Organ Thing of The Day – a rather beautiful Thing today, the official video for Poppy Ackroyd’s new single ’Suspended’, by Jola Kudela Taken from the forthcoming album ‘Pause’, out now on One Little Independent Records. more details of the single here, the album details are underneath the rather wonderfully relaxing video, those empty streets were kind of relaxing weren’t they?
The album itself – , “Brighton-based performer and composer Poppy Ackroyd returns this with her fourth full-length album ‘Pause’. Written during the pandemic and shortly after the birth of her first child, the title refers to the feeling of normal life being temporarily put on hold”, the album is more of the same beauty you find with the single up there.
And it is slightly strange or ironic or melancholic listening to this deliciously compelling album properly for the first time on the Saturday before Christmas as we all retreat and avoid parties or travelling home for fear of taking the damn bug with us, while we retreat indoors again and avoid people (and I;m tempted to make a sarcastic comment along the line of I bet our damn Prime Minister and his aloof Tory mates are still holding parties and thinking they’re above it all, I won’t, don’t want to being this beautiful album down with that kind of thing). This is a quietly beautiful album, a quiet album, contemplative, alive with time and space, just Poppy Ackroyd and her effortless piano, subtle, thoughtful, just right…
‘Pause’ is a collection of 10 solo piano works. Poppy tells us; “For previous albums, almost as much of the creative process was spent editing and manipulating recordings as it was composing at the piano, however after having my son, I struggled to spend time sat in front of a computer. The only thing I wanted to do while he was still small, if I wasn’t with him, was to play the piano. In fact, much of the album was written with him asleep on me in a sling as I used any quiet moment to compose.It, therefore, made sense that this album should be a solo piano album. I used extended technique – playing with sounds from inside the instrument – like I do in my multi-tracked recordings, however it was important to me that every track on the album could be entirely performed with just two hands on the piano.”Following the writing process Poppy spent several months practicing in order to be able to play the pieces completely fluidly. She says “there was a lightness and effortlessness to the recordings that I wanted that was only achievable after many hours of practice.”
As individual stories ‘Pause’ is compelling and ambitious but in its entirety it’s a flawless snapshot of its time, highlighting the highs and lows of the period as well as a unique and challenging era for its creator. It carries with it a host of stages we’ve all found ourselves working through and has done so with gorgeous, poetic lucidity, all the while expanding on the sounds usually expected of a solo piano record.
And here’s some more from a couple of years back…