SONG PREMIERE: The Rails Offer Strangely Fascinating Advice With Dreamy Folk-Rock Tune “Save The Planet”

THE RAILS 27-5-19 Kentish Town by ©Jill Furmanovsky

There’s something different about The Rails on their brilliant third album. It’s not just the sound of the record, which is harder, tougher and rockier than ever before. Cancel The Sun (out August 16 on Thirty Tigers) is melodic and immediate, a record that brings together the musical pasts of Kami Thompson and James Walbourne – her family heritage, as the daughter of Linda and Richard Thompson, and sister of Teddy; his as guitarist for Son Volt, The Pogues and The Pretenders – in a record that sounds like a pure version of themselves. You could spend hours casting around for a term to describe it, but maybe the best one would be pinched from an Eliza Carthy album title: Anglicana – music that might originate in America, but is clearly and resolutely English. “It’s a distillation of influences,” Thompson says. “In an English still.”

Where 2014’s Fair Warning was a gorgeous revival of the classic English folk-rock sound (issued on Island’s pink label for full attention to period detail), and 2017’s Other People found Walbourne turning more to electric guitar, Cancel the Sun is a kaleidoscopic offering. Twisting it’s way through decades of sounds often conventionally siloed from one another, Cancel The Sun is colored in hues of 90’s alternative guitar pop, 60’s English baroque, gorgeous country balladry, and, still, an undying folk influence. Cancel The Sun is perhaps most indebted to fellow north Londoners, the Kinks, not in sound but in its spirit and the band’s desire to cast far and wide to make the music they want, without sacrificing their individuality.

Recorded in London in the spring of 2019, the album was helmed by producer Stephen Street (The Smiths, The Cranberries, Blur), who helped The Rails connect with their musical lineage, highlighting the strength of Walbourne’s guitar playing. As a result, Cancel The Sun sounds both classic and timeless – a rare and genuine offering in an age of easy imitations, equally satisfying for guitar lovers and anyone looking for a fresh, summer road trip soundtrack.

Today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of “Save the Planet”, one of the standout tracks on the album and also one of the most vocal in terms of the statement it makes about the state of the world. With shimmering, passionate harmonies, the song is fuses dreamy indie rock with tongue in cheek activist folk. While the chorus is up for interpretation, one might perceive it as a message aimed at a certain abomination of a president currently in office. However, a deeper dive finds useful advice on how to generally live a more sustainable, earth-friendly life. Perhaps both of these interpretations are correct, but the ambiguity of the lyrics yet directness of the messaging makes for a fascinating nugget of folk-rock. The artists add to this sentiment with their own statement: “Recycle; go electric; eat raw; ditch plastic; walk to work; adopt a whale; give up; sleep in; lose hope; sod the planet; save yourself.”


Cancel the Sun is out August 16 on Thirty Tigers. PRE-ORDER

Photo credit: Jill Furmanovsky

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