Black Sedan is a collective of musicians rallied round by the journalist/author/publisher Mark Hodkinson.
Mark began the project two years ago. He explains the name. "When i was growing up. there was a record shop in town (Rochdale to where his family had moved from Manchester) called Black Sedan. I often got close to the door, smelling the patchouli oil and hearing all these great sounds, but was too intimidated to actually go in. By the time i had plucked up the courage, it had closed down.
The album, Adventure Lit Their Star, is furiously varied with no less than five vocalists and upwards of 30 contributing musicians. In it's down tempo, cut up moments it has been said to evoke UKNLE, The Avalanches, The Sound Defects but when it's upfront and at you, it's as simple and direct as power pop maestros Nada Surf, Oh Sees or The Shout Out Louds. And of course there is always Hawkwind - Black Sedan cover Robert Calvert's The Right Stuff and This Is Your Captain Speaking: Your Captain Is Alive is near enough, a tribute to space rock's finest.
"Almost always, you can tell what an album is going to sound like after the first two or three tracks," says Mark. " I think a record should be challenging and eclectic, every song taking you somewhere else.
The opening number is Love On Love featuring lenghty samples from Charlie Chaplin's famous speech in the film, The Great Dictator. " I saw the film years ago and became obsessed with the power and prescience of the speech. Sinch then, i've tried numerous ways to make it work properly as a song. At one point i set it against Davis Bowie's Be My Wife but his management wanted a huge portion of the publishing, so i had to start all over again," he says.
The new version produced by Sean McGhee ( Alanis Morissette, Sugarbabes etc ) has a chorus 'borrowed' from Nada Surf's Blonde On Blonde. " I've had permission from Chaplin's estate and Nada Surf and with Sean's invaluable input, i think we've now framed perfectly the message within a haunting three-minute pop song."
Singer on Love On Love and four more tracks is Kellie While, better known in folk circles with her work with Thea Gilmore, Richard Thompson, Fairport Convention and Martin Simpson.
The other main vocalist is John Matthews, frontman with the newly reformed Manchester band The High. " Kellie is a great singer says Mark " She's not as steeped in the indie shtick as i am, so she takes the songs off somewhere completely unexpected. I've loved John's voice for years and years right back to when he played in a local band called Turning Blue. His voice is unusually vulnerable and as honest as he is."
Other major players on the record include Geoff Read, Miles Moss, Christain Brett and Terry Eaves. " Everyone brought with them their own style of playing or interpretation of what i asked of them, and then trusted me to shape it into a great big slab of lovely thought provoking music," says Mark.
After the album is released Mark faces a busy 2018. His new novel, That Summer Feeling, is published in August.
Lead tracks for radio play, Love on Love and All Fall Down.
Black Sedan Adventure Lit Thier Star:
1. Love On Love
2. Why Are Churches Shaped Like Rockets
3. Americans In England
4. Love Love Love
5. Even Worse
6. Adventure Lit Their Star
7. Joy Riders
8. All Fall Down
9. If I Could Be Where You Are
10. The Girlfriend Self-Help Book
11. How Do The Dead Come Back Mother
12. Nurture The Heart (You Say)
13. The Right Stuff
14. This Is Your Captain Speaking