Freedom Street is Chris Coco's debut album on his new label, Melodica Recordings. It follows 2009's Feel Free Live Good which came out on Big Chill Records.
Freedom Street is a real place in south London. Freedom Street is an imaginary state of grace in the city, a feeling of belonging, a sense of letting go on a spectacularly hot summer's day. It's about living in London now, it's coloured by the music of the past. It's about feeling good, in a kind of melancholy way. It's about being laid back, but ready for action. It's about new ways of seeing old things, about a sense of wonder for familiar surroundings.
It kicks off with 'Word,'a track inspired by early Factory Records dance acts like Quando Quango, featuring scottish singer Andrew Docherty. Andrew took the backing track and came back with a fully formed song, complete with horn section and distortion.
Letter From Erika' follows, featuring vocalist Dan Rowe. Here's what Chris had to say about it: 'This is a letter in the form of a song from a friend of ours who lives in Berlin. It's about freedom and love and fighting for a better future. The names have been changed, Erika is actually the brand of typewriter she used to write the letter. You can hear the sound of it in the finished mix.'
Next up we have Melodica's debut release, 'Holiday.' The track features Scottish folk artist Samantha Whates doing her best to sound like the ghost of Astrud Gilberto and the clinking of ice in glasses of a rather lovely Italian rosé for inspiration and general good vibes.
'Down To The Sea' is an attempt to capture the Balearic spirit, dubwise, complete with vocals from the wonderful Dayeene sisters from Sweden. This is one to play at Cafe Del Mar while having a momentary existential crisis.
'St James Grove' is up next, featuring Mike Bone on the Trombone. St James Grove is the street down the road from Chris, it's an ordinary street but in summer, when the roses in the front yards are in bloom and the sun shines at a certain angle on the brickwork, it's kind of beautiful.
Track six on the album, 'My Desire' 'started off a bit gothic but ended up sounding like the soundtrack for an American cop show,' says Chris. It features Lisa Lindley-Jones on vocals. You might know her from her work with her band Dark Horses and her appearances with Unkle.
'Elton Dub' captures a one off lounge piano performance by the maestro Sacha Puttnam. The original jam was recorded at Sacha's country studio hideaway in the depths of County Cork in Ireland.
'End Of The World' is a happy sad song, the music is kind of sweet but the words are a little dark. It was originally inspired by sunny holidays, then Chris and vocalist Jim Sturgess both read The Road and something a little cloudy happened.
Next up, and to finish the vinyl release, we arrive at 'Love You So.' The title is self explanatory really, it's a floating love song without many words. The original idea came from playing around with a Yamaha Tenorion with singer Dexter.
To compliment the Digital package we've got a few gems to to tide you over on those long commutes. First up is 'Freedom Street' Featuring Dexter Stokes-Mellor on vocals. This one's about trying to capture that feeling of being a kid, just walking down the street, nowhere to go, nothing to do, no worries.
'South Side Rocker' is a sort of half buried homage to Harry J Allstars' Liquidator and, therefore also to the boys in blue at The Bridge.
Love Your Afro' serves up some more of that Balearic business with that man Mike on the trombone. To finish the WHOLE thing off, we've got 'Splash Point' featuring Captain Bliss, who makes his harmonica sound like a voice. The only thing is nobody can understand the lyrics.
Available on 12" Vinyl and Digital this Summer.
2 Letter From Erika (Mellor/Rowe) vox: Dan Rowe.
3 Holiday (Mellor/Cornu/Whates) vox: Samantha Whates.
4 Down To The Sea (Mellor/Puttnam) vox: Dayeene.
5 St James Grove (Mellor) trombone: Mike Bone.
6 My Desire (Mellor/Puttnam/Lindley-Jones) vox: Lisa Lindley-Jones.
7 Elton Dub (Mellor/Puttnam) piano: Sacha Puttnam.
8 End Of The World (Mellor/Puttnam/Sturgess) vox: Jim Sturgess.
9 Love You So (Mellor/Stokes-Mellor/Puttnam) vox: Dan Rowe.
10 Freedom Street (Mellor/Stokes-Mellor) vox: Dexter Stokes-Mellor.
11 South Side Rocker (Mellor) melodica: Chris Coco.
12 Love Your Afro (Mellor/Puttnam) trombone: Mike Bone.
13 Splash Point (Mellor/Bliss) harmonica: Captain Bliss.
Produced and mixed by Chris Coco at Freedom Street, London.
Mastered by Steve Miller in Another Country.
Published by Copyright Control