Liam Frost has today released haunting new single The Slow Knife, the second track to be lifted from the cult Manchester singer-songwriter’s first album for a decade, The Latchkey Kid (due September 13 via AWAL) following acclaimed lead single Pomona.
Recorded at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios, The Latchkey Kid wears Frost’s love of Americana proudly on its sleeve. No mere stylistic affectation, this music has been his biggest source of inspiration and joy since he discovered artists like Josh Rouse, Whiskeytown, Bright Eyes, and Josh Ritter as a teenager. Melded with Frost’s characteristically north-western delivery, the result is pure idiosyncrasy. Alt-country, if the countryside in question was the Peak District rather than Nebraska.
“I think that when I was writing The Slow Knife I tried to approach the negative aspects of adults in relationships, living together,” says Liam of the new single. “The idea of how two people can grow independently over time, becoming almost unrecognisable to each other while living under the same roof, and longing for the desire of the earlier days or simpler times.”
The subject of a typically intense A&R scramble, 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 albumShow 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 ofShow 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.
In the aftermath of his mum passing away, Liam began sorting through her possession. Among them, a box of memorabilia from the early days of his career. The “chequer-flag Vans and an old suit jacket” of what would become the opening line to Smoke stared back at him from a 15-year-old press cutting, immediately taking him back to the days of innocence before his debut album was released. The remainder of the song followed shortly after, bolstered by an emotional visit to a childhood haunt on the north-west coast, where raw grief and the weight of family history were succeeded with acceptance and responsibility.
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 on Emperor 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:
July 21 Stockport, Blackthorn Festival
Sept 18 London, Servants Jazz Quarters (SOLD OUT)