California

from California (extended) by Perry Blake

supported by
/
  • California (Extended)
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Moochin' About is extremely proud to re-release Perry Blakes classic album 'California'..
    the first of 3 re-issues

    California, A firm favourite album by Moochin' and I'm sure many Perry Blake fans - this extended release on Californian Sunburst vinyl, will also feature 2 bonus tracks, 'The Earth From Above,' sadly cut from the original album and 'Brown Eyes'

    Notes from Perry......
    Bonus track 'The earth from above' was recorded at Motormusic, Koningshooikt, Belgium in October 2001 as part of the sessions for 'California'. I wasn't happy with the arrangement so it didn't make the cut...

    It wasn't until 2006 that Marco Sabiu and myself mixed a reworked version.
    During the recording of the choir from Bologna on this track, in a small village called Bubano in Northern Italy, we had to stop recording for several hours because of the rumble from the F1 at Imola, 10 kms away'...


    this album will be released Feb 2022 - due to manufacturing times have been delayed due to high demand across the globe...

    Below are some reviews, which say more than we could about this classic recording....

    Perry Blake, Sligo-born singer / songwriter, is apparently one of music’s great untapped resources. California arrives as his fourth major release, with previous efforts including the soundtrack for French film Presque Rien and a live recording reworked with the help of the Ensemble Musiques Nouvelle's.

    You may very well wonder what to expect of analbum with American West Coast orientations from an Irishman who happens tobe critically acclaimed on the Continent but is largely ignored in Britain.
    Thankfully, Blake lives up to his billing withapparent ease. His songwriting is evidently mature and melodic; heincorporates lush orchestral arrangements with tender vocals; and combinespop-like hooks with a deep sonic texture.

    It is indeed very tempting to say that California is a true slow-burner, gradually revealing Blake’s profoundand gentle (though not depressing by any stretch) nature. However, the manclearly values his pop ideals, and California is both a short- and long-termtreat.

    Album opener This Life is cosmetically simple, but pragmatically rich. Blake’s falsetto is hardly Dan Hawkins, and withstandsmany repeat listens without getting old. Close harmonies and heart felt lyrics lounge over a string section that alternates between delicate and sweeping. It immerses you with such grace that you can’t help but wonder why Perry Blake isn’t up there with the likes of Coldplay and Ben Folds.

    Hot on the heels of This Life comes title-track California,which, though perhaps not particularly Californiana except for the lyrics,remains an impressive song. Even better, however, is the indelible Pretty Love Songs. To be concise, the song is The Verve at their peak, though farmore fragile and balmy.

    Saying Goodbye is thick and luxurious, providing theperfect platform on which Blake’s vocals glide and spiral. It isparticularly touching whilst never sounding deflated, which is frankly an achievement, and testament to Perry Blake’s obvious talent.

    Of course, the album is not perfect. How Can The Knower Be Known?, though verdant, does not quite match the exceptionally high standards met elsewhere on California. Similarly, Ordinary Day may take a few listens to sink in.

    However, these are minor gripes. What really counts is that California is a thriving and absorbing collection of songs in which orchestral arrangements strain with emotion, melodies thrive and bloom, and Blake nurtures profound sentiments with ethereal tones. It is testament to his reputation, and pours mystery on his distinct lack of commercial recognition on these shores.

    As the man says himself, “It’s these pretty love songs, they’re what keep us alive.” As such, California is ether for the soul – a truly magnificent and touching collection of frankly beautiful songs.

    by David Welsh Music OMH




    There’s a lot of albums out there that take their name from a famous city, state or region, and in most cases the relationship between that locale and the musical content held within remains completely arbitrary; if the artist had never made the association then you the listener would never have got there on your own. Not so with proud Irishman Perry Blake’s ‘California’…and yes, I know what you’re thinking, he’s Irish, how authentic can this sound? Well you see, there’s the thing, this album never intends to sound like the ‘real California’ so much as a residual notion that lingers in the back of all our minds; a Hollywood-informed luxurious, somewhat decadent place, but one that also bears the heavy heart of failed romance and and an inescapable all-pervading sense of faded glamour. The songs here are deeply evocative, romantic, cinematic…but they feel lost, cast adrift from any set specific period of time.

    What helps draw the listener into this strange faded fantasy postcard world is the everyman nature of the story this album tells; you may not have moved to California but you’ve probably moved town, started anew, seen things aren’t quite what you had assumed before you arrived. This clever device is probably most obvious on one of the album’s standout tracks, ‘Morning Song’, where Blake tries to reassure himself that all is well in his new environs with the comforting mantra 'pick up the papers, put on your clothes, everything seems just like it used to be.’ Of course even that simple routine is now itself outdated and fading into the mists of time before our eyes; who gets a paper delivered in 2019?It already seems like something from an old movie you once watched, just another out of step memory contained in the head of some ‘middle aged man in slacks’.

    The music itself does an expert job of building the exact desired dreamy atmosphere, one that leaves the listener floating through the day in their own blissful cotton wool state, half removed from reality. Bacharach style string swells add a sense of sweet melancholia and romantic nostalgia whenever they surface, but make the strongest impression on album highlights like the straightforwardly titled ‘Pretty Love Song’ and the sunset fade of an album closer ‘Venus of the Canyon’. The compositions are always rich and heavily textured but never overbearing or unpleasantly saccharine, which is quite the achievement considering the ingredients Blake is working with. His croon and falsetto may be a sticking point for some, but again his handling of his vocal contributions is to my mind tasteful, the wistful quality he lands on highly effective. The two albums Blake released before this one both boasted more grounded chamber production styles and were more overtly classic in the expected singer/song writer art rock mould, but despite the contrived thematic/musical curveball, it’s ‘California’ that feels like it comes from the truer place and plays to the artist's biggest strengths...

    5***** Sputnik Music

    Sligo man Perry Blake's career may still be under the radar over here, but in the rest of Europe the success just keeps on coming. They've been warming to the glow of 'California' since its release last April and probably wondering why we're so bad at playing catch up.

    Backed by the string arrangements of Italian composer Marco Sabiu and Tindersticks man Dickon Hinchcliffe, Blake's glimpses of people living a state of mind is one of those great escapes it's very hard to get away from. His gift here is to take a subdued, grown-up collection of songs but make them sound like they deserve day time radio.

    In 'Saying Goodbye', 'Ordinary Day', 'Good Morning' and 'Venus of the Canyon' he has a quartet which is up there with class of Ferry, The Blue Nile and anyone else who can turn a night around. It could be hard to move some of these songs from CD to venue but like the title suggests, the beauty of this album is the dreaming.

    Harry Guerin RTE

    Includes unlimited streaming of California (extended) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ... more

    Sold Out

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £1 GBP  or more

     

credits

from California (extended), released February 12, 2023

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Moochin' About England, UK

Launched 2011,by Barrow Producer & musician,
Jason Lee Lazell, the world & jazz buyer for Tower Records (1993-2003) the largest record store in Europe…the critically acclaimed label Moochin’ About has gained admiration from Cerys Matthews,Huey Morgan,Giles Peterson,Jamie Cullum,Stuart Marcone,Johnny Trunk,Robert Elms,Iggy Pop… ... more

contact / help

Contact Moochin' About

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this track or account

If you like Moochin' About, you may also like: