New Model Army Founder + Singer/songwriter Justin Sullivan Shares “Clean Horizon” — Listen 

On May 28, Justin Sullivan steps out from New Model Army to release his second solo album. It comes 18 years after his first solo album — 2003’s Navigating by the Stars.

Surrounded is a collection of 16 new songs written in the first weeks of the 2020 lockdown. These songs are again stunning guitar and vocal compositions highlighting Sullivan’s love of storytelling, wide open landscapes, and unforgettable atmospheres. Pre-order it here.

Today, Sullivan has shared “Clean Horizon.” Listen here.

“I think that unaffected simplicity is the holy grail for songwriters, but of course, you can’t make it happen by force of will or by hard work,” Sullivan says about his process. “I think that it’s more a case of being open to what comes. Just occasionally there are songs that kind of write themselves. I fall into conversation with a person –  it might be someone I know well or a complete stranger – and in the course of the conversation, I can suddenly see directly into the person’s heart, I can read their story and I ‘feel them’ and I want to write it. Combine this with a simple melody and it’s done.”  

He furthers, “‘Clean Horizon’ was one such song written very quickly the morning after one of these conversations, recorded at home with just a guitar and voice and with the later addition of my friend Tobias Unterberg’s emotive cellos.”

Sullivan previously shared the video for the first single “Amundsen,” which gives an emotional first insight into this very personal album, here.

Mostly recorded at home, Surrounded also features contributions from many other musicians including Jon Thorne on bass (Lamb), Tom Moth (Florence and the Machine  and brother of NMA bassist Ceri Monger) on harp, plus string arrangements from composer friends Tobias Unterberg, Henning Nügel, and Shir-Ran Yinon. Also featured are the current members of New Model Army. The album was mixed by Lee Smith, co-producer and mixer of New Model Army’s recent albums, including 2019’s From Here, at Greenmount Studios in Leeds.
Under the circumstances, it wasn’t particularly surprising that this was the moment to make another solo record and the songs came thick and fast in the first few weeks of the lockdown,” Sullivan shares about the album. “There is not so much about ‘what’s happening in the world.’ As with Navigating by the Stars, which was written in the aftermath of 9/11, I wanted to write about other things — some well-known stories, some less well-known, a few autobiographical, and more a landscape of the imagination than social comment. I’m grateful for all the many musical contributions I received from friends that helped create all the different atmospheres and places; it’s a long album, but it seems that all the songs belonged together in one collection. I hope people enjoy it.”
The release of Surrounded will be accompanied by the re-release of Sullivan’s only previous solo album. 2003’s Navigating by the Stars was released on CD but has been unavailable for many years. Described by The Independent as having “the warm organic quality of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks,” the audio of this new version has not been altered but carries two additional tracks: “Sooner or Later,” which first appeared on a B-side in 2003, and “The Wreck of The Essex,” a song written and recorded later that same year that has laid dormant ever since except for a few live performances. Navigating by the Stars will be available digitally and, for the the first time ever, on vinyl. In addition, the debut album will come in a CD digisleeve edition with an expanded booklet as part of a limited CD box set edition of Surrounded, followed by a standalone release later this year.
“28TH MAY”


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