long's signature love, loss and heartache milieu. The vinyl version of the album will be available on March 29th.
"Mazarati," the first digitally released track from the album, finds Long searching for truth and meaning in life. Electric piano and wah wah guitar wash over the chorus which breaks into a 60s-inspired guitar break.
Long emerged from London's folk music open mic night scene in 2009 armed with a canon of hauntingly poetic songs and some notoriety for one of them being included in the hit film Twilight. He arrived in New York and essentially never left. His critically-acclaimed debut album A Winter Tale (2011) was followed by the more rock-oriented Wishbone (2013). He returned to his acoustic singer-songwriter roots for the evocative Ode to Thinking (2015), and now SULTANS takes a somewhat more adventurous path.
"Of course, I always feel that the new one is the best one," says Long about SULTANS, but I feel pretty strongly about this one. The sounds of this record are the closest to what was in my imagination that I've come so far. I really love creating and writing. It feels as magical today as it did when I was a child."
SULTANS was produced by Jack Dawson with whom Long had collaborated and toured on behalf of his 2012 EP The Backing Singer. It was recorded over a one year period in Dave Lindsay's studio in Brooklyn. With Long on guitar, Dawson also played bass on the tracks while engineer Lindsay played drums. "We became a little band during the recording," Long has said, so it is only fitting that Dawson and Lindsay join him for the City Winery show to celebrate the release of SULTANS.