“I have always been most drawn to the combination of violence and beauty in art because that seems to be the underlying truth of Nature and the way I perceive the world to be – and almost everything I write is underpinned by nature imagery.”, says Justin Sullivan. “Sometimes I visit a place where the atmosphere and the ghosts from the past seem to overwhelm anything happening in the present. I reach for a notebook and put down every impression that comes – stories, light, weather, geography, and that strange feeling of time being completely liquid.
“With ‘Unforgiven’ I found all these sketched ideas back at home many months later and then it’s just a question of remembering the feelings of the place, what happened and piecing it together.”
The outcome is nothing short of an awe-inspiring and emotional composition. “Musically I went round the houses a bit with this one, trying to choose how much and what instrumentation to use.”, says Justin Sullivan. “In the end I decided to keep the simple guitar riffs that runs through the song quite prominent and added Jon Thorne’s bass, Henning Nugel’s orchestration and minimal percussion so it has some of the vastness and hard beauty of the landscape described and an undercurrent of the violence that the place has seen.”
On May 28th, 2021, Justin Sullivan releases his second solo album Surrounded - a collection of sixteen new songs, written in the first weeks of the 2020 lockdown. These songs are again guitar-vocal compositions highlighting Sullivan’s love of storytelling, wide open landscapes and powerful atmospheres.
Mostly recorded at home, the album also features contributions from many other musicians including Jon Thorne on bass (Lamb), Tom Moth on harp (Florence and the Machine - and brother of NMA bassist Ceri Monger), plus string arrangements from composer friends Tobias Unterberg, Henning Nugel and Shir-Ran Yinon. Also featured are all the current members of New Model Army. The album was mixed by Lee Smith at Greenmount Studios in Leeds, co-producer and mixer of New Model Army’s recent albums, including 2019’s From Here, their highest charting album to date globally.
Surrounded will become available on multiple formats such as a CD Hardcover Media Book, Heavyweight Double Vinyl Gatefold and Digital and is already available for pre-order:
- Coming With Me
- Clean Horizon
- Stone And Heather
- 28th May
- Sao Paulo
- Sea Again
- Clear Skies
- Rip Tides
- Daughter Of The Sun