The Hope & Ruin
- 11-12 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3WA, Brighton
- 01273 325793
Magic dwells in the strangest of places. It’s not something you stumble upon. You have to look for it. Lift up rocks, explore caves, rub enchanted lamps, that sort of thing. If you’re a fan of many-limbed genre-benders To Kill A King – and while members of the London band are presently more likely to be working the bar of your local megaplex venue than gracing the main stage, a great many are - chances are that, beneath the oddness, beneath their relentless commitment to doing things differently, you’ve heard something that sounded much like magic buried within the band’s very special songs.
If you didn’t, then we invite you to spend some time in the company of that band’s music leader Ralph Pelleymounter and his debut solo album, Dead Debutant’s Ball.
Recorded by rising production talent Gethin Pearson (Kele Okereke, JAWS, Orla Gartland) in ten long days during Britain’s hottest summer in decades, and named so “because it’s a good title for someone releasing a solo album so late in their career”, Dead Debutant’s Ball is a record that carries a similar sense of mirth and mischief throughout its fourteen songs. There is, it must never be forgotten, a song here called The History Of Line Dancing. There are two about lobsters. But there is also brave storytelling here. A deep well of emotion. Magic.
It’s the clearest and most direct presentation of contemporary Britain’s most underrated songwriter to date.
“There are choices I made of this album that I doubt would have made it past the hydra debates of To Kill A King,” explains Ralph. “It’s quite scary going it alone and not having the usual sounding boards. I was strange not having the rest of the band in the room, but this is my fourth album and I feel like I know what I want more than ever. I'm not sure these songs would really belong on a To Kill A King album either. They are for the most part quite short personal songs, the sort of thing I'd play for myself backstage before we'd play a gig.” It’s not the first time Ralph has made music outside of the band; Bastille fans are eagerly awaiting a release date for Ralph’s side project with Dan Smith, a graphic novel with songs called Annie Oakley Hanging, and he’s also written songs with BRIT Award winner Rag’n’Bone Man.