"Welcome To Happiness". Meet Liverpool born singer-songwriter Alex Highton.
His third album is out March 30th on BB*Island.
"A scouse with a voice, Alex Highton's distinctive sound is sincere and playful he sings to us like we are all his hunny. BBC6 Music describes him as a "world-class practitioner" and he is just that." - The Guardian
“One of the best records you’ll hear this year - fact” – BBC Introducing
"Opaque, mysterious, great string arrangements with harmonic surprises galore and a restless driving bass line.." - Tom Robinson BBC6Music
"Electronic pop with British charm.....it's fantastic that." - Charlie Ashcroft - Amazing Radio.
As a kid his time was split between his native Liverpool and Florence, Italy, after his parents' divorce. Liverpool has a musical heritage that is impossible to escape but it was during the summers, whilst devouring his Dad's amazingly eclectic record collection , that his musical education began, taking in everything from Talking Heads and Penguin Cafe Orchestra to The Band and David Bowie.
He lost his twenties to bad decisions and train-wreck relationships and it was only after meeting his future wife, and then struggling through some kind of nervous breakdown, that he started to take songwriting seriously. They moved out of London into the "wilds" of the Cambridgeshire countryside and got into village life. The songs he wrote (part therapy / part love letter his new life) formed the basis of his 2012 debut album, Woodditton Wives Club, a record "replete with tales of rural S&M, mental, emotional and economic collapse, and ultimately salvation through love and family" (according to his mate Ben).
Having got the observational stuff off his chest on his debut (recorded in 2011, released in 2012 through The Local / BB*ISLAND), on his follow up album "Nobody Knows Anything" (2014 on Gare Du Nord) he now turned on himself, ruminating on the meaning of existence, religion, all that stuff and trying to shine it through a prism of a myriad of musical influences. It's a seriously disconcerting albeit melodic record which drew comparisons to the Sufjan Stevens and Steely Dan.
Both albums received extensive support from BBC6 Music & BBC Introducing (amongst others), a US tour taking in New York, Austin (SXSW) and LA, with more tours across Germany, Holland & Belgium, as well as slots at Camp Bestival, Wilderness Festival, No Direction Home, Summer Sundae, The Big Session, Norderzon and more.
Then nothing for three years?
Not exactly. Alex Highton just took some time to work on a third album. With a bunch of songs swirling around in his head but having no desire to repeat himself, he locked himself away in the studio with producer/multi instrumentalist Jonathan Czerwik, and started putting together the songs that would fill "Welcome To Happiness".
In their downtime they discussed artists they loved and would inform the new album - Can, The Flaming Lips, Beck, Prince, Steely Dan, Bon Iver, Serge Gainsbourg, Here We Go Magic, The Beach Boys, Bowie, Neu, tons more... (see here for a spotify playlist by Alex) "We threw all this stuff into the pot and just said 'let's see what happens'.
Here's what happened: "Welcome To Happiness" out March 30 2018 on BB*Island.