Sometimes barriers and boundaries can be inspiration. Not only does their inherent challenge inspire breakthroughs, but obstacles encourage creative thinking, and even dreams, as people look to surmount their restrictions. Pushing forward, both artistically and practically, is a strength that underscores RJ Thompson and his music. Like most of us, the singer-songwriter and multi- instrumentalist from North East England spent much of the last two years hemmed in by his own four walls, yet his third album, Yearbook, is his most expansive and ambitious record yet.
“I was stuck in a room writing songs on my piano but I was dreaming of something much bigger,” he explains of the horizon-filling sounds of the record that will be released in September 2022. “Ultimately, for the most part, we've all been stuck in rooms for two years, but we were dreaming of all these places we hadn’t been to for ages, all the people we hadn’t seen. Dreaming of a much bigger world outside the door is essentially what I've been doing with this record.” While RJ was writing songs at his piano, in his head he was hearing saxophones, string quartets and more, across the twelve tracks that would become Yearbook. “It was me in a room writing, sending Voice Memos back and forth to my co-producer Adam Sinclair going, 'what do you think of this one?' but I always had visions of them being much bigger because these songs are talking about really relevant things,” he suggests. “It is not a record about lockdowns, but it references a lot of what's happened in the last couple of years without being too on the nose. There's a lot of reference to loss. Loss of people, loss of time, loss of confidence. The title track is essentially about two people who we sadly lost last year, but there is also a feeling of getting back to life too. Getting back out into the wider world.”
Show starts at 8:00pm.