Jack Hues is to release his second solo album Electro-Acoustic Works 20:20 on September 3 via Dawn Chorus. It'll be followed by a handful of UK show.
The album was written and recorded during the national lockdowns and follows on from 2020's Primitif and his recent Canterbury Live EP.
Says the Wang Chung frontman, "I started to write about what was there in front of me, rather than what was in my head. And what was there in front of me? Deserted streets, quiet gardens, birdsong, no traffic, no aeroplanes, Covid-19, Black Lives Matter, Brexit, Trump, queues of ambulances outside hospitals, stupefying numbers of dead and dying.
"In response to the BLM protests here and in the US, I began to write a song, and quite early on in the process I sent it to Baby N’Sola, who has previously worked with Paloma Faith. I needed her input, and she sang brilliantly on it. The song she sang on became [first single] We Gotta Work Together, consciously evoking the spirit of Civil Rights in America in the 1970s and questioning the divisive presentation in the media of this latest stage in the struggle”.
Although the album's lyrics cover diverse ideas, Hues wanted the music to be variations on one idea. He reveals, “Side one presents that idea in We Gotta Work Together and then explores some byways before getting back to the main musical argument. Side two became The Hymn To The Moon Goddess, which is a set of alternating variations on Baby’s ad-libs and the middle-eight guitar riff from We Gotta Work Together."
The album includes contributions from Syd Arthur's Josh Magill, as well as trumpeter Daniel Cano, Pete Grogan on tenor sax, and Hues' own daughter Violet. The cover artwork is one part of a triptych created by Ron Chadwick detailing his journey with cancer and 2020.
Hues adds, “2020 was a difficult and deadly year for many people, but it was also a time of slowing down, regrouping, re-assessing and looking to a future brighter than the past. The spirit of this album is all about that optimism”.
Jack Hues 2021 UK Shows
Sep 16: Deal The Lighthouse
Sep 17: Margate Elsewhere
Sep 22: Brighton Komedia Studio
Sep 23: London St Pancras Old Church