It’s always bittersweet symphony (excuse the pun of sorts) when one of your favourite musicians releases new music after a six-year absence as you begin to worry that new material could tarnish their credible, illustrious musical offerings you’ve grown to love so when I noticed a new Richard Ashcroft song had been released yesterday morning, I was tentative in pressing play at first but decided to risk it whilst on the bus to work where, after 5 minutes 6 seconds I realised I really had nothing to worry about.

This Is How It Feels has the classic Ashcroft/Verve sound that’s garnered millions of fans worldwide. The track is soulful, emotive and above all…not too modern. A lot of people feel the need to add a lot of electro-sounds to their sound and The Verve experimented with this on their 2008 album, Forth where, some of it worked but some of it took the raw talent of the band away. This may seem controversial but I’ve always preferred the solo Richard Ashcroft stuff to The Verve. There’s more of it to love but the songs always seem more personal and well-written to me.

I’ve always wanted to see Richard Ashcroft perform live whether on his own or in The Verve but it never happened and I was actually beginning to think he’d given up on the music to get a job in Aldi or something but thankfully; I was wrong and my hopes for a new tour to promote the new album are building. (At my time of writing this, two shows for May have been announced. One in Manchester and one in London. Get your tickets!!)

This really is a great song and a great introduction to what we can expect from the new album, These People due for release on 20th May.

these peopleTracklisting:
‘Out Of My Body’
‘This Is How It Feels’
‘They Don’t Own Me’
‘Hold On’
‘These People’
‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Hurt’
‘Pictures Of You’
‘Black Lines’
‘Ain’t The Future So Bright’
‘Songs Of Experience’

Speaking about the new album, Ashcroft voiced: Over the period I wrote this we’ve lived through incredible times. Highly contentious wars were going into the pot. There were grassroots movements that were then turning into semi-revolutions, there was Tahrir Square. There was everything kicking off all over the globe, people being divided. Pepper spray everywhere, tear gas… We’re in a very nihilistic age, we’re in death-ridden, world war times and I like to reflect the society we’re in but I also wanna possibly project something that gives us a sense of hope.”

It sounds like he’s done a lot of growing up during his time out of the spotlight taking the time to look at the world around us and the effect is has on us all as a whole. It also sounds like we’re going to be going to a much darker place than his previous solo albums.

Despite the potential dark-times ahead, I’m extremely excited for album. Welcome back Richard Ashcroft. We’ve missed you.

Words by Robert Smith(@robertmsmith)


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