Our Song of the Day is also a video première from the debut album from Tony Wright (former founding member of And So I Watch You From Afar) and his new project VerseChorusVerse. The music is just as sophisticated as his work with his former band but it does represent an interesting departure from that sound, with a more acoustic / americana approach to songwriting. To put the video in context, the producer Iain Archer (Ivor Novello winner, Jake Bugg, Fionn Regan) wouldn’t let him record it until he’d drank half a bottle of whiskey (hence his yelling “rock n roll!” at the end!), in a dark church at midnight, ALONE. He told me he was terrified at first but the whiskey soon sorted that out. Good ol’ Whiskey.
VerseChorusVerse is a force of change – terra firma unexplored. Tony likes moving forward, because he knows the world is moving with him. Finding a firm alliance with an acoustic guitar, a strong acquaintance with a harmonica and even a fling with some mariachi brass, he writes words and music that come right from his heart, holding a mirror up to the world at large and seeking positivity.
People are already paying attention, from fans who have loyally followed him from his old band to musical contemporaries he’s shared stages with, such as Michael Kiwanuka who praised Tony for his ‘powerful songs’ and admitted he’s a sucker for a harmonica player. Daniel Johnston was equally complimentary (although became slightly more excited when he decided that Tony looked like Eric Idle of The Rutles). Aside from apparently looking like the most musical Monty Python, most sense a real classicism to Wright’s solo project, likening his new work to Neil Young, Tom Petty, and even further oldies such as Delta bluesman Skip James and folk legend Woody Guthrie. Others see the ghost of Joe Strummer, particularly via his rebellious streak, sometimes politicised lyrics and musical experimentation.
Not limiting his new moniker to just a musical project, early 2013 saw the launch of a video project, “VerseChorusVideo – The Inches EP”, in which 4 singles were released, all self performed and produced, featuring Tony’s directorial and acting debut. One of the videos, “Nothing Is Easy”, was nominated for best short music film at the well respected Limelight Short Film Awards in London. The Project was a critical success and lauded in all circles concerned. This album will see more of the same as Tony continues to flex his creative talents across audio and visual platforms.
His extensive solo gigs across the UK, Ireland and Europe have left people rapt and reeling from a particular authenticity and honesty. With an album produced by Iain Archer (Ivor Novello winner, Jake Bugg, Fionn Regan, Luke Sital Singh), and a restless desire to get out in the world to perform these songs and connect with people, VerseChorusVerse has only just started to mould its intricate shape. So start paying attention, because this is the beginning. And everyone knows the beginning is the most crucial part.
VerseChorusVerse is out April 7th on Third Bar. He will also be appearing at this year’s Camden Rocks (31st May) and Hit The Deck festival (19-20th April).