Ali Rocking Horse [album]
signalled an abundance of
beautiful performances from little known
or established artistes exploring new
genres like Kelli Ali, who goes where
she has never gone before with her
striking new album, Rocking Horse,
taking us nicely into 2009...
MOVING AWAY FROM her usual trip-hop and electronica, former lead singer of
Sneaker Pimps (Becoming X) Kelli Ali has found a new focus. Her pleasing
third solo album (CD/DL), Rocking Horse, is tailor-made for her sweet
and gentle voice as it sets out on a new adventure into new age folk and mediaeval
melodies, settling around soothing contemporary classical music.
Recorded over three months last Spring in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Pencaitland,
this lovely, well put together album is produced by Max Richter (Vashti Bunyan,
composer of The Blue Note Book, Memory House) and was released on 24
November (2008) on One Little Indian, following the single What To Do
that came out on 10 November (DL only).
With the release of Rocking Horse, says the publicity machine, "the focus
is placed on whimsical vocal work and sparse arrangements, crafting unique explorations
into modern folk, mediaeval melodies and contemporary classical music. Rocking
Horse is a stark abandonment of an electronic past, but this is how it penetrates:
Abandoning style for substance, crafting hauntingly ethereal mood pieces adorned
by Richter's richly melodic, textured production skills.
"This music is timeless, but only in such that time is irrelevant. Mediaeval
and baroque sensibilities playfully combine with dark nu-folk to conjure a haunting
tapestry of powerful, modern madrigals. As softly-spoken as it is powerful;
as dreamy as it is melancholic and as enchanting as it is haunting, Rocking
Horse marks the beginning of a new Kelli Ali influenced by
her loves, losses and her life experience." I couldn't have put it better myself!
Each track has a special charm, although a distinctive air runs through them.
The Savages has hints of raw music accompanying a Tudor minuet whereas
shades of electronica and pop knock at Heaven's Door. Urique is
superbly guitar-led with a livelier beat that gives Kelli a chance for some
entertaining note-dancing vocals. A Storm In A Teacup and the haunting
The Kiss are especially calming and relaxing to listen to. When you come
to Flowers you'll appreciate the pleasantly-retro echoes and it reeks
of Flower Power. Water Under The Bridge simply flows superbly and What
To Do has a marvellously addictive musical accompaniment to Kelli's silky
Rocking Horse is influenced by Kelli's nomadic past, during which she
travelled across California and Mexico after the release of her last solo album,
Psychic Cat in 2004. Urique was written in a sacred canyon in
Mexico after hitching a ride with a meths-addicted truck driver, and the title
track emerged after a journey through the Californian wilderness.
Utilizing Richter's classical background, Rocking Horse shimmers with
string quartet and flute arrangements, Cor Anglais [English horn] and
vintage organs, alongside the masterful acoustic guitar playing of Marc Pilley,
Richter's own piano work and Kelli's endearing vocals.
Entering into the world of Rocking Horse, the tracks combine to create a delightful
ambience that transports you to a tranquil place of peace. Listen to this album
reclining comfortably on ethnic floor cushions with low lights and fragrant
candles. And relax…
Rocking Horse was released on 24
November (2008) on One Little Indian. The single What To Do was released
on 10 November 2008 (DL only).
1 Dancing Bears | 2 One Day At A Time | 3 The Savages |
4 Heaven's Door | 5 Urique |
6 Rocking Horse | 7 September Sky | 8 A Storm In A Teacup
| 9 The Kiss | 10 Flowers | 11 Water Under The Bridge |
12 What To Do | 13 The Kiss Epilogue
"Stunning it is immense. A sprawling lament to lost innocence"
"[Kelli Ali's] pleasing new solo album, Rocking Horse, is tailor-made
for her sweet and gentle voice as it sets out on a special adventure into new
age folk and mediaeval melodies, settling around soothing contemporary classical
music" Maggie Woods, MotorBar
Check out myspace.com/kelliali
Rocking Horse Biography
Produced, mixed and engineered by Max Richter, Kelli Ali's Rocking Horse
was recorded between March and May (2008) in Cava Studio in Glasgow and
Castle Sound Studios, Pencaitland.
The album features: Marc Pilley (Acoustic and Electric Guitar and Banjo); Max
Richter (Piano and Organs); Simon Rawson (Viola), Helen Duncan (Cello); Sharleen
Clapperton and Uli Fenner (Violins); Simon Rawson (Viola); Helen Duncan (Cello);
Ruth Morley (Flute); Katherine Macintosh (Cor Anglais and Oboe).
The exceptional cover of Rocking Horse symbolizes the paradox of life,
lost innocence and the pendulum motion of light and dark influences over the
human condition. It is illustrated by Steven Wilson.
Kelli Ali was the lead singer of the Sneaker Pimps for their platinum selling
Becoming X album. She left the band in 1996 and began focusing on writing
her debut solo album Tiger Mouth, along with collaborations and guest
appearances, working with Marilyn Manson, Brian Ferry, Bootsy Collins, Linkin
Park and Paul Oakenfold.
Tiger Mouth, featuring John Densmore of The Doors, was released in 2002
on One Little Indian. Psychic Cat, featuring Andrew Innes (Primal Scream),
followed in 2004 and then Kelli left London to go travelling. Eventually, after
time spent in California and Mexico, Rocking Horse was conceived and
Max Richter was asked to produce the album, based on his work with Vashti Bunyan's
Kelli Ali Discography
Becoming X (Sneaker Pimps 1995); Tiger Mouth (2002); Psychic
Cat (2004); Rocking Horse (2008).