JAMIE CULLUM ANNOUNCES BRAND NEW ALBUM "TALLER" OUT JUNE 7
May 3 2019
Critically acclaimed musician and songwriter Jamie Cullum is back with his brand new album Taller, which will be released June 7 via Blue Note Records in the U.S., and Island Records elsewhere. Taller is Jamie’s eighth studio album release; although it sounds unlike anything we have heard from him before. Hear the title track “Taller” now.
Written and recorded at home and at the studio of long-time friend and collaborator, Troy Miller (Emeli Sandé, Mark Ronson, Laura Mvula), the 10-track record shows Jamie revealing a vulnerability and raw truth-telling that is both powerful and intimate. The album feels like a statement of intent, with all the passion and intrigue you would expect from a debut record.
Five years since his last album Interlude, Jamie says that throughout making this record, he felt, “like a songwriter, first and foremost.” The album began in a different incarnation until Jamie went back to the drawing board and wrote about what he was living at the time, using his interior world as a springboard to write. Taller sees him bravely explore subject matter which has personally impacted him - or made him curious - each song reflecting a desire to grow and learn and explore life for the beautiful muddle it is.
Jamie says, “There’s a line in a song called ‘Endings Are Beginnings’ that is ‘I write to learn what I’m thinking’ and that sums it up pretty accurately—this album is like my working notes for life. I don’t think I’ve made music like this before. I hope you can feel the joy amongst its moments of melancholy.”
Title track “Taller” lyrically shows an emotional honesty which is explored throughout the album. Jamie says, ‘‘Historically there has been jokes about my physical stature and being married to a taller woman. So I wanted to own it and it seemed like a great image to take, one that could be perceived as vulnerability and yet, vulnerability turning out to be a super power, rather than a weakness.’’
Other tracks on the album have prominent funk, pop and gospel influences such as “Usher,” “Drink” and the powerful “Mankind,” whose lyrics are a soulful collective call for an alienated society. Jamie says of album track, “Drink,” “It’s about dealing with things that are troubling and confusing, but how in taking them on, there is a freedom inherent in that, and suddenly they aren’t so black and white, but nuanced. It turns out the grey is where the truth lies.”
What’s obvious throughout the album is that Jamie is not seeking approval, but writing music which feels true to him, letting his feelings dictate the creative process.
Jamie says, ‘‘I was really focusing on this is being an album of my songs. I wanted it to be about my songs, about my writing. It was also a love letter to my wife. I wanted to put aside whether it was a jazz record, whether it was ticking this or that box. The songs would be king and they would be honest. Sometimes it was literally just me sitting at the piano, pressing record; and at other times it was just myself and Troy trying to capture something that felt authentic. I didn’t really know what I was making at first. Of course I care and of course I’d love people to hear it, but I feel more proud of this than anything I’ve done and that’s a good feeling’’