Little Black Classics

by Duncan Batey

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Comes in a lovely gatefold card sleeve, featuring on the outside cover a photo of the artist in performance by Bradley Moogan, and on the inside cover, credits and photos of the main players, plus full lyric booklet in pastiche design tucked into one side, with the compact disc featuring the same design in the other.

    Includes unlimited streaming of the album via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Little Black Classics via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days
    edition of 300 

      £10 GBP or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Digital download also includes PDFs of gatefold sleeve art, including player photos and album credits, and pastiche lyric booklet.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £8 GBP  or more

     

1.
Cleanskin 04:52
1. Cleanskin You work so hard it breaks my heart, bathed in sound and naked in the dark. Oh this bag of bones feels carved in stone, and you long for a clean skin. You've banged you heart against this world too long, pissed in your own swimming pool for too long. Some days you ride dark horses, some nights you howl at the moon - a hall full of case files in boxes, but you never sue for a clean skin. You're grinding hard on sunlight, straining to catch hold of smoke - a slow-burning fuse for a handhold, a primer in knots for a rope. All the drawers are full of ritual. Some days you ride dark horses, some nights you howl at the moon - a hall full of case files in boxes, but you never sue. Oh this bag of bones feels carved in stone, and you pray for a clean skin.
2.
2. Little Black Classics Lips too chilled, O Cruel Alexis It was snowing butterflies The Terrors of the Night, Wailing Ghosts The nightingales are drunk How We Weep and Laugh at the Same Thing I Hate and I Love, Circles of Hell The Gate of the Hundred Sorrows How Much Land Does A Man Need? The Old Man of the Moon, A Pair of Silk Stockings Femme Fatale, The Tinder Box Mrs Rosie and the Priest, A Modest Proposal The Tell-Tale heart, Come Close, To-morrow Well, they are gone, and here must I remain On the Beach at Night Alone Woman much missed, The Beautifull Cassandra Remember Body... A Simple Heart Travels in the Land of Serpents and Pearls The Night is Darkening Round Me As kingfishers catch fire, The Old Nurse's Story The Meek One, The Reckoning My Dearest Father, Leonardo da Vinci The Fall of Icarus, The Nose The Life of a Stupid Man Goblin Market, Socrates' Defence Olalla
3.
3. Mixed Messages Your body told me a secret last week, and mine responded with the customary heat. Friends is okay, but sometimes it's hard when your boundaries are all over the place and I'm not on your dance card. Mixed messages, mixed message hey yeah I'm picking up mixed messages, mixed messages hey yeah This problem is not unique to you - there's another, and she can't decide what to do. Hiding behind someone else's rules, she left me high and dry without a word – I call that unnecessarily cruel. I fall into your eyes when you look at me - ah, shoot me now, put me out of this misery. I'm picking up mixed messages, mixed messages hey yeah, I'm picking up mixed messages, mixed messages hey yeah Ah but look around, I think I'm being unkind, maybe I do it too - the blind accuse the blind. But I fall into your eyes when you look at me - someone shoot me now, put me out of my misery. I'm picking up mixed messages, mixed messages hey yeah, I'm picking up mixed messages, mixed messages hey yeah I'd commit to you if I could draw you in, but this moment-to-moment thing, oh darling it's doing me me in...
4.
4. Stoney Ground I don't want to sleep with you while you still sleep around. You say “all men want this”, well I say all those you've found up till now. I've taken time to realise that my heart is sound and my heart is telling me my love would fall on stoney ground So where's the rub, and what's the deal? Why do you hide the way you feel? Where's your heart, and where's your soul? You're a male fantasy, but I want reality I've taken time to realise that my heart is sound and my heart is telling me I don't want to fall on stoney ground But there's a girl on a hill, and her soul is singing still, as she moves to and fro. I've taken time to realise that my heart is sound, and my heart is telling me I'm not going to fall on stoney ground. I don't want to fall on stoney ground. My love won't fall on stoney ground.
5.
5. Strange Disease Stealing glances, too late for advances - you're spoken for and I'm a coward. I'm always falling for a pretty face, and I know I don't really know you, but I'm in outer space and I want to come down - I'm sick of flying. I want to come down, I'm so sick of flying The air gets thin up here, this rarified atmosphere. The middle of the night, just cold philosophy. I wondered if you might become my wife, but these fantasies and dreams cut like a knife. Oh, I should know - I destroyed my life with it, this strange disease, I destroyed my life with it. Yeah, I've destroyed lives with it The way your hair falls around your face, and your smile lights your eyes – well, here I go again. You'd think that I'd be wise to this by now, but I'm swallowing the hook and I'm in anyhow. It's a strange disease, it feels like dying. Such a strange disease, I feel I'm dying a little bit faster now. Stealing glances, too late for advances - you're spoken for and I'm a coward. I'm always falling for a pretty face, and I know I don't really know you, but I'm in outer space and I want to come down - I'm sick of flying. I want to come down, I'm so sick of flying. I want to come down now.
6.
6. Old Dog Fast Car Hot girl in a red top, blonde hair in a braid Red roses are blooming, nineteen in the shade Just give me the barmaid and no-one gets hurt I'll give you my credit card, I'll give you my shirt The things the mind takes hold of, the body too An old dog chasing a fast car – if he caught up with it, would he know quite what to do? There's something in New York, there's something in Rome. There's something all over the place, by the scent of my phone. Well I ain't going easy – I want back to the feast, shake of this collar, slip the leash (swipe RIGHT...) The things the mind takes hold of, the body too Like an old dog chasing a fast car - if he caught up with it, would he know quite what to do? There's life in this mongrel yet, new tricks to be learned Plenty of fuel to be lit, dry tinder to burn So hand over the barmaid, and the keys to that car I'm sure it'll come back to me when I've remembered where all the levers are... The things the mind gets hold of, the body too An old dog in a fast car - head out the window, looking for mischief to do. Ah, the things the mind takes hold of, the body too, like that old dog driving his fast car - head out the window, looking for more mischief to get up to. Head out the window, baby, looking for more mischief to get up to...
7.
Home By Now 05:35
7. Home by Now We didn't mean to run away to sea, only to seek our own place and identity, but the currents are strong, the tide and the undertow, and lost in the waves, and the deep blue... No ghost from the grave needs sent to tell us this - in over our heads, we're in one hell of a fix. Staring at screens for retail therapy and for the homes of our dreams, with no hint of irony But if you lived in your heart you'd be home by now If you knew what it wanted, it could be in your hands All this flailing and fighting it leads nowhere If you lived in your heart you'd be home by now The call of the sea, harsh and inviting - the foam and the spray, the farthest horizon. Ah but sail with me for an inland ocean - your body's the key, the seat of emotion And if you lived in your heart you'd be home by now If you knew what it wanted, it could be in your hands All this flailing and fighting it leads nowhere If you lived in your heart you'd be home by now.
8.
8. Desire is a Nameless Rose Desire is a nameless rose She curls, unfurls, and she burns Our hunger birds, they feed on thorns They seek the teeth to match our wounds So many shades in bloom Desire is a nameless rose
9.
9. Coming Undone Still life in black and white - a fallen star, you cower in the dark. Too much to put to bed, but not enough space to heal your heart inside your head And you're coming undone, falling apart at the seams And you don't understand what it means Small hour, 3 a.m., awake again, too wired and tired for sweet dreams. It's too late for ways and schemes, there's only love can open up and let life out and in When you're coming undone, falling apart at the seams, and you don't understand what any of it means You're coming undone, falling apart at the seams, and you don't understand what any of this means – only love.
10.
Run 08:06
10. Run It would have been safe to declare this thing to me, you don't have to face this on your own. You don't have to sleep alone, but I know the overwhelm - and you run And you run through halls and rooms of shadow, from one who should have loved you most. This should not come to anyone, don't give up upon this ghost - but you run And you know, yeah you know that I know because I run too – but I would've held you. I would've held you.

