Jim McCulloch releases a new album ‘When I Mean What I Say’, on Violette Records.
Available now on 10″ vinyl, the first long-player under his own name – though the Glasgow-based musician has a vast back catalogue, including as a member of BMX Bandits, Superstar, and most notably The Soup Dragons, collaborations with Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, and leading projects such as Green Peppers and, with Anna Sheard, Snowgoose.
Including the recently-released single / title track, the nine songs form an “elp” – a format halfway between EP and LP recently initiated by Violette.
Written in Donegal and recorded pre-lockdown by Kevin Burleigh at Gorbals Sound, McCulloch was joined on the record by Dave McGowan on bass, drummer Adam Stearns, and Sophie Rocks on harp, while Rachel Jack provided vocals on new single ‘Shining Bright’.
Of the new record, McCulloch said: “I came to the realisation that to be an artist is to be free, to not worry about opprobrium. But I also realised that I have to pay the bills every month and that others have to live with and are reliant on the creative decisions I make.
“Andrew Loog Oldham nailed it when he described the Stones as being at the dividing line between Art and Commerce. It`s such a fine line to walk.”
Of his new label, he added: “Violette Records are kindred spirits in the music world. Their ethos, aesthetic and generosity of spirit chime with me.
“Once I had finished the album, they were the only record company I sent it off to-the only record company I thought could do it justice.”
McCulloch’s new label was founded by Michael Head (Shack, The Pale Fountains) and has recently put out similar 10” vinyl releases including Departure Lounge, The Pistachio Kid and Studio Electrophonique.
The record has already received plaudits from some of McCulloch’s contemporaries, including Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, who described the new songs as “Wonderful sounds”, while Mark Lanegan said: “Jim McCulloch is the song-writer’s songwriter, having honed his craft to a razor-sharp edge over the course of 30-plus years as a recording artist.”
Isobel Campbell added: “For as long as I can remember Jim has quietly crafted these exquisitely beautiful and melodic songs: heartfelt, soul-deep and master guitar playing.”
And former BMX bandmate Duglas T Stewart enthused: “The thing about Jim is, compared to some, including me, he isn’t one to blow his own trumpet. So let me do it for him. Jim is the real deal, as a singer, a songwriter and a musician. He always brings great taste, skill and humanity to whatever he does.”