Ralegh Long

Award: Emerging Artists Fund

Year: 2017

Genre: Alternative

Location: London

Website: http://www.raleghlong.com

English Songwriter Ralegh Long released his debut album "Hoverance" to critical acclaim in 2015. This album of "spooky pastoralism" and its follow-up E.P "We Are in the Fields" (2016) won praise from The Guardian, for their “twilit ambience and demented beauty”. Tracks received heavy radio rotation from BBC6 Music presenters Lauren Laverne, Guy Garvey and Gideon Coe, as well as on BBC Scotland, Amazing Radio and internationally. To date, Long has over 2 million plays on Spotify. Long spent the summer touring, with many shows in Europe, including shows in Italy, which were hailed by Sky Arts as "calling to mind the atmosphere of Nick Drake".

His second full-length album, "Upwards of Summer" (released June 23rd) marks a change of pace. The piano, strings and woodwind of his debut are nowhere to be seen, exchanged for a jangle of chorus guitars and anthemic hooks that make up a thrillingly confident return. It is, however, an album that nearly didn't get made. Touring during 2016, in a period of intense personal change, Long felt "unsure if he would even continue making music". On a flight back from Japan, Long stumbled upon the 10,000 Maniacs college-rock classic "In My Tribe". It set him thinking about the reasons why he started playing music in the first place, the thrill of expressing emotions in sound, his love of power-pop, and the sounds of the early 90s - bands like R.E.M, The Db's, Lloyd Cole, The Triffids and The Reivers. On his return to England he started writing, largely just for fun, as he says, “remembering what it what it felt like to pick up a guitar for the first time, and tapping into that place of instinct”. The resulting set of songs explore the binaries of youth and age, restlessness and homesickness. The album was recorded with Margo Broom (Phobophobes, Fat White Family, Goat Girl) and features his touring band: Jack Hater (pedal steel) Will Lamport (drums), Richard Ellis (bass) and Harpal Mudhar (percussion / drums). 

The first single, "Take Your Mind Back", immediately landed on Spotify's The Indie List, and was picked up by Elton John for his Beats1 Radio show, who described it as simply "a great song". "Upwards of Summer" is the sound of renewal. Full of Long's customary cinematic sense of wonder, still sensitive and pastoral, the album is imbued with a keen energy that takes his music to a whole new level.

"He seems incapable of sitting at a piano and coming up with anything that doesn’t tremble with almost mystical longing ... you’ll be reminded variously of Nilsson, early Todd Rundgren, even Alex Chilton at his most overwrought and wracked." The Guardian (New Band of the Week) 

"Sad, spooky pastoralism of Bill Fay or Nick Drake are touchstones on songs laden with rural imagery and dexterous melody." Mojo 4*s

"Really, really beautiful". Lauren Laverne, BBC6 Music