Shirley Collins announces new album ‘Archangel Hill,’ shares “High And Away”
Legendary British folk singer Shirley Collins has announced a new album, Archangel Hill, due May 26 via Domino (pre-order). It has 13 songs, "most from traditional sources but others from favorite writers of hers," according to a press release, and all are newly-recorded except "Hand and Heart," which was taken from a 1980 live performance at the Sydney Opera House. The album was produced by past collaborator Ian Kearey.
Archangel Hill is named in honor of her stepfather, who referred to Mount Caburn, a landmark near Shirley's home, as Archangel Hill. "Whenever I walk Mount Caburn, I give a silent greeting in memory of my stepfather Bill and his horses," Shirley says. "’ve picked sloes there in autumn, sat watching sheep and the occasional chalk hill blue butterfly in summer, but Bill had ridden over it many times in the 1920s, walking horses from Bishopstone to the Lewes races." The album artwork is a painting of Mount Caburn by Peter Messer, commissioned by Shirley.
The first single is "High And Away," which has words by collaborator Pip Barnes, who says:
There is a passage in Shirley’s book ‘America Over The Water’ where she relays a conversation with the Arkansas singer Almeda Riddle in 1959. It begins: ‘She told of the tricks a tornado can play’ and goes on to give four or five examples. Whenever I heard Shirley read this, I would note that alliterative and rhythmic first line of the passage, and the vividness of the images of a tornado’s doings, and say to myself, ‘There’s a song here, it’s almost written itself.’ I wrote the words, but with no strong idea of a tune for it, other than that it seemed to suggest itself into ¾ time. Shirley obliged with a tune of her own devising, and Ian with its arrangement.
Listen and check out the album art and tracklist below...
1. Fare Thee Well My Dearest Dear
2. Lost In A Wood
3. The Captain With The Whiskers
4. June Apple
5. The Golden Glove
6. High And Away
7. Oakham Poachers
8. Hares On The Mountain
9. Hand And Heart
10. The Bonny Labouring Boy
11. Swaggering Boney
12. How Far Is It To Bethlehem?
13. Archangel Hill