THE SAD SONG CO., the solo moniker of Nigel Powell – touring and studio drummer for Frank Turner’s the Sleeping Souls, one quarter of Dive Dive and ex- member of Unbelievable Truth – releases fourth album Worth on 19th February 2018.
The first streaming track from the album is WhatYou Make Of It available on Spotify from 4 December 2017 and an instant grat track when preordering Worth, with preorders beginning on 8 December.
What You Make Of It is drawn from The Sad Song Co.’s fourth album Worth, and an initial insight into this deeply personal album. First impressions can make sweeping statements about how you approach someone, and What You Make Of It takes us directly into the heart of Nigel’s latest outpouring. Opening with Nigel’s disarming falsetto upon an evocative piano line, it’s a song that resonates with a c’est la vie attitude to change and growth while grasping ownership of your own troubles and perspective. Struck by a laser-cutting guitar solo at its centre, and hoisted by a refrain that echoes with positivity, it’s the upbeat core of an album that floats somewhere between self-analysis and a sense of newfound confidence.
Nigel released third album in amber in November 2016, a successful crowd-funded return to solo songwriting nine years after 2007’s Poignant Device while continuing to be in bands and making his living on the road.An album dealing with stories around an old people’s home, it showcased a side of the man that most new fans had yet to see. Worth then is the sound of a man whose previously dormant abilities have burst a dam, flowing creativity and imagination into complex and deeply personal songs.“When I wasn’t getting time to make albums of my own I would get quite frustrated and depressed in that situation because I didn’t have an avenue for expressing myself the way I really wanted to do it,” explains Nigel.“So coming back to The Sad Song Co. has been a very positive thing for me.”
And so it is for all of us. Worth sees Nigel’s productivity in overdrive, coming so soon after in amber yet sounding considered and something drawn together over time. Pulling even more from his love of progressive rock, sky-scraping songs like ‘The Body Beautiful’ grasp at the edges of expectation, Nigel’s disarming voice scaling the escalating key changes.The album’s innocuous indie-rock intro, ‘Lifestyles’, is a gem unearthed from 1994, but the hesitant chord change before Nigel’s voice soars grips at aural senses that rarely tingle.With each song, you’re often in familiar territory feeling uneasy, at risk, about to leave solid ground.And even if you soak in twists and turns like these, it ends up being the undeniable pop suss that leaves you reeling and enriched.
Personnel on the album include backing vocals from Frank Turner, Billy Pettinger (AKA Billy the Kid), Max Kerman of Arkells and Kat Jones on Worth My Bones, Jason Moulster of Unbelievable Truth on bass for four tracks, Ryan Robinson tackling the guitar solos Nigel wrote throughout the album, Chris T-T co-writing lyrics for ‘The Body Beautiful’ and ‘Lonely Is A State of Mind’, Radiohead engineer Graeme Stewart recording again, this time for only one day at Woodworm Studios, and Grammy-award winning Chris Kasych (Adele, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young) mixing, with the rest done by Nigel at home.
Nigel has produced an album thoroughly his own. Being so often part of a larger unit, a vehicle for someone else’s songs, this release can only be immensely satisfying and one that not only proves he’s worth his bones, but that creativity will continue to flow when honed and sculpted with such devotion.