“The best British singer-songwriter of the last ten years – and then some” –Uncut
“Unarguably one of the finest singer-songwriters of her generation” –Sunday Times Culture
“The best wordsmith of her generation” –The Independent
Thea Gilmore’s brand new studio album The Counterweight, released through Cooking Vinyl, is available to order now. The first single taken from the album is the rallying anthem ‘Sounds Good To Me’.
“I like to think of it as a bit of an anarchist’s polka…” says Thea of the single. “Calling the dispossessed, the downtrodden, the weary to arms. Lighting a fire… remembering there’s more than one way to live and who wants to walk when you can dance!”
It’s been 13 years and eight albums since Thea released Avalanche, her critically acclaimed fifth release and the album deemed to be her breakthrough record. The then 23-year-old was writing with a fire inside her post 9/11 about global anxiety and the increasingly vacuous celebrity culture.
Calling upon the spirit of this predecessor, Thea is back with the album she feels follows it. Having never entirely lost her voice of protest, on subsequent albums Thea was looking inward more, singing songs about the depression she had been diagnosed with, love songs in uncertain times and songs about parenthood.
Now though, she is back with The Counterweight, an album full of passion and fire inside to protest, and an album that echoes the rapid change in our social and political landscape that 2016 brought with it.
When finishing the album in September, Thea was forced to look back at the spring and summer recording period and the tumultuous times that happened throughout the year including working on ‘Reconcile’ as Britain voted to leave the EU, and recording ‘Johnny Gets A Gun’ three days after the Orlando shooting.
That day was also most harrowingly of all, the day when the world was watching the tragedy of Jo Cox’s murder unfold and at the very eleventh hour became the inspiration for the final track ‘The War’, with the first and last verses directly referencing her.
Thea quotes “I was throwing a cautionary message in a bottle into the shifting tide, but also singing a reminder that acts of kindness and humanity are never in vain: ‘You can cut that stem, but wild flowers grow again, all you can do is just tend to them and know that you tried’”
“I’d finished the album pretty much. All the shit that had gone down in 2016, the world changing moments… everything had shifted and this song fell out of me on one of the last mix days. The first and last verses directly reference Jo Cox and in between. I like to think it shines a light on these dark days, but also offers hope.”
The track is also possibly the mission statement of the album, going to war on the negativity and bleakness of the current world mesmerized by fake news and futility.
The Counterweight tries to be exactly that. A redressing of the balance, a tool of pressure, an exertion of opposite force and as such, a flag of hope.
Thea Gilmore will be heading out on a UK headline tour to support the album, with full details to be announced soon.