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Toria Wooff – James Edward: Single Review

Toria Woof releases a mellow new single. James Edward has an ‘interesting’ backstory…

Back in March we highlighted Toria Wooff as One to watch in ’21. After seducing us with her terrific version of Rocket Man, she returns with a beautifully mellow Americana ballad. One on which we find her blending elements of folk and country with a penchant for 70’s inspired vocals and production. 

Not only does the new single boast a 70’s sound but goes the whole hog with a 70’s look. It wasn’t a bad decade for music and for setting trends in style and sartorial elegance after all. I certainly remember being an impressionable enough young whippersnapper (something we had in the 70’s) and demanding my own two tone Adam Faith/Budgie jacket and penny round shirt with double buttons. Those were the days.

Despite the display of such impressive 70’s credentials, the music of Led Zep, a major influence on Toria Woof, and their peers was yet to make its mark on me. I’m guessing too – a wild stab in the dark – that the grey and pink mentioned in the lyric might just possibly be a reference to the wonderful Caravan album/track, In The Land Of Grey And Pink. Or maybe not…

James Edward does the job of recalling the music of the era and as its writer says: “It describes being with someone who wants to stick around you, even when you feel  you’re not that interesting or easily distracted by other things. It’s like returning from a long trip and that person is still there, waiting for  you.”

The backstory is an unusual one and goes some way to explaining the mysterious character of Edward: “I was 17 and shared a taxi home from a gig with the loveliest 80-year-old man,”  Toria recalls. “The song’s not about him but his name stuck. It was one of those surreal moments  where I was struck by how unusual the real-life situation was; sharing a space with this  stranger, generations apart. If he knew I’d borrowed his name for a song he’d probably  think that was a bit strange too!” 

James Edward may well be the beautifully seductive and easy gateway drug into Toria Wooff’s mystical world. Her penchant for gothic darkness takes a backseat briefly. Shimmering pedal steel and soft focus Wurlitzer evokes the West Coast vibe and the wild dust lands of America rather than the grey Satanic mills of her hometown in Lancashire.

Recorded with producer and mix engineer James Wyatt in his Sloe Flower studio, James  Edward was fleshed out from early acoustic demos to create a 70’s inspired, full band production. Ross Munro (Wurlitzer and Organ),  Danny Miller (bass guitar), Scott Poley (starring again as he did on Rocket Man on pedal steel) and Peter Mitchell (drums) all add their parts with a precise subtlety.

Here’s the video for James Edward and chance for us (or our parents ) all to say “we had one like that…”:

Toria Wooff online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bandcamp / Youtube

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