Earthlings! My new album ‘Friendship’ has been officially announced today. Below is the press-release.
Rikard Sjöblom’s Gungfly are pleased to announce ‘Friendship’, their brand new studio album, due out on 9th November 2018. Following the release of 2017’s ‘On Her Journey To The Sun’, as well as 2018’s retrospective 5CD collection ‘Rumbling Box’, the band masterminded by former Beardfish frontman & current Big Big Train member Rikard Sjöblom, are happy to reveal their fourth full-length release.
Rikard comments: “The idea for ‘Friendship’ came to me because of an old photo of me as a child. I found this old photo at my parents’ house, depicting me standing on top of this really tall treehouse in a glade near our house. Although I of course remembered it as being really high up in the tree tops as a child, this picture proved that it really was! As I reminisced about the treehouse I started thinking about my childhood friends with whom I built it. We were the best of friends and we spent so much time together in this little village where I used to live. This of course made me think about all the friends I used to have, these relationships where you hung out all the time, went through childhood together, grew up and knew everything about each other and then all of a sudden, for some reason, disappeared from each other’s lives. This phenomenon of falling out with someone is still a mystery to me, but I’ve learned to accept it, much like the separation of death it’s just a part of life and the nature of our course of life, I guess. So this is a collection of songs about and for all of my friends, dead or alive, past and present. I chose to base the stories around the treehouse in the glade, not because all of my memories are from there, but rather that it’s the place that made me think back on all of this.”
The album will be available as a limited CD Digipak & Gatefold 2LP + CD (both including 3 bonus tracks) as well as digital download. Pre-order now from my own online store (Courtesy of my dear friend and webmaster extraordinarie Joel Barrios) and get an exclusive 100-copies clear red vinyl, only available through this website.
The full track-listing is as follows:
- Ghost of Vanity
- They Fade
- A Treehouse in a Glade
- Stone Cold
- If You Fall, Pt. 2
- Crown of Leaves
- Slow Dancer (Bonus Track)
- Past Generation (Bonus Track)
- Friendship (Utopian Radio Edit) (Bonus Track)
Rikard comments of the musical direction: “Musically, what can I say? This is prog rock, but I want to be free to move in whatever direction the music wants to go and I happily go exploring where it wants to take me. Even though there are a few softer songs and sections, most of the album turned out to be a rocker; a collection of hard rock songs with lots of tricky parts, some heavier moments and some downright jazzy elements too!”
Rikard Sjöblom is perhaps best known as the multi-instrumentalist front-man of Beardfish, who established themselves as one of the most consistently brilliant modern-day progressive rock bands over the course of eight studio albums. In recent years, he has also become known for his work with English progressive collective Big Big Train, playing live with them as well as performing on their most recent studio album ‘The Second Brightest Star’ as well as the new live album ‘Merchants of Light’.
The Second Brightest Star is a companion album to the Folklore (2016) and Grimspound (2017) releases and features over 40 minutes of new songs and instrumentals alongside music from the Folklore and Grimspound albums presented in extended formats. With the exception of Brooklands and London Plane which were recorded at 24/48 and have therefore been up-sampled for this release to 24/96, all audio is at studio master 24/96 hi-resolution. The Bandcamp download includes a complimentary PDF of the album booklet including lyrics and the stories behind the songs.
The Second Brightest Star Track Listing
1. The Second Brightest Star 07:17
5. The Passing Widow 05:33
6. The Leaden Stour 07:19
7. Terra Australis Incognita 04:16
8. Brooklands sequence 17:33
9. London Plane sequence 13:14
10. The Gentlemen’s Reprise 03:03
About Big Big Train
Big Big Train are an English progressive rock band formed in Bournemouth in 1990. The current line-up consists of Nick D’Virgilio (drums), Dave Gregory (guitars), Rachel Hall (violin), David Longdon (vocals, flute, keyboards and guitars), Danny Manners (keyboards and bass), Andy Poole (guitars, bass and keyboards), Rikard Sjöblom (keyboards and guitars) and Gregory Spawton (bass, guitars and keyboards). Until 2009, the band were mostly as a studio project band headed by Spawton and Poole with changing line-ups and guest musicians. They have released eleven studio albums and three EPs.
After starting out as an independent band, Big Big Train were signed to Giant Electric Pea from 1993 to 1998 and distributed their releases through their own website. Since their sixth album The Underfall Yard, which received critical acclaim from the progressive rock community, a more stable lineup has been established, and the band performed their first live concerts in 17 years at Kings Place, London, in August 2015. The gigs were voted Event Of The Year by the readers of Prog magazine. Stone & Steel, a Blu-ray featuring the 2014 rehearsals at Real World Studios and four of the songs performed at Kings Place, was released on 21 March 2016. Big Big Train were the winners of the Breakthrough Award at the Progressive Music Awards held at Kew Gardens, London on 3 September 2013, and have been nominated in several other categories in recent years. The band’s latest studio albums, Grimspound and The Second Brightest Star, were released April and June 2017 respectively.
Listen to the New album here
Also available on vinyl through Burning Shed released via Plane Groovy Records
The album features 40 minutes of new songs and instrumentals. Alongside the new tracks, there is a bonus selection of 30 minutes of music where songs from the “Folklore” and “Grimspound” albums are presented in extended format.
You can hear the title track of “The Second Brightest Star” now on SoundCloud:
The Second Brightest Star is available to order now for delivery commencing on 23rd June from our official stores:
for CD and limited edition double gatefold 180g seafoam green vinyl. (All vinyl copies will include a code for a complimentary hi-res download.) Please note, the vinyl edition is selling very quickly and we recommend ordering soon if you would like a vinyl copy.
The Merch Desk
for CD and official merchandise
for hi-res download
The album will be released on Spotify and other download and streaming services in July.
Andy, Danny, Dave, David, Greg, Nick, Rachel & Rikard