Sunday, June 13, 2021

Across the Universe: Marty Willson-Piper Introduces Space Summit

Already a favorite musician of mine long before I launched this website, Marty Willson-Piper has become my most covered living artist since our initial interview in 2018. This is due to the fact that the man never slows down and keeps coming up with new things for me to write about. Although he is best known for his 33-year run as the guitarist and occasional vocalist for Australian Alt Rock legends The Church, the British multi-instrumentalist has seemingly spent every second of the eight years following his departure from that band creating and celebrating music in any form he can grasp. From overseeing the immense In Deep Music Archive in Cornwall to participating in far too many musical projects and collaborations to list here, he is constantly unveiling new sounds while perpetually jumping to the next thing. (It’s highly likely he’s started at least three new recording projects by the time you finish reading this piece. I’m not kidding.)

Now, not even four months since the release of MOAT’s Poison Stream (the latest album from his extraordinary project with Niko Röhlcke of Weeping Willows; check out my review), Willson-Piper is back with yet another entity, Space Summit, and another new album, Life This Way (coming this month as a download, this September on CD and early next year on vinyl). This time around, he’s crafting tunes with Minneapolis-based singer Jed Bonniwell. Space Summit made its debut with the June 9 release of the aptly named “I’m Electric,” which features Willson-Piper assuming guitar and bass duties in a louder and more raucous fashion than anything heard on Poison Stream. Musically, the track is all over the place in the best possible way, touching on everything from Grunge to Psychedelic Folk to Britpop. It’s a stunningly gorgeous combination that somehow retains a sense of cohesion and Pop sensibility amidst the waves of eclecticism. Have a listen below:

Recorded in America, Borneo, Sweden and the UK during the pandemic, the forthcoming Space Summit album finds Willson-Piper and Bonniwell joined by harmony vocalist Phoebe Tsen (of Borneo-based duo Avery Fos) and a very familiar cast of characters: Willson-Piper’s wife, Olivia, who contributes violin and backing vocals; longtime friend, collaborator and Noctorum partner Dare Mason (who co-produced the album in addition to providing keys and slide); and stellar MOAT/Noctorum drummer Eddie John. Keep watching this space; there will surely be more to come from Willson-Piper, Bonniwell and co. leading up to Life This Way’s release.


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