A Preview to Orlando Weeks’ Second Solo Album, ‘Big Skies Silly Faces’ Examines the Rewarding and Exhausting Facets of Fatherhood
We love a good collab, but when it involves two of our favourite independent artists? We get particularly excited. So, you can imagine our anticipation for the latest offering from Play It Again Sam’s Orlando Weeks which features Heavenly Recordings’ Katy J Pearson. A follow-up to his 2020 debut album A Quickening, ‘Big Skies Silly Faces’ is the first song to preview Weeks’ forthcoming second solo album. The track’s accompanying video was directed by Rik Burnell.
Heralded by critical acclaim, A Quickening extended the praise that Orlando Weeks generated with both The Maccabees and his inspirational book/companion album project The Gritterman. The album catalogued the emotions and expectations that accompany imminent parenthood: anxieties and anticipation, hopes and fears, a monumentally personal yet also an undeniably universal experience. On reflection, however, its focus was on expectancy: the small wonders of new life were left largely unspoken. That was something Weeks wanted to rectify as he turned his attention to new music. In practice, his writing process instead became an exercise in focusing on ideas that would be joyous, uplifting, and satisfying.
Those traits all shimmer throughout ‘Big Skies Silly Faces’ with its choral, dream-like production courtesy of Deek Recordings founder Bullion, otherworldly vocal harmonies from critically acclaimed artist Katy J Pearson and Ben Reed’s bass growing from a supporting texture to the forefront of the sound. ‘Big Skies Silly Faces’ echoes Weeks’ original idea of poetically examining the rewarding and exhausting facets of fatherhood. But as a writer with an instinct for duality, it’s part of a wider idea inspired, in part, by the early Mike Leigh film Nuts in May.
“There’s something about that that’s always stayed with me,” ponders Weeks. “The very English absurdity of making the most of a situation. The desperation for any potential silver lining. Really though I think ‘Big Skies Silly Faces’ is about how I can be my own worst enemy – ‘No stopping that sky-high as its wide…my mind against my better thinking. know the feeling but wonder why…'”
Really though I think ‘Big Skies Silly Faces’ is about how I can be my own worst enemy.
In addition to his latest solo project, Weeks has also crafted the score for a new theatrical adaptation of Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 1998 film After Life. Running at London’s National Theatre from June 2nd to July 24th, it poses a simple yet daunting question: “If you could spend eternity with just one precious memory, what would it be?” It was written by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) from a concept he developed alongside Bunny Christie (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and Jeremy Herrin (People, Places and Things).
Orlando Weeks will embark upon his highly anticipated headline tour in March 2022. Remaining tickets for the rescheduled tour are available HERE.
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⇥ Proudly Presenting Katy J Pearson