It’s 25-years since Thea Gilmore embarked on a career in music. For 23 of them, she made records that are treasured by loyal fans and mark her out as a singer-songwriter of searing talent. But something wasn’t right… behind the public image of the fearless singer songwriter, she was living a life contained. Although she has an incredible 18 albums to her name, only now has she freed herself of that control – not so much a new artist as an artist renewed. She says: “Now is a time to draw lines. Now is a time for and end and a beginning. The last Thea Gilmore album and the first Afterlight album. Welcome back to the start….”
Two records, released together, that share the same subject matter but stylistically are worlds apart. Self-titled ‘Afterlight’ was made in 2020; its companion piece ‘The Emancipation of Eva Grey’ was imagined 100 years ago, at the height of the Jazz Age, with two tracks that feature on the soundtrack to the new film adaptation of Noel Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit’ (2020) starring Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher and Judi Dench. For the first time since she was 16 years-old Thea Gilmore has been able to create music on her own terms, free to make her own choices, liberated from other people’s fears and no longer hiding from her own in the name of her art.
The songs sprang from the end of Thea’s 23-year relationship with her producer/husband, a collaboration mired in coercive control, mistreatment and infidelity that left her “hollowed out, mostly air, a lacework of a person held together by bones and the threads of a story.” “It was my own sort of control I suppose. There was a safety in it and it stopped anyone looking in too far. I gave them a perfect picture of the headstrong, feisty artist because that was who I wanted to be. It took 23 years of my life.
1. Of All The Violence I Have Known
2. Friendly Little Heart Attack
3. 26 Letters
6. Chekhov's Gun
7. Dead Light
8. The Ghost Of Love
10. Cut and Run