Luke Sital-Singh has announced details of his new album Time Is A Riddle, to be released 12 May on Raygun Records / Red Essential. The Bristol-based singer-songwriter has also announced an upcoming UK headline tour in support of the record, including a stop at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, Leeds on 18 May.
The follow-up to his 2014 debut The Fire Inside, Time Is A Riddle was recorded in Attica Audio studio in Donegal with producer Tommy McLaughlin (Villagers). McLaughlin recruited a small group of local musicians, with Luke and the band slotting together effortlessly to record the album in ten days.
“There were big windows looking over the hills of Donegal, and it was raining the whole time, which was per-fect for me,” says Luke. “We were playing and singing at the same time in this lovely big live room, with so much bleed, just the way records used to be made.”
The first single from Time Is A Riddle is the spine-tingling Killing Me, which has already racked up over half a million streams on Spotify. A song Luke wrote for his grandmother, the track is accompanied by an evoca-tive, home-made, typically personal video.
“It’s cut from digitised cine films that my wife’s late grandfather shot in the ’70s. They were only sent to us recently because her parents were in the process of moving to Vancouver. When I watched them, the nostalgic nature and the parallels with both our grandparents, it just felt tonally right, and a little note of serendipity. So I edited them together and that’s what we’ve got.”
Sticking with the family theme, the album’s vivid artwork is a lino print by illustrator and printmaker Hannah Cousins, Luke’s wife. The cover image began as a photograph of a wind-bent tree in Donegal, before Cousins set patiently to work.
“The lino process is one of painstaking craftsmanship, where an image is carved in reverse in a linoleum sheet,” says Luke. “In this case it took Hannah two full days. She then carefully inked the lino and pressed it onto paper, using an Albion press from 1881.”
This sort of care, effort and dedication is core to Luke Sital-Singh’s philosophy. It’s what makes his music breathe and his songs pulse. “I like things that are well made – things that love has been put into. It’s why I like the Slow Movement. It’s why I like vinyl.”
In the same spirit, 28 year-old Sital-Singh is finessing a series of special filmed performances in the studios, workshops, foundries and ateliers of a host of Slow Movement crafts people he’s connected with up and down the country. Watch this (bespoke) space for collaborations with a ceramicist in Glasgow, a knife-maker in Derby and a stained glass designer in Devon.
But for now, here’s ‘Time Is A Riddle’. A record where you can smell the graft, see the joins and hear the sweat on the frets – and the occasional live-recording misstep. It’s that real.
Luke Sital-Singh played at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, Leeds on Thursday 18 May 2017.