Ralegh Long // In Short

Ralegh Long

The sign of any talented artist is their ability to create an illusion that looks or sounds as if no human hand has touched it. English songwriter Ralegh Long does just that on his pastoral debut album, Hoverance, released April 6th on the label he co-founded, Gare Du Nord.

If you can’t wait, we suggest you head down to Servant Jazz Quarters on Thursday, April 2nd to spend the night with Long as he unveils his 10 top new tunes. If you journey to the subterranean Dalston venue, we’d suggest some flares and flower in your buttonhole – because his effortless-sounding music conjures up the breezy folk-induced trance of the 70s.

Even the music itself was composed in another world, the narrow expanse between city and countryside, town and suburb. Or as Long calls it: “A liminal kind of countryside, pretty rough and suburban, but countryside nonetheless.” And it was sitting in this country’s side that Long stared out into the distance and plucked the songs from the sky and wrote them down.

Returning to London, he gathered his mates to help him record it, principally Tom Dougall of TOY on guitar, Jack Hayter (ex-Hefner) on pedal steel, string-arranger Louis-Phillipe (El records, The Clientele) and indie-pop orchestra A Little Orchestra. Together, they crafted a warm and intimate record, bathed in lush orchestral arrangements and underpinned by rich piano tones. The sound is punctuated by some plaintive acoustic guitar work and some even-more haunting pedal steel, used like a synth by Long, to great effect on the famed American Music Club records.

So what about the album’s title, Hoverance? Long says it is the ‘act of hovering between two worlds, the interfusion of the worldly and the not’. And it fits nicely for the far out music, which exudes a dark folk majesty while keeping its feet firmly on the ground.

To shed a bit more light on his inner workings, we asked Long just what makes him tick – and funnily enough Michael Jackson is top of the list. Of course! Read on…

If I had to describe my music in 3 words, I’d use…
A quotation: ‘ethereal’

My favourite film ever is…
Fast Times at Ridgemont High

The most famous person I’ve met is…
Chuck Berry

The song I hate the most is…
Let Her Go by Passenger

The worst job I’ve ever had is…
The usual: bad bar jobs with emotionally unhinged managers.

If I was in a tribute band it would be…
Bob Dylan in the 80s

My favourite word is…
Vernacular

If I had a super power I’d want it to be…
Time travel. What could go wrong?

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…
Newport Folk festival – good view.

I think you should listen to…
Can I pick a classic and a current? Classic: Innocence Mission ‘Umbrella’. Current: Laura Groves’ new EP ‘Committed Language’.

If I could see anyone play live it would be…
Michael Jackson in Bad-era pomp

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Live: Servant Jazz Quarters – April 2nd (Sold Out)