After coming to prominence as the frontman of the Mercury Prize-winning Klaxons, recording with Arctic Monkeys, and crafting his Shock Machine project, James Righton now releases his debut solo album The Performer. The Performer stands in stark contrast to the electro-hedonism of Righton’s work with Klaxons. Instead, it spins through various points from 1970 onwards. It touches on the suave art-lounge of Roxy Music, the jangly grooves of R.E.M., the sumptuous psychedelia of latter day Beach Boys, and the songwriting gift of Nick Lowe. In short, it uses classic elements as the groundwork for something which feels a natural fit for 2020. The Performer was written, performed and produced by James, with the help of some select collaborators. James Ford (The Last Shadow Puppets, Simian Mobile Disco) performed drums throughout and bass on two tracks; Sean O’Hagan (High Llamas, Microdisney) contributed string arrangements; saxophone was provided by Jorja Chalmers (Bryan Ferry); and Josephine Stephenson (Thom Yorke, Ex:Re) contributed additional piano and string arrangements. It was recorded at a handful of locations, notably Righton’s home studio, and Bryan Ferry’s Studio One. It was subsequently mixed by David and Stephen Dewaele (Soulwax) at Deewee in Ghent, Belgium.
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