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Monday, July 24, 2023
BRUNO MAJOR LONG-AWAITED ALBUM 'COLUMBO' OUT NOW
Bruno Major unveiled his latest single “The Show Must Go On”. The song is the final offering from his upcoming album 'Columbo' via Harbour Artists & Music / AWAL Recording. Listen to the song here: brunomajor.ffm.to/tsmgo
“The Show Must Go On” sets the stage for 'Columbo'. A piano flourish giving way to a clean, snare-less drum pattern and guitar strum that conjures the cozy fireside intimacy of Neil Young’s “Out on the Weekend.” Bruno’s vocal riffs ebb and flow before the song blossoms into a crescendoing chorus that perfectly illuminates the path for the album ahead.
The music video for “The Show Must Go On” aligns with the song’s themes of anxiety and public image. The video follows a protagonist who portrays an enormous smile when out with his friends, but when alone, his sparkle diminishes. With a more-than-ever relatable theme, the music video for “The Show Must Go On” brings Bruno’s innermost thoughts to the surface.
Bruno Major – "The Show Must Go On" (Official Video)
“The Show Must Go On” is the final single from 'Columbo', following “A Strange Kind Of Beautiful,” “Tell Her,” album title track “Columbo,” and his first new track in three years, “We Were Never Really Friends.” RIFF Magazine heralds “A Strange Kind Of Beautiful” as “introspective…an intimate song that’s as relaxed as Major has intended his music to be.” UPROXX raves, “‘Tell Her’ maintains the moody, jazz-influenced vibes from the pop tracks dropping lately. Major uses his words as wishes that he hopes an ex would hear, or as he notes, ‘taking the words from the sad songs instead.’” Clash praises “Columbo,” calling it “a soothing Spring-like hymn reminiscent of Paul Simon… a sun-drenched piece of melodic songwriting, while the video has a special guest star – Bruno’s 1978 Mercedes 380SL.” “We Were Never Really Friends” was released in May to critical acclaim. Billboard chronicles the track as “... a classic spoil-the-friendship jam that masquerades as a piano ballad before blooming into a lighters-up rock sing-along, complete with a stringy guitar solo.”
Bruno's newest album 'Columbo', the highly-anticipated follow-up to 2020’s 'To Let A Good Thing Die' is a 12-track body of work. It weaves the autobiographical with the observational and stretches Bruno’s palette into new forms, yielding the most accomplished and “honest” expression of his music to date.
Marking a triumphant return to the stage after his 2020 tour was cancelled due to COVID, Bruno will kick off an expansive headlining tour in Tokyo on August 8th. He will make his way through major cities in Southeast Asia, including his top-10 streaming countrieslike the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, before heading to Denver, CO to start the North American leg of the tour on September 4th. Bruno Major's highly anticipated shows in Southeast Asia have generated overwhelming demand, resulting in some countries being sold out.
Upcoming Southeast Asia Tour Dates:
August 13 – Bangkok, Thailand – Voice Space August 15 – Manila, Philippines – New Frontier Theater *VENUE UPGRADE August 17 – Singapore, Singapore – Capitol Theatre *SOLD OUT August 19 – Jakarta, Indonesia – GBK Basketball Hall *SOLD OUT August 20 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Zepp Kuala Lumpur
Major's talent is undeniable, with an impressive 1.4 billion streams and a consistent monthly average of over 2.4 million streams across multiple music platforms, Bruno Major's music has captivated listeners worldwide and garnered recognition from international publications including Billboard, Rolling Stone, Hypebeast, and more.
About Bruno Major
Bruno Major had an idyllic upbringing in Northampton. In the early 2010s, while in his early twenties, he headed to London to further his music career. A prolific songwriter, he would capture performances on his phone and upload them to Soundcloud. These were recordings devoid of touch-ups and decoration: merely live renditions documented crudely. Even so, A&R folk came flocking. They would message asking, “Who is the singer?”. It was all Major. A jazz degree had played its part in providing a formidable schooling, honing his compositional know-how and impressive guitar chops, but his lilting croon was a surprise even to him. After all, he hadn’t sung until the age of 22. Little did he realise that he was sitting on a voice that evoked the warmth of Nick Drake and Chet Baker.
He was soon snapped up by Virgin Records and furnished with the funds to make an album. Hopes were high as he went into the studio with acclaimed producer Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon, Paolo Nutini) a heavy-hitting backing band, including esteemed bass player Pino Palladino, pianist Jason Rebello, and drummer Jeremy Stacey. The album was rejected outright and has never seen the light of day. Major looks back on the experience as being crucial to where he is now: “I learned how to make an album,” he says. “Even though I'd been dropped by my record label, the fact that Ethan had seen something in me, and Pino thought I was an amazing musician…what my peers thought of me was far more profound and instructive.”
