Binkley tackles themes via light pop, hard rock, gritty Americana and reggae collaborations with the late Toots Hibbert
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, May 19, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — Cleverly chronicling the ever-shifting sands of his personal life and the American socio-political landscape, singer/songwriter Nick Binkley’s epic fourth album, “Stardust Angels Ghosts,” covers a wide range of hard-hitting and emotional subject matter via a colorful and eclectic. mix that includes tender romantic ballads, hard-edge rockers, infectious light pop, gritty Americana and singsong reggae in collaboration with Jamaican legend “Toots” Hibbert of award-winning band Toots and the Maytals. Grammys.
Listen to “Star Angels Ghosts” on Spotify
The 11-track collection (12 if you count the “ghost track,” a second version of “Brown-Eyed Angel”) is slated for release on May 19. Her debut single “Cherry,” an old-school love song reminiscent of the charming spirit of a Brill Building pop confection, was released on April 21. The song serves as a playful, airy romantic oasis from the deeply empowering, spiritual, and existential themes that are at the heart of “Stardust Angels Ghosts.”
Binkley releases the project eight years after his critically acclaimed hit 100 Parts of Heart, which celebrated and praised the life of his late wife and reflected on the long healing process, his shadowy movement from darkness and despair to glimpses of light. The emotional core of the new album are the three personal yet universal, wildly romantic and gratitude-filled “Sam Songs” – “Brown Eyed Angel”, “Black on White” and “J’can Girl” – which collectively show a heart that is healed, healthy and loving full throttle again. But reflecting on his being the proverbial Phoenix rising from the flames of loss and despair via the angel in his life is just part of the album’s multi-faceted magic.
“The album feels like the coming of a circle and the closing of a powerful chapter in my life, reflecting a time when I contemplated the shifting sands of my own life and the rapid changes taking place in our country. and the world,” says Binkley, whose song “100 Parts of Heart” peaked at No. 4 on Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Country Charts in 2014. “The songs reflect the spiritual shifts and romantic awakening in my own life after the death of my first wife while drawing from the years dominated by Trump, the pandemic and dangerous political polarization.
“Metaphorically,” adds the singer, “I can relate the theme to ‘Novi Mir’, a political activist song that I wrote and recorded with Russian pop star Vyacheslav Malezhik 25 years ago, the title of which translated as ‘New Peace’ or ‘New World.’ Considering all that’s going on in our tattered relationship with Russia now, the song comes across as a ghost of all that could have been. I’m re-releasing it as a streaming single, along with a new remastered video that includes rehearsal footage of the two of us from 26 years ago.
On May 14, Binkley performed the songs from “Stardust Angels Ghosts” with a 14-piece ensemble at an exclusive, invite-only pre-release event at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, San Diego County. in California. They played two full sets, one with a full audience and one without, and the performances were filmed for future promotional streaming opportunities.
The cover imagery of “Stardust Angels Ghosts” by San Diego-based artist Rion Schmid is an adventurous revelation. It depicts a vibrant, mystical, visually provocative and thematically illustrative depiction of a troubadour moving like a ghost through a dreamy, impressionistic desert landscape within a bright and colorful cityscape crackling with fiery energy. (In a more literal sense, when he was once in the Peace Corps in Tunisia, Binkley spent days at a time in the desert landscapes of the Sahara). The concept aligns so perfectly with HG Wells’ classic 1897 novel “The Invisible Man” that Schmid used the unique font that appeared on the original book cover for the album title.
Examining his fascinating, multifaceted careers in and outside of music, Binkley resonates with the idea of the “invisible man” in a variety of very personal ways. “The troubadour in me is like a ‘ghost in my own lost and found’, visiting many different areas in song over the course of my life,” he says. “When I think back to my life in the skyscrapers of New York, London and LA and the music that life has inspired, and my participation in the production of ‘Free To Rock’, I feel like a visitor to for sure, but a participating visitor, passing through all these worlds, ghost and angel, surreal and real.
“Stardust Angels Ghosts” was produced by Nick Binkley with co-production credits shared by Valery Saifudinov, Steve Dudas and Mark Hart. “Black on White” and “J’can Girl” were arranged and produced by Toots Hibbert who also played drums, keyboards and guitar on the tracks, and recorded by Nigel Burrell at Reggae Center, Kingston, Jamaica . The main tracks were recorded by Saifudinov at Flight #19 studios in San Diego, with remote recording of instrumental and vocal tracks by Steve Dudas, Mark Hart and Clinton Davis. The main band includes Binkley on vocals and acoustic guitars; Dudas on solo electric guitars; Hart on backing vocals, keyboards, Hammond B-3 organ, and steel pedals and slide guitars; Richard Sellers on drums and percussion; and Mike Kennedy on bass.
Michael Jensen and Nichole Peters-Good