FaulknerHand Built by Robots [album]
quirky album with a
quirky title. Newton
Faulkners debut album, Hand Built by Robots,
was released on 30 July.
The single, Dream Catch
Me, was released on 23
July and, not surprisingly,
has already caught the
imagination. It has been
added to the Radio 1,
Radio 2, Virgin and Capital
playlists and is
in the Top 40 Airplay...
A GUITAR WIZARD WITH A LILTING, GENTLE VOICE, Newton Faulkner's album
is a cornucopia of influential styles. Just when you think you've pigeon-holed
him as blues, he changes tempo and goes for something different.
The 22-year-old singer/song-writer spent two years below the radar gigging and
recording before quickly becoming one of 2006's DIY success stories with his
first two EPs selling out their limited run of 3,000 copies and reaching Number
One on the Amazon singles chart.
The Hand Built by Robots album, which includes Dream Catch Me,
is the result of two years song-writing and recording while on the road. The
album showcases the versatile writing, vocal gift and skilled musical talent
of the man who has been described as "the next UK music superstar in waiting".
Newton's work is appealing, wistful and easy to listen to with its toe-tapping
rhythms that you'll find difficult to get off your mind. His popularity has
spread by word of mouth and his Myspace went into meltdown with an incredible
300,000 plays in the last year. His sell-out headline dates and support slots
for Paolo Nutini and James Morrison has served to attract both new fans and
One fan personally asked Newton to play at his birthday party having been "blown
away" by his incredible guitar playing. Newton was taught guitar by the legendary
Eric Roche and his use of the instrument is awesome as his fingers dance lazily
over his guitar. He manages effortlessly and uniquely to blend finger-picking
and multiple harmonics with a pulls-and-tap technique that turns his guitar
into a percussion instrument.
Newton has also made waves on the UK surf circuit and has been taken to surfer
hearts following a legendary support slot for cult artist Donavon Frankenreiter
in Cornwall. From sell-outs at large venues in the South West, he will be playing
at surf favourite Newquay Unleashed in Watergate Bay this summer.
Newton has played live at several festivals this summer and more are to be announced.
His biggest London headline show was at the Union Chapel and his current UK
tour throughout June and July was sold out no surprise for someone of
his talent. His lyrics are worth as much as the creativity with strings that
produces his light yet raw, summer music.
Produced by Andy McKim and Mike Spencer (Jamiroquai) Hand Built by Robots
has been recorded on the road over the last year in a variety of studios including
a church in Cornwall and in the barn where Newton lives. The album includes
his last single I Need Something, which propelled him on to the Radio
1 playlist for the first time.
Newton's laid-back singing and his dancing fingers have earned him praise in
high places. Observer Music Monthly says: "Faulkner is an absolute guitar ace
whose debut album is a definite candidate for sound-track of the summer."
"A guitar virtuoso and talented songwriter, Newton has been winning over ever-growing
audiences with his inviting, at times mind-boggling performances" Album
of the Week
"Interest in Faulkner is fast approaching critical mass" Music Week
To steal a title from his album, People Should Smile More perhaps they
would if they watched Newton Faulkner perform.
Newton Faulkner's single, Dream Catch Me, is available now.
Track list: To The Light; Teardrop; Dream Catch Me;
All I Got; I Need Something; UFO; Feels Like Home;
Uncomfortably Slow; People Should Smile More; Gone In the Morning;
Ageing Superhero; Straight Toward the Sun and Lullaby.
Hand Built by Robots by Newton Faulkner
is on sale now.
NEWTON FAULKNER BIOGRAPHY
A FRIEND OF MOTORBAR heard 22-year-old Newton Faulkner's Dream
Catch Me being played on the radio yesterday. Sounded kind of catchy. But
who is this guy and what does he do?
Acoustic guitar like you've never heard it before, for a start. Newton does
things to six strings that boggle the senses. His gently throaty blues croon
speaks of backwoods and beaches. And, his publicity machine says, the badlands.
