John Blek Shares ‘Long Strand’ Single and Video
Forthcoming on June 11th, ‘Long Strand’ is the first single to be taken from John Blek’s upcoming album ‘On Ether & Air’. Emblematic of Blek’s distinctive sound, the single is a wistful ballad featuring delicate guitar work and ethereal vocals, supplemented by a gorgeous piano accompaniment from BBC Jazz Award winner and Mercury Prize nominated musician Kit Downes. The song title namechecks a scenic beach in West Cork, and the lyrics reflect finding beauty in the simpler slower things in life.
The stunning video for ‘Long Strand’ was directed by Barra Vernon and stars dancer Foxy P. Cox. It plays with the industrial setting of the video versus the natural setting of the song, juxtaposing the two to great effect. The natural flowing movements of the dancer interpret the curling flames and rolling waves in the lyrics.
John lives and was raised in Cork City, but in listening to his music one can hear the impact of travel and experience on his work. Influenced by Bert Jansch, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Blek is a storyteller first and foremost. He began his solo career in 2014 and since then has created at a prolific rate, releasing an album a year. On ‘Ether & Air’ will be the final part of his ‘Catharsis’ project, a four-album exploration of themes of the sea, the earth, the embers and the air. Written over a period of six weeks and recorded throughout the second half of 2019, collaboration was key to the creation of ‘On Ether & Air’.
John explains, “Chance encounters and some fortunate timing lead to me being able to work with some of my favourite musicians. Getting people with such unique playing styles involved went a long way in defining the sound of ‘On Ether & Air’ and creating an album of which I am immensely proud.”
Blek has a dedicated fan base, and he has trodden a well-worn path returning to play at venues across Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark and the UK, as well playing to sold out venues in Ireland like Triskel Arts Centre, Whelan’s and The Black Gate Cultural Centre. It won’t be long before he takes to the road again this Autumn to delight audiences with the music from his upcoming album.