Woodenbox frontman, Ali Downer will release his debut solo album, Plastic Throne, on Olive Grove Records on 5 August 2016.
In the winter of 2015, Downer found himself writing a series of songs as little evening ‘calmers’ for his family to enjoy. The collection of songs soon built into an album’s worth of material, which he wanted to record as swiftly as possible.
Soon after, Downer found himself holed up at Chem 19 with acclaimed producer Paul Savage, whom he had previously worked with on Woodenbox’s second album, End Game. “I knew it had to be Paul Savage and Chem 19 the place of holy musical worship. I just loved the piano sounds there.”
Plastic Throne was recorded in less than a week. The idea was to get the tracks down without trying to get perfect takes, to let them flow out and forget about any imperfections and all the usual constraints of modern recording. Letting the space and the tones of the piano create an imaginary orchestra.
Originally planned as a solo, piano-based album, Downer found himself drafting in the help of some friends. Initially, he brought in the Woodenbox brass section, Chuck Dearness and Phil Cardwell on trumpets and Cat Train on violin, followed by Woodenbox drummer Lewis Alexander, who had originally come down to just hang out at Chem 19. Alexander found himself playing down some drums on a vintage Slingerland drum kit that had been salvaged from an old church by Savage.
The piano was loaded up with microphones to capture all the oddities and beauty that it can make, and away they went. The result is Plastic Throne, a collection of life-pondering, soul-searching psychedelic ballads, and sonatas.
Plastic Throne will be released on CD and digital format through Olive Grove Records on 5 August 2016.
First Listen: The Royal Male – Plastic Throne