You spend ages waiting for a bus and then two come along at once...
Paul Steel returns this summer with a new album 'Moon Rock' and an animated movie version of his of critically acclaimed debut album "April & I".
After releasing his debut album as a limited edition in 2007 he signed to Polydor where he recorded his second album "Moon Rock" with Tony Hoffer in LA. After a number of live dates at Fuji Rock and V along with supports with Sean Ono Lennon, The Bee's, Electric Soft Parade, Amy Winehouse, Ed Harcourt, and Cornelius Paul then parted with Polydor to go it alone.
With his newfound freedom Paul is experiencing an Indian summer and will release his new album, "Moon Rock" along with an animated movie for "April & I" on July 20th.
"Moon Rock" is brimming with fizzy, contemporary pop songs that is by turns charming, magnetic, whimsical and (without being all 'oh-look-at-me-I'm-hilarious') extremely funny. "There are more conventional songs in the new album," Paul says, "but it's still not your standard rock stuff. I tried to make sure I was using influences without exploiting them."
Standout tracks include "In A Coma", written by Paul in a San Diego Zoo about a person who heroically saves a girl from being hit by a taxi. "It's all about the frustration of being in a coma while the girl you saved is by your bedside falling in love with you, but you can't do anything with it because you're all asleep and shit." Elsewhere there's the earthy and intense "The Way You Are", and the psychedelic, Fantasia-influenced "Moon Rock". "Emo Joe" is another quite good one. "It's a song about the cult, almost religious aspect of the emo kids where everyone lives to a code," Paul says. He adds - as only a perennially happy man can - "I don't even know what emo is".
Paul will be releasing "In a Coma" as a single on July 6th The Matthew Anstee directed video is a phantasmagoric hospital ward drama, and features cameo's from Ralph Brown (Withnail & I's Camberwell Carrot aficionado / Waynes World 2 / Aliens etc), Aaron King, Stars and Sons (in which Paul Steel plays bass) along with old flat mates THE XCERTS. "Moon Rock" follows 2 weeks later on Paul's own Raygun Records, following a release on EMI Japan late last year.
The April & I animated movie also sees a release on July 20th following a 10 week serialisation on You Tube from 18th May. The "April & I" album tells a story about a young boy inventing an imaginary friend to get through tough times and was conceived by Paul in between working at a supermarket, in a branch of Next and a BP garage. Recorded for two hundred quid the album was, says Paul, "not a concept album for the sake of being a concept album. I just really like the idea of something being musically cohesive. It worked out quite well."
The "April & I" movie playing part homage to the R Kelly release of "trapped in the closet" as well as the obvious way to give people bite sized chunks of the film. The idea of a film was always in Paul's mind and after approaching Oscar Winning "Passion Pictures" the project was green lighted. By giving creative freedom to Passion Pictures' directors they've been able to create a beautiful Technicolor madhouse of a film that still manages to resolve itself in the most beautiful way. Wizard of Oz, Button Moon, Tim Burton, and Grange Hill are reference points along with the craziest crack smoking monsters you are ever likely to see. Indeed the Honkin' (On My Crackpipe) video was leaked onto You Tube and saw an impressive 40,000 hits in a matter of weeks.
Paul has also commissioned Passion Pictures to make an animated movie version of his April & I album and is currently releasing a video instalment each week on his You Tube Channel - www.youtube.com/paulsteeltv. The latest instalment is Track 2 - April: - www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho7jAes5n-I