On May 28th, Justin Sullivan will release his second solo album, eighteen years after the first. “Surrounded” is a collection of sixteen new songs, written in the first weeks of the 2020 lockdown. The songs are again guitar-vocal pieces featuring his love of story-telling, wide open landscapes and strong atmospheres.
Mostly recorded at home, the album also features contributions from many other musicians including Jon Thorne on bass (best known for his work in the band Lamb and countless jazz combos), Tom Moth (harp player from Florence and the Machine - and Ceri’s brother), string arrangements from composer friends Tobias Unterberg, Henning Nügel and Shir-Ran Yinon, backing vocals from Anna Douglas and Laura Shackleton (from the Bradford duo Waiting For Wednesday) and vibraphone from Matty Anst, along with contributions from many others, including all the current members of NMA. It was mixed by Lee Smith at Greenmount Studios in Leeds, who also mixed the last three NMA releases. The album comes in a media book CD format and double vinyl.
JS: “Under the circumstances, it wasn’t particularly surprising that this was the moment to make another solo record and the songs came thick and fast in the first few weeks of the lockdown… There is not so much about ‘what’s happening in the World’. As with Navigating by the Stars, which was written in the aftermath of 9/11, I wanted to write about other things - some well-known stories, some less well-known, some autobiographical and more a landscape of the imagination than social comment. I’m grateful for all the many musical contributions I received from friends that help to create all the different atmospheres and places; it’s a long album, but it seems that all the songs belonged together in one collection. I hope people enjoy it.”
Simultaneously, Justin’s first solo album “Navigating by the Stars”, which has been out of print for some years, will be re-released. The new version will come in a cardboard digipack with an expanded booklet and for the first time on (double) vinyl. The audio has not been altered but there are two additional tracks: ‘Sooner or Later’, which first appeared as a B-side in 2003, and ‘The Wreck of The Essex’, a song written and recorded later that same year that has laid dormant ever since but for a few live performances.
To pre-order the album(s), go here…
Please note that, with the ever-increasing shipping costs and now the added complications of Brexit, it may be cheaper for people outside the UK to order from outlets in their own countries. We will be adding links for these soon.
Today sees the release of ‘Amundsen’, the first single from Justin’s “Surrounded” album which gives a first insight into this very personal album.
“The stories of polar (and in particular Antarctic) adventurers at the beginning of the 20th Century have long been a fascination. On my first solo record, the song 'Ocean Rising' is, in part, the story of Ernest Shackleton's epic voyage from Elephant Island to South Georgia. The race to reach the South Pole between Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott is another fascinating tale. Being raised in England, Scott and his 'noble, tragic' failure is a story written large in national mythology but the other man, a truly remarkable explorer, is rarely acknowledged. The battle over who gets to tell which version of a story is very relevant in these times of 'culture wars', but the song is more a simple snapshot of him and I hope I have done him justice.”
‘Amundsen’ is now available as stream and digital download: https://JustinSullivan.lnk.to/Amundsen
The single is also accompanied by an official music video which can be found on the official New Model Army YouTube channel:
Spring Greetings to everyone – though we are sure that the changing season makes us all even more restless…
With some UK Festivals beginning to make hopeful noises, we are cautiously optimistic that at least some of our gigs planned for this summer might take place, in one form or another. We are less optimistic about summer events outside the UK – a little more so for those scheduled for the end of the year. As with 2020, we are not cancelling anything but will move the concerts if we have to, and will keep you informed.
Meanwhile, the long-promised limited-edition double DVD of last October’s 40th Anniversary live-stream has been delayed but should be available within a few weeks.
Ten and a bit years ago, our 30th Anniversary two-night concert in London was filmed in a joint project with Nyquest. DVD copies of this sold out some time ago and it has now moved to pay-to-view streaming platforms, where it can be seen in full HD quality. It is available on Amazon Prime (and for a very short time the first night was offered free to subscribers but is now to pay for). However, we would prefer that anyone who does want to watch this (or download it), goes to Vimeo on Demand, from which, unsurprisingly, more of the fee will actually go to the band.
Night 1 (Friday)
Night 2 (Saturday)
The release of Justin’s new solo album ‘Surrounded’ (together with the re-release of ‘Navigating by The Stars’) will now be in May, and a first track and video will be released very soon (on March 5th).
More news as it arrives.
It will come as no surprise to everyone that our Greece/Bulgaria shows that were rescheduled for April have now been rescheduled again, this time into Spring next year.
FRI 8TH April 2022, ATHENS
SAT 9TH April 2022, THESSALONIKI
SUN 10TH April 2022, SOFIA
At the moment, we have no date for the many-times-postponed Istanbul show.
When it comes to our schedule from this summer onwards, at the moment of course we are unable to confirm what will and what will not happen. If, as seems likely, we are not able to play everything as we had planned, we will make alternative arrangements. Stay tuned…
A small section of our Global Gathering event from last October will be re-streamed as part of Vive Le Rock’s online ‘Rockdown’ event on 21st February with proceeds going to venue and crew funds. Meanwhile, as promised, we are planning a limited-edition DVD release of the whole of our stream in a few weeks’ time, with further NMA catalogue releases being planned for later in the year.
Finally, both Justin’s new solo album ‘Surrounded’ and the re-release of ‘Navigating by the Stars’ are scheduled for release in late March/early April and may be accompanied by a handful of socially distanced acoustic shows. We are looking into what is possible…
More news soon. Stay well everyone.
We have had a few issues with our Shop over the last 3-4 months. We’re working hard to fix these problems which have been exacerbated by Covid hitting our Shop people as well as postal services across the World. To these problems we now unfortunately have to negotiate the totally stupid, nonsensical and super-complicated Brexit issues. From today, customers outside the UK will only be able to choose a tracked shipping service which, while a bit more expensive, should at least mean that we can locate missing items.
We will have news of new releases soon and, like everyone else, we are counting the days until live gigs are happening again...
Stay well everybody…
On another note - here are links to a couple of interesting albums of NMA songs in Swedish recorded by Oskar Wigren. These are free for everybody to download and listen to. Enjoy!