Liam Frost has released brilliant new single Mercy Me, taken from the cult Manchester singer-songwriter’s first album for a decade, The Latchkey Kid, due September 13 via AWAL. The album also contains previous singles Pomona and The Slow Knife, which were both playlisted at Radio X.
“Mercy Me was the last song that I wrote for the album,” says Frost. “Listening to the collection of songs as a whole, I felt it could do with one more banger, something upbeat and fun. I didn’t touch a guitar, I built the rhythm from stomps, claps and a few vocal samples and they remained in the final recording from the first demo. Lyrically the song is about frustration at my position as a musician – frustration at where I feel I should be as opposed to where I actually am!”
Recorded at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios, The Latchkey Kid offers a uniquely north-western take on alt-country, as if the countryside in question was the Peak District rather than Nebraska. No mere stylistic affectation, Americana has been Frost’s biggest source of inspiration and joy since he discovered artists like Josh Rouse, Whiskeytown, Bright Eyes, and Josh Ritter as a teenager.
Liam Frost was signed to a major label in the mid-noughties when barely out of his teens. Recorded with backing band The Slowdown Family, debut album Show Me How The Spectres Dance was released in 2006. A second, fully solo album We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain – recorded in New York with producer Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave, PJ Harvey) and featuring a duet with Martha Wainwright – followed in 2009. There has been activity since then, notably a number of reunion shows with The Slowdown Family to celebrate the anniversary of Show Me How The Spectres Dance. Buoyed by the reaction to those special events, it both reassured Liam that his audience were still listening, and showed him that if anything, while he’d been away it had grown.
Digging into his past pushed Liam to march onward, sparking a six-month period of immense creativity. And, as he found himself seeking answers to evergreen existential questions, prompted by tragic events in his personal life, he looked to his youth for the answers. The resulting songs – each a meditation on love, death, ageing and finding a place in the world – are full of hope amid the heartache, finding bittersweet in the sadness.
Frost will celebrate the release of The Latchkey Kid with a show at Servants Jazz Quarters on September 18, which sold-out within minutes of going on sale.
The Latchkey Kid is released on September 13, 2019 via AWAL.
1. Going Steady
2. Hall Of Mirrors, Rope Of Sand
3. Mercy Me
4. Didn’t It Rain
6. The Slow Knife
8. Who’s Gonna Love You
9. When I’m Alone
10. Follow You Around
11. Lover, Trouble Knows My Name
Liam Frost live:
Sept 14/15 Birmingham The Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival
Sept 18 London Servants Jazz Quarters (SOLD OUT)
Sept 21 Manchester Cathedral, Concert For Kosovo
October 18 Bury Met