NEW MUSIC / AUS PREMIERE: RJ Thompson ‘Echo Chamber’


RJ Thompson has built a name for himself in recent months as one of the countries strongest up and coming singer-songwriters. His poignant lyrics perfectly capture the mood of the past 12 months, with songs that won’t fail to resonate, and all are set against a colourful (and at times nostalgic) soundscape that goes far beyond modern-day singer-songwriter stereotypes.

 
RJ is an artist who’s had to graft for every great opportunity that’s come his way, getting his big break through consistently playing grass-roots music venues, pubs and clubs in his native North-East. It was a night in Hartlepool where the work paid off. A sound engineer at an open mic night was working with Live Aid organiser and Ultravox frontman Midge Ure. The engineer submitted RJ as a support act, leading to more than 30 shows touring the UK and Europe. Support shows with Gabrielle Aplin, Deacon Blue and Jools Holland (including a performance at the Royal Albert Hall) soon followed as well as several EPs and a live album. Now, RJ is stepping out with his first studio LP.
 
The first focus track from the album is the title track, “Echo Chamber”, and it perfectly anchors the sonic direction of the songwriters latest project. The organic instrumentation takes a backseat to strong, electronic-pop production. Analogue synth stabs form the foundations of the track while the guitar parts contribute to a solid-groove section. The video is the brainchild of RJ and director Ian West (James Bay, The Lake Poets, The Futureheads). The idea was to incorporate influences from classic 80’s movies such as The Breakfast Club and Footloose, with a contemporary production standard. An idea that RJ has been keen to explore throughout the album. On the video, Ian states…
 
“We wanted to create something nostalgic but also something that reflected the nature of the song. That feeling music gives you… the way it taps into your memory and reminds you what it’s like to be free and happy without the rules and restrictions of society was really important to highlight. I guess that’s the main theme behind it, for those few minutes you have a freedom, and that creativity and music can’t be oppressed.”

The album, of the same name, is coming in November and features guest appearances from John Waugh, saxophone player for The 1975, and ex-Bellowhead cellist Rachael McShane.

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