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Recorded at Castle Studios, Edinburgh and co-produced by Dave Wah and Eliza Carthy, ‘Neptune’ is the solo follow up to 2008’s ‘Dreams of Breathing Underwater’ and the first record to be released through her own label, HemHem Records. Last year’s album ‘Gift’ (a collaboration with her mother Norma Waterson), received widespread critical acclaim and picked up ‘Best Album’ and ‘Best Traditional Track’ accolades at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Having recently toured with folk collective The Imagined Village, Carthy embarks on shows with her own band in May and June.
“This album is a step on from the ‘Ben-Hur-style, everything with extra horse, seven years to make approach’ we had to the last one,” explains Eliza. “Me and my lovely, talented and stylish band in a room playing together, like the Romans did, in a couple of weeks. Ah the good old days.”
“Neptune relates to an astrological reading I had done by a friend of the family,’ recalls Eliza. ”The material on the album is ordered chronologically and is about the last ten years of my life. It's a story about ending relationships and beginning new ones with their own imperfections, and is about the thought that nothing is perfect, even when written in the stars. I’m still an old romantic though and partial to odd quotes from old television programmes”.
Displaying Carthy’s trademark eclectic flair and lush vocals, ‘Neptune’ is brimming with poignant observations on British life. “’Britain is a Car Park’ is a song that imagines a near and possible future where we from our tiny island have all moved to Spain, and left our cars behind to be looked after by people who can't afford to move to Spain...then we all enjoy the unique local food, with chips, naturally.”
Eliza Carthy is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and engaging performers of her generation. Twice nominated for the Mercury Prize and winner of innumerable other accolades over a 15 year career, Eliza has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including, Paul Weller, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Nick Cave, Patrick Wolf and Bob Neuwirth. More than most, Eliza Carthy has revitalised folk music and captured the most hardened of dissenters with intelligent, charismatic and boundary-crossing performance.
Eliza grew up immersed in the world of traditional music. She still divides her time between touring and recording with her legendary parents, Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson as well as engaging in numerous pioneering solo and band projects, including work with Pere Ubu and Melanie Challenger, an artist in residence in Antarctica. In what has become something of a parallel career, Eliza has co-presented the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards, been a regular guest-presenter on the BBC Radio 2 Mark Radcliffe Show and has made many appearances on BBC TVs 'Later with Jools'. In her own right, Eliza has been the subject of an hour long ITV documentary ('Heaven & Earth') and 'My Music' on Channel 5.
Comedian and writer Stewart Lee describes Eliza as "Not the Messiah, but a very naughty girl". Championed from an early age by John Peel, Andy Kershaw and Billy Bragg, Michael Eavis claimed to have discovered her when she played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2001.
Hem Hem HHR001CD
For tracklisting click here