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JIM McCULLOCH's Solo Album 'When I Mean What I Say' Out Next Friday

The former Soup Dragon perfects his mastery of songcraft on 'When I Mean What I Say', released on Violette Records on 21 May 2021.

JIM McCULLOCH's Solo Album 'When I Mean What I Say' Out Next Friday

Over three decades as the unassuming but pivotal figure behind some of Scotland's most iconic pop, Jim McCulloch steps out of the shadows and onto centre stage with his debut solo album. The former Soup Dragon perfects his mastery of songcraft on 'When I Mean What I Say', released on Violette Records on 21 May 2021.

Lush and textured, delicate and intriguing, 'When I Mean What I Say' is immersed in the melodic tapestries of Laurel Canyon but rooted in Jim's life in his hometown of Glasgow. Written in Donegal's wild Atlantic coast and recorded pre-Lockdown in Glasgow's downtown Gorbals district, the warmth of the album's classic pop and its lyrical openness transports the listener to an emotional and harmonic timelessness far from 2020/21's claustrophobia.

Bursting onto the influential mid-80s Scottish scene with the BMX Bandits, making his mark with The Soup Dragons and then with Superstar, Jim's albums as Green Peppers identified a songwriter committed to the detailed sculpting of melody and expression. His craft and presence, both as a composer and performer, are felt on his contributions to the critically lauded collaborations between Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan. And in summer 2020 the second Snowgoose album, his psyche-folk project with Anna Sheard, was met with considerable acclaim.

'When I Mean What I Say' is a coherent and concentrated solo work. Born from his Master's Degree in Song Writing following a return to education after 30-plus years, Jim's first truly solo outing is also more intensely personal and honest. Throughout is an artist confronted with sacrifice and crossroads, where art and creativity meet the demands of everyday living and the pressures of family and finance. Having collaborated with big characters with distinct styles for a large chunk of his career, as this album's nine tracks unravel so too does an unchained musician, an artist who can reflect the class and taste of a lifetime's musical touchstones yet not be defined by them.

Jim said: "I came to the realisation that to be an Artist is to be free, to not worry about opprobrium. But I also realised that I have to pay the bills every month and that others have to live with and are reliant on the creative decisions I make. Andrew Loog Oldham nailed it when he described the Stones as being at the dividing line between Art and Commerce. It`s such a fine line to walk."

The album's opener, Blacksticks Boogie, introduces the purity of Jim's voice folding into heart-felt and soul-deep chords in this transcendental waltz. The Byrdsian Chorus Of Lists, the second single from the album, has a power and poignancy reflected by the frailty of Jim's harmonies and the choices he faces. In the countrified bubblegum of Shining Bright Jim duets with emerging singer/songwriter Rachel Jack, the sunlit optimism of the arrangement undermined by the destructive co-dependency of the song's characters. The title and final track When I Mean What I Say has a reedy dreaminess and swelling melancholy, Jim's hushed and soothing refrain "I would think you know it, I think you're under pressure" brings a special debut by a special talent to a close.

Jim: "Violette Records are kindred spirits in the music world. Their ethos, aesthetic and generosity of spirit chime with me. Once I had finished the album, they were the only record company I sent it off to-the only record company I thought could do it justice."

Jim McCulloch's 'When I Mean What I Say' album will be released on limited edition 10" vinyl and will be preceded by two singles "When I Mean What I Say" on 19 March and "Chorus Of Lists" on 16 April.


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