Of Surrey? Okaaay…
After picking up a guitar for the first time at 13, Newton spent many afternoons
teaching himself how to play. With a natural empathy with the instrument, by
16 he found himself at the prestigious Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford.
With only three years experience under his belt and aware that many of his fellow
students would have been playing guitar since they were munchkins, Newton spent
every waking hour before ACM almost glued to his guitar and under the tutelage
of the Academy's Head of Guitar legendary innovative guitarist Eric Roche**
his bourgeoning talent evolved. "It was Rock School," he says. Other
students were seriously into "heavy metal shredding", but he was creating his
own style of rhythmic, percussive playing.
After a stint in a teenage wannabe punk-rock band, he played in another outfit
called Half Guy "everyone else was playing angry metal in church halls
so we thought we'd be perverse and be the happiest band in town. My guitar was
The responsibilities of being, effectively, the band's manager, soon took their
toll and Newton began writing and gigging on his own, securing not only a publishing
deal but also a record deal with Ugly Truth, a new subsidiary of SonyBMG.
At the end of 2006 came the UFO EP, co-written with his brother. The lead track
is a rippling, infectious tune that had earned him a standing ovation at one
of Jo Whiley's Little Noise gigs.
UFO was followed by his first real single I Need Something, which propelled
Newton straight onto the Radio 1 Playlist for the first time. Follow up Dream
Catch Me became a much-coveted Jo Whiley Record of the Week and full scale
nation-wide support slots for James Morrison and Paulo Nutini helped send his
myspace into meltdown with over 300,000 plays in less than four months.
Now a fully-fledged touring artist, Newton has been playing at several major
festivals in summer 2007, including Glaston-bury, Cambridge Folk Festival, V,
Wireless and Newquay Unleashed.
Newton wowed the Cornwall surf scene, landing prestigious support slots with
Jack Johnson's cult buddy Donavon Fran-kenreiter. Check out the genius cover
of Massive Attack's Teardrop, dropped into a set to silence a rowdy crowd whilst
supporting Paulo Nutini during the World Cup, and the Python-esque wit with
which Newton is fast winning over UK audiences.
It's this inventiveness that made him one of the most buzzed about DIY artists
of 2006. With zero promotion or money his first release, last spring's Full
Fat EP, reached Amazon Singles Chart Number One
"The shuffling beats; Faulkner's laid-back singing and gutsy holler; the chewy
blues riffs; the 'tapping' of strings struck a chord (!) with any-one who had
stumbled across his shows in the South-West, causing the low-key release to
sell out its 3,000 copies. With his wonder-fully dexterous approach to guitar,
Faulkner is as exciting to watch as he is to hear."
"You can have stuff coming from both sides of the strings," explains Newton
(his guitar was built to take a hammering!). "There are certain frets which
work really well you get two notes and they harmonise with themselves."
Newton, the publicity machine says, "just wants to move us, and him-self, with
his music" and he prefers writing while he's touring: "Every-thing makes more
sense on the road," he says.
July 2007 saw the release of Newton's debut album Hand Built by Robots,
which showcases not only those fantastic vocals but also his wistful and intelligent
lyrics that are delivered with tremendous wit and that staggering version of
Teardrop. Only a few would have attempted a reinvention of Liz Fraser's spectral
vocal and Massive Attack's symphonic majesty.
But Faulkner does with style. While his guitar gently weeps, his voice
quietly soars. What magic next from those fingers, that throat and that instrument?
Hang onto your seats...
** The phenomenal Eric Roche lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday, 6 September,
2005. He died peacefully in his sleep, with his wife Cindy by his side. He had
been told of the Academy of Contemporary Music's intention to rename
its Guitar School the ACM Eric Roche Guitar School.
A consummate artiste, Eric had been the head of the School for many years, and
was honoured that his teaching philosophy, curriculum and ethos would be preserved
at the school for future generations.
Deeply spiritual, Eric has been described as one of the most genuine and inspirational
people you are ever likely to meet.