''By The Banks Of The A350'' is the latest release from Blake – ''The thinking woman''s James Blunt''. This prolific songwriter from the west of England has recorded and released five albums in two years – over three and a half hours of music, most of which was made in his two bedroom cottage just off the A350 in Wiltshire. Of this latest project, Blake says: “I never meant to record an entire album so quickly after ''Carruthers Gets Bashed'', I was just going to release an E.P. I''d written this song called ''Hope You Know'', basically an ode to my wife, and I had a few other things kicking about which I thought I might as well put out. One of those things was an instrumental version of the traditional English folk song ''Banks Of The Sweet Primroses'' which I''d recorded a la Mike Oldfield overdubbing various instruments playing the same melody again and again. Then the album title sprang to mind and suddenly a load of songs came pouring out. ''Soul Agent Parts 1 & 2'' I wrote after listening to Mark Lamarr''s alternative 60s show on Radio 2 one evening. ''Kiss of Judas'' is a bitter song about a betrayal by a close friend – it wrote itself. ''Goodbye Cruel Pop World'' is a valedictory song and fairly self-explanatory. Mr Dawkins should be titled Dr Dawkins really, but my brother-in-law has a PhD and he never uses Dr unless he''s booking a table in a fancy restaurant. Anyway, it''s about Richard Dawkins, the world''s most famous atheist... well, after Stalin and Hitler, of course. ''Being With You'' is a song I wrote about six years ago but I''d never recorded. It takes me back to that time when my life was completely different. ''Yuri Searches For God'' came about after a jam between myself and the Tascam. I love instrumentals and I was actually trying to write something really relaxing but it took a different course. I''d recorded ''Falling'' for ''Final Whistle'' but for some reason I held it back from that project and also ''Carruthers Gets Bashed''. I''m glad because it fits in perfectly here and is maybe the best song. ''You''ve Got To Give It Up, Baby'' was quickly tossed off, as it were. I suppose I was aiming for a basic Velvets-y thing. I was far happier with ''Almost Blue'' – it took no time to record - not that my stuff generally does, obviously - but it just all slotted together naturally. Actually, this may be the best one. ''Baby Don''t Be Down'' is another one from a few years back. Karmatruffle played it a few times at acoustic nights. I never liked it much but my mate Paul (Karmatruffle guitarist who still plays with me) says it''s one of his favourites. ''Sevens & Nines'' was my attempt at Goldfrapp-style electro-pop, except it''s more electro-blues. It''s the only thing I''ve ever recorded with a complete absence of guitars. I wrote ''I Believe In You'' on holiday in Cornwall this summer. I was listening to Athlete''s second album a lot at the time. Finally, ''Come To Me'' didn''t really record well – it was better as an acoustic demo, but despite this I preferred it to the other four songs I ended up leaving off the album. They will no doubt appear on next year''s rarities project “Antheology” along with other unreleased songs from my archives dating back to 2000.”
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