“This work is a reflection of the re-gentification of places and the real and meaningful memories they leave in their wake. How our own growth, over time, leaves us with a shifted perspectives on ourselves. The once familiar now gone, never to come back except through the ghosts of lovers, places, objects.” -- Royston Langdon
LEEDS is Royston Langdon, former lead singer of Spacehog, with a name that's a nod to his hometown and an album, Everything's Dandy, that is a culmination of his 24 years in New York, both in its content and its production.
"I've lived here longer than I've lived anywhere on the planet," says Langdon of New York. "I feel like I'm part of the city in a way."
Originally from Leeds, Langdon got his start playing music in the U.K. In 1994, however, he followed his brother Antony to New York and fell for the city immediately. Not long after the move, Spacehog formed. In the fall of 1995, they released the debut Resident Alien, which spawned the hit single "In the Meantime." Three more albums followed over the next 18 years.
More recently, Langdon has worked on the industry side of music, using his own experiences to help up-and-coming artists. Yet, he remained a musician at heart. Langdon kept his new work fairly private, telling only a few people as he built a new collection of songs at home.
The evolution of Everything's Dandy began two years ago, after Langdon's son had moved to London. Alone over Christmas, Langdon used the time to make new music. The songs that resulted from this period drew from the changes in Langdon's own life as well as the changes in the city that has been his home for so long.
"They put up these new shops," says Langdon of the urban landscape of New York. "Still, the memory of the kind of experience of that thing remains." He sees a connection between the waves of gentrification that he has seen over the years and his "experience of loss and also growth." In his songs, Langdon writes of this not necessarily with nostalgia in mind, but with a sense of "awe" at how life moves forward.
In January 2016, Langdon put together a band to test the songs live before continuing to refine them. A year later, after playing three more shows, he was ready to head into the studio. He enlisted Bryce Goggin to produce and engineer Everything's Dandy. The two have known each other since Langdon's early days in New York, when he interned at the recording studio where Goggin was head engineer. While Langdon played many of the instruments himself on the album, he enlisted a few longtime friends to play on select cuts, including drummer Parker Kindred (Jeff Buckley) and multi-instrumentalist Timo Ellis (Yoko Ono, Joan as Police Woman). The song "Your Day Will Come" was co-written by Langdon and Rich Robinson of Black Crowes. "What Became of the People" is a songwriting collaboration between Langdon and his brother Antony that stems from their previous band Arckid.
Everything's Dandy is set for release on May 4 on vinyl and digital formats through Urban Turban.
Wednesday 29th May 2019
Price: £12 adv