LP: Deluxe 'sinner' variant on mulberry coloured vinyl
UK 5-piece Deaf Havana release their fifth studio album Rituals through So Recordings. The album was written and recorded less than six months ago, as a challenge taken up by James Veck-Gilodi (vocals) and Phil Gornell (Co-Producer) to subvert the band's writing process, and present songs representative of the band in the present. Phil (also Deaf Havana’s Front of House technician) invited James up to his home studio Steel City Studios in Sheffield for a couple of days after Christmas. Having toured together throughout 2017, and having had no headspace to write anything new, suddenly there was this short breathing space in which they found themselves playing music together. Just for the fun of it. Together with Phil, James decided to go at songwriting from a completely new perspective; re-discovering the love of making music purely for his own enjoyment. He ended up staying for three months. Rituals is the result of throwing out the ‘Deaf Havana rulebook’: first; James picked the song titles, second; he wrote tracks that fit the theme of those titles, third; everything was written on the computer, then the band came in to play all the parts. Working like this felt like working backwards to James, who had previously only written songs on his acoustic guitar, with continuous input from the rest of the band. They set themselves a deadline of April to finish writing, and if any of it was any good, they would make it available by August. No more waiting half a decade for people to finally hear any music. A recurring theme on the album is one of struggle and redemption. Now happily married and feeling secure of his place in the world for the first time in his life, James’ lyrics cover the themes of disconnect, wrestling with the self and letting go of personal demons. The music is in turn introspective and joyous, with help from the London Contemporary Voices choir, who feature on 5 tracks.