The last time Sarah Cracknell put out a solo album it was 1997, so Red Kite is technically her first record in 18 years. Of course, Cracknell has kept busy during the interim as the vocalist for the romanticized-pop trio Saint Etienne. She sings with a sweetness that’s almost cloying and she veers toward theatrical enunciation, but “On The Swings” balances her fastidiousness with a deep pastoral stillness. It’s no surprise then, that Cracknell cites influences like Marianne Faithful and the Beach Boys on Red Kite. The album was recorded and produced by Carwyn Ellis (Colorama) and Seb Lewsley (Edwyn Collins), and here’s what she had to say about the record’s aims:
The first influences Carwyn and I started talking about were records by Marianne Faithful and lots of baroque pop music like the Left Banke. From there, we started taking inspiration from records by Ennio Morricone, Joe Meek, the Beach Boys. We were drawn to records where the productions are properly out there; records where an odd instrument or noise sits right at the top of the mix and becomes the hook. I wanted to accentuate the wrong thing and try to stop people in their tracks. On the more upbeat tracks, Felt records from the Cherry Red years were a real cornerstone, records that had space and air in them.
Listen to “On The Swings” and check out the full tracklist below.
Red Kite tracklist:
01 “On The Swings”
02 “Nothing Left To Talk About” (featuring Nicky Wire)
03 “In The Dark ”
04 “Ragdoll ”
05 “Underneath The Stars ”
06 “Hearts Are For Breaking ”
07 “Take The Silver” (featuring The Rails)
08 “The Mutineer ”
09 “I Close My Eyes ”
10 “It’s Never Too Late ”
11 “I Am Not Your Enemy ”
12 “Favourite Chair”
Red Kite is out 6/15 via Cherry Red.