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On 28th July 2017, Boo Hewerdine’s Haven Records released Peter James Millson’s third album, MOBILE.
“One of the best albums of 2017.” – Fatea Magazine
“An unbridled success.” ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – RnR Magazine
“A masterpiece of emotional songwriting.” – Gary Bridle
“This is a great album!” – Will Hodgkinson, The Times
“Strong on melodies and Marxist ideals.” ⭐⭐⭐ – MOJO
“Mobile is a triumph in simplicity.” – Americana UK
“A beautiful record!” – Findlay Napier
“… already one of my albums of 2017.” – Adam Wilson, The Quiet Revolution
MOBILE is an album of 10 intimate recordings, which were recorded as demos by Millson on his mobile phone and sent to Hewerdine who was so impressed by the unique quality he felt they captured of an artist and his brilliant songs.
“Mobile is a wonderful piece of work that reminds us how songs sound when they are first born,” says Hewerdine. “Peter came to me with some demos of some new songs. They sounded great. Tucked at the end were some phone demos. I couldn’t stop listening to them… What if we made an album this way? A digital Nebraska? The atmosphere in these performances reminds me of early field-recordings. Ancient and modern.”
Describing his style as “Runt-era Todd Rundgren, a little Emit Rhodes and Ron Sexsmith,” the performances find Millson stripped back either playing his acoustic or at the piano. With no overdubs whatsoever, these recordings lay bare an artist not afraid to expose his raw feelings and vulnerabilities.
All of these songs are incredibly personal, with many of them about Millson’s day-to-day life with his family, living away from the hustle and bustle of the city in deepest west Dorset. From the album opener, WE’VE GOT IT ALL, a beautifully strummed and picked song about painting a room with his wife, to A LITTLE LIGHT – a song to remind one of the joys simple family mornings bring after darkness of night – it’s clear of Millson’s devotion and romanticism.
Elsewhere Millson reflects on the memories of childhood. LITTLE TOY PLANE, a song inspired by an old photograph of him as a child with his father, explores Millson’s feelings about his departed dad. FOREVER CHANGING is the story of a friendship forged through being teenage outsiders and years’ later reading about the passing of that person. TWO WHEELS GOOD is a tribute to Prefab Sprout’s Paddy MacAloon and the band’s Steve McQueen album (know as Two Wheels Good in the US), which soundtracked Millson’s bike ride to school and an album he still listens to weekly.
MOBILE is a beautifully honest portrait of middle-aged life by a songwriter with a wonderful gift for melody.
THE RED CAFÉ
“Highly affecting.” – Joe Turner, Evolver Magazine
An album of late night laments, jazz infusions and electronic flourishes reminds me of the late Colin Vearncombe, ABC and David Sylvian. It does feel a little like a 80/90’s pop star making a ‘grown up’ record, and it is difficult to place in any genre, which is a relief. A really believed-in record, top production, check out ‘Dreams Take Flight’ glockenspiel. Millson is not a name I know, but this is a terrifically solid calling card, and would be a great house concert type gig, it’s a very close, intimate record. He has a great lyric up his sleeve; “everybody has a hook on their line” and “I live in hope and it’s a small town” – it is a late night, second glass record, best savoured, enjoyed in a single sitting.
As Millson says “none of this is my life anymore”, but time spent in The Red Café, you’ll be aching to get a little of it back.
SWEET THE LOVE THAT MEETS RETURN
“Just lovely.” – Ricky Ross
“A great example of UK Americana.” – Michael Kingston, Country Music People
“Goes straight to the heart.” – Nick West, Bucketfull of Brains
“All nine songs on this impressive debut album are bathed in subtle melodic melancholia.” – 8/10 Ian Fildes, Americana UK
“That song is SO beautiful.” – Chris Evans (about the song, ‘We’ve Got It All’)
“Reminds me of Lennon’s gentle musings on love and loss.” – Adrian Phillips’ ‘Tuna the day’
“[I Remember Us] It’s a GREAT song!” – Baylen Leonard, Amazing Radio
“Residing in the land where melody is king.” Beat Surrender [LINK]
“Very Danny [George Wilson], very Boo Hewerdine. I don’t think there’s a much higher compliment you could pay somebody than that.” – Gilded Palace
“Lovely melodies.” – Pete Paphides