about

Long-awaited debut album from Glastonbury-based singer-songwriter Duncan Batey (winner of Somerset Songwriter 2012, finalist in Glastonbury FM's Songwriting Competition 2016).

"The music is a wonder, with some great lyrics - a real warm and honest album." (Russ Hepworth-Sawyer, MottoSound)

"....a distinct blend of old, new it works well. Like an old friend it has a feel that immediately hooks me in - 8/10" (Joe Lepper, Neon Filler) www.neonfiller.com/wordpress/?p=13540

"Duncan Batey's voice has huge range and variety of tone.. It's a sensitive voice that can deliver a lyric with real intensity and conviction... ...an album of deeply emotional and sometimes dark feelings, ... balanced by both the wit, intelligence and quirkiness of some of the lyrics, the clarity of musical delivery and above all by the sheer variety in musical style and tone." (Greg Hancock, Fatea Magazine) www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/reviews/DuncanBatey/

Half of the album was written while holidaying in a solitary caravan at the far corner of an apple orchard in the middle of nowhere in Herefordshire in August 2016, sometimes sat by a blazing fire gazing up at the stars, or over at the silhouette of the Black Mountains beyond the River Wye. The rest of the songs on the album were written at various points before and after, back in Glastonbury.

Recording mostly took place in fits and starts from the Spring of 2017 to Autumn 2019, in Daniel Shaw's exclusive Grapevine Cottage Studios in Somerset.

For the curious, the album's title is that of its second track, Little Black Classics, and that title and the song's lyrics, as well as the design of the lyric booklet and disc art, are all clues as to its unlikely origins, in that solitary caravan, in deepest darkest Herefordshire.

credits

released January 18, 2020

All songs written by Duncan Batey
Produced by Daniel Shaw & Duncan Batey
Engineered and mixed by Daniel Shaw at Grapevine Cottage Studios
Mastered by Russ Hepworth-Sawyer at MOTTOsound

The Players:

Duncan Batey – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, cajon, backing vocals

Daniel Shaw – upright bass, electric guitar, dobro, harmonica, drums, percussion, programming, backing vocals

Gerry Barnett – cello, backing vocals

Caelia Lunniss – violin

with Special Guests: Noah Roach - drums (track 1); Isabel Cressy - accordion; (track 2); Sarah Griffiths - backing vocals (tracks 4 & 6);
Steve Ross - cajon, Wild Willy Barrett - slide guitar (track 6)

Photography: Duncan & Daniel – Bradley Moogan, Caelia – Michael Jones, Gerry – Unofficial Gig Photographer

Design by Robert Franklin & Drew Fletcher

Many thanks to: all at Grapevine Cottage, Alan Miller Guitars, Nathan Lewis Williams (for the Faith), Karen (Vidyadevi) & Andy Johnson, Stephen Parr (Ananda), Simon Sturt at Hawthorns Hotel, Ian Liversidge and Georgie Robbins at Glastonbury FM, and everyone else credited or uncredited (sorry) for their contributions and support in the making of this record.

In loving memory of Rebecca Fryer-Clarke 1960-2019

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about

Duncan Batey Glastonbury, UK

Winner of the 2012 Somerset Songwriter competition, Duncan released his first EP, ‘Blindsided’, in February 2013.

Accompanied by Daniel Shaw on upright bass, Gerry Barnett on cello, and Caelia Lunniss on violin, his beautifully crafted 'epic acoustic' songs explore love and hope in the face of adversity.

His debut album 'Little Black Classics' was released 18th January 2020.
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