Back to the drawing board, down but far from out, Major took to the opposite extreme, sitting in his kitchen with a mic, his guitar, and an 808 drum machine to lay the foundations for what would become his first released album, 2017’s 'A Song for Every Moon'. This was followed in 2020 by his second outing, 'To Let A Good Thing Die', featuring his hit romantic vignette, Nothing.
Whereas previous albums were written on the piano, Major armed himself with no more than a notepad, a pen, and an acoustic guitar for 'Columbo'. “I wrote pretty much all of the songs like that,” he says. Writing took place over six months and, aside from his LA memories, a musical diet of Arthur Shauf’s 2016 concept album, 'The Party', Bach and Billy Joel fuelled his process. Then there’s Paul Simon, whose influence courses through the title track’s intricate guitar pattern and aching vocal. Major declares Simon “a hero” and “the musician’s musician”, whose quixotic impulses and commitment to the songwriting cause is a blueprint for how he would like to approach his own career. In short: nothing is off limits. The door is open, the antennae are switched on. The possibilities are endless.
“I'm a songwriter at heart and the song is what carries my music through,” he explains. Lyrics must have substance and music must convey feeling. These are non-negotiables. “For me, the magic of songwriting is the interplay between words and the music.” He continues: “I'm a perfectionist and I'm incredibly fastidious: everything's overthought, edited and fiddled with, and it takes a long long time.”
Major and his longstanding collaborator Finlay Robson AKA Phairo (“Meeting Finn really defined the sound of my music,” he says) produced the album over a year. The chaos that had fuelled the writing was offset by the steady comfort of recording in familiar surroundings: his converted bedroom that now functions as a studio. When they wrapped, Major decided he’d name the record after his written-off Mercedes. The reason is simple, and powerful too: “that car - more than any other song - is representative of the whole feeling and period of writing the album,” he shares.
'Columbo' raises its curtain with "The Show Must Go On", a piano flourish giving way to a clean, snare-less drum pattern and guitar strum that conjures the cosy fireside intimacy of Neil Young’s "Out on the Weekend". ‘If you’re always putting on a show/You lose yourself before you know’ comes the pre-chorus cry. “It is the only [song] that really focuses on my sort of personal viewpoint,” confides Major. It, therefore, felt like a natural opening gambit to “introduce” the album, he says.
Elsewhere, "Tell Her" is a slice of simmering R&B, while the heart-breaking "Tears in Rain" is dedicated to his late grandmother. The song posits questions – “the little details” – to his late loved one that he never asked while she was here, expressing regret and longing for the time they’ll meet again. "18" extrapolates his conflicting emotions regarding two family friends who committed suicide 16 years ago (‘I’m twice the age you’ll ever be’, he sings).
"We Were Never Really Friends" is about a relationship gone wrong, while "You Take the High Road" summons the spirit of Elliott Smith in its haunting vocal and sparse guitar. "Trajectories" is the third instalment of a series that started with "Places We Don't Walk" on his debut and the title track from the second album. “'Trajectories' feels like the [final] trilogy [piece],” he says. "The End" rounds off the album, featuring a soaring solo that recalls the perennial influence, Queen, and more pertinently, Brian May.
“Something I've managed to do with Columbo more than any other album is find a way of saying exactly what I want to say,” reveals Major. “The album investigates my personal relationships with people and other things. It is self-diagnosis on a grander scale.”
“All I focused on from the age of seven was my guitar; and whether it was learning jazz, or learning how to write songs, or learning how to produce, this album particularly feels like the reason I did all of that. I'm so proud of it. I feel peace in a way that I've never felt peace before because I feel I've done what I owed myself.” he says.“I've been dedicated to art my whole life,” Crucially, Major feels that all roads have led to 'Columbo'
'Columbo' is Bruno Major’s defining statement to date. A musician who wears his heart (and art) on his sleeve, this is the sound of an artist who risked it all and somehow made it back to shore.
SET TO PERFORM IN BANGKOK, MANILA, SINGAPORE, JAKARTA AND KUALA LUMPUR IN AUGUST
1. The Show Must Go On 2. Tell Her 3. Columbo 4. We Were Never Really Friends 5. When Can We Be 6. A Strange Kind Of Beautiful 7. You Take The High Road 8. 18 9. Tears In Rain (for Granny) 10. St. Mary’s Terrace 11. Trajectories 12. The End