London based outfit Blackaby today share new single Semolina from their forthcoming debut EP which arrives on Friday (24th) via Hand In Hive (Swimming Tapes, Wyldest, A.O. Gerber) alongside a cassette release on Sad Club Records. Blackaby, despite the infancy of the project, has already garnered support from the likes of DIY, So Young, The Line Of Best Fit, Gigwise, Clash, Jack Saunders (BBC Radio 1), Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), Steve Lamacq (BBC 6Music) Tom Robinson (BBC 6Music), and Abbie McCarthy (BBC Introducing). Semolinaencapsulates the mixture of trepidation and curiosity that encompass early school life with William's bittersweet and beguiling tenderness.
William says of the single"Semolina is about wading through the confusion of school days. Can often feel confusing but we all emerge in some way. More than ever we have the ability to delve back into the past. It can be wonderful to do it but to remember that it’s gone and the only reality is what’s now and what’s coming ahead. Hold on - it can happen.”
Blackaby is the project of multi-instrumentalist William Blackaby, a project which on stage expands to a four piece band. Raised in Kent and now based in North London, he has contributed to various musical projects in recent years but this release marks a step out of the shadows and into the spotlight.
After sharing some home made tracks to the praise of tastemakers and becoming a well-kept secret in the London live scene, Blackaby is now set to release this debut EP, a collection of songs which take inspiration from the likes of Neutral Milk Hotel, John Martyn and Gillian Welch.
William's writing captures hazy memories, a host of unusual characters and the absurdities of modern life. While the lead track recalls the sun-kissed romanticism of 'Lust For Life' era Girls, 'My Paula' feels distinctly British, a Ray Davies-equeode to the subtleties of romance and boredom. The recordings feel nostalgic, as William observes "This EP looks back at youth. Learning to write essays and discovering alcohol ('The friend who will travel with me’). The mundane problems of town living. Trying to be cool. Trying skateboard tricks. Trying to fit in ('Eyeing the prizes, watching the other boys’). The way out is growing up but then the same problems are still there, you just create more distractions (‘they do a dance on a Monday night’)"
Semolinahas all the hooks and flourishes of early Gengahr ,Bubblegumis a more sombre affair, betraying its name and showing the versatility of William's songwriting. While the title track is a giddy slice of fun and big choruses.
The whole collection is both a tribute to and a product of escapism, and the processes we all use to navigate modern life.
Semolina, sweet, grainy.
300 bowls half empty.
long summer after lunch
Sleepy clock hand hovers
learning drips down the walls
and sags in the air
look ahead and hope
nothing back then