Some of you may already know that our beloved bassist and front-man has quite an extensive back catalogue of awesome tunes that up until now he has kept to himself, but in 2016 you can expect to hear a lot more music from Stuarty as he is finally giving his solo material a bit of a well deserved push.
2012 marked the start of Hit the B Button but it was the last time Stuart put out any material of his own. Now with a fully kitted out home studio at the ready and years of refined material to choose from, he will deliver an LP in 2016 that promises to be something new and exciting. In the run up to the release of his new album Stuart has made a selection of his private back catalogue available to stream and purchase for the first time from all the regular spots. Check out what’s up for offer below along with a few sample tracks…
A compilation of seven tracks showcasing some of his earliest music. The name comes from his old alias for his solo project and this is what he has to say about the compilation –
“I used to use Seven Monkeys as my solo name because I think I wanted it to seem more like a band rather than a solo artist. I got the name from my Brother who had told me about his friend’s band who had this amazing song called Seven Monkeys, which I still to this day have never heard. I used to try and think of what that song would sound like and ended up putting it so high on a pedestal that if you gave me the chance to listen to it now, I don’t think I could do it…it’d destroy the illusion of a perfect song! The funny thing is that I found out later that the song was actually called ’12 Monkeys’ after the Bruce Willis film. I don’t know if I misheard it or if my Brother got it wrong, but I thought it was pretty funny that I had this idea of some perfect song out there and I didn’t even have the title right!”
The April Fool
Previously released on 1st April 2012, Stuart’s 20th Birthday, this album is one I rave about constantly to anyone who will listen. Due to a lack of promotion at the time this gem was only heard by a small minority. The songs from the April Fool were written around the time he was moving out of our Parents’ house at the age of nineteen. In fact, the album cover actually shows his old bedroom with all of his prized possessions ready to be boxed up. In his own words –
“The April Fool was made before I moved out of my Mum and Dad’s place, I spent what little money I had left on microphones, a small mixer and an electronic drum kit. I was pretty much learning how to use all this new stuff during the recording process, which probably wasn’t the best idea but it didn’t turn out half bad! I have a lot more knowledge when it comes to producing and engineering now than I did back then, but it doesn’t really bother me listening back because that perfectly reflects that point in my life when I was a little inexperienced.”
There is so much variation on this album that once you hear it you will understand one of the many strengths Stuart brings to Hit the B Button. The April Fool is a coming of age tale that deals with the anxiety of having to become an adult. The opening track shows Stuart who once seen a world full of possibilities and adventure coming to terms with his new found adulthood. The record is filled with happy-go-lucky riffs that try to cover up the dark subtext that dwells within the lyrics such as Stuart’s fear of becoming alcohol dependent on fan favourite ‘Beach’ or the panic of not knowing what to do with your life on ‘Sunset Blvd.’ All of these fears and worries are held together by three brilliantly strange interludes which nicely tie the whole album together in one big anxious package.
Downsystem Live Sessions EP
Finally an interview with Stuart was filmed by DownSystem Productions at the end of December which contained three unheard songs performed acoustically. The live session recordings have now been released as a companion EP to accompany the interview itself. Although the songs have never been released before, Stuart says they are not what he would call new material and were written at a time when he considered doing solo acoustic live shows about a year ago, in the downtime when Hit the B Button was struggling to find a drummer. Catch the interview along with all the tracks on the video below…
These releases are now all available to purchase on ITunes, Amazon Music, Google Play or direct from Stuart’s Bandcamp page you can also have a listen for free by streaming from Spotify and Deezer. Stuart’s new album will be out later this year along with the debut record from his side project ‘The Cosmic Crows’ which is a soul/funk outfit with long-time friend Curtis Crowe on lead vocals. To keep up to date with the latest developments on Stuartys solo stuff check out his Facebook page.