Chris Helme / HISTORIC
Artist Management / Album Promotion of 'The Rookery' - 2012 - 2015
Chris Helme, who first rose to prominence as the front man of John Squire’s post-Stone Roses band ‘The Seahorses’ released his solo album 'The Rookery' on the 27th of August 2012. Still rightfully remembered for the anthemic Britpop classics Love Is The Law and Blinded By The Sun - songs that evoked everything the 90’s stood for, the excitement, the culture and the bands that provided a voice in a period of political and social imbalance. Present day societal context may well in fact mirror those times but the man himself, now, appears cut from an entirely different cloth.
Helme’s is an enviable back catalogue, bolstered further by his acclaimed works with The Yards, but it’s his latest offering The Rookery’s knack for melody and imaginative, intricate, three-way guitar interplay that brings each track to such lush, blossoming, climaxes. Add to this Helme’s keen ear for arranging and those brooding string passages resonate even more deeply.
Recorded in just 9 days at The Rookery, a country hideaway nestled in the wilds of the Yorkshire Dales, the album reveals a beguiling vulnerability in both Helme’s voice and lyrics. The wonderfully restrained Darkest Days’ somber refrain, ‘Following you, leads me astray’, rings out with the sentiment of changing direction, putting paid to past misdemeanors, while on the forthcoming single Long Way Round, Helme is found resolute in his plaintive cry, ‘Now you’ve found yourself, you’re on your own’. An apt lyric indeed as his solo path turns this dramatic corner.
There is plenty on offer here as Chris and producer Sam Forrest (Nine Black Alps) showcase their depth of sonic understanding as fuzzed out guitars are married with distorted Mellotron, melting strings, whistling feedback and haunting orchestral vocals. Melodies rooted in traditional folk structures are vividly reimagined on an album of startlingly rich variation. Even the Rolling Stones’ stomp of Daddy’s Farm bookended between the blues filth of Pleased and the gorgeously mellow Summer Girl, doesn’t stick out, testament to Helme’s most powerful weapon – his voice.
This aspect to his music was never in question. From the earliest days of his career, his voice always commanded attention, and The Rookery’s variation is seemingly bound by this one continuous thread. File next to CSN&Y, Led Zeppelin 3, Buckley, The Coral, and enjoy.
Example Press Achieved for 'The Rookery'
“Echoing the fragility of Gram Parsons, while flirting with the rustic side of Neil Young”
Q Magazine :
“Dreamy but driven indie folk. Enhanced by lavishly layered productions and a deftly deployed string quartet.”
Tuppence Magazine :
“An acoustic gem of psych folk and perfectly weighted string arrangements, underpinned by great vocals that spin out in lyrical wonder”.
“The Rookery takes a run at classic Brit-folk and cloaks itself in robust melodies”
Green Man Music:
“The Rookery shows Helme’s ability to pen perfect pop songs with dark Zeppelin vibes and acid tripping retro folk soundscapes..for all its folkiness it is deeply soulful, for all it’s retro hat tipping, it is a work of great modernity”
“A memorable collection of songs that should establish Helme in his own right and give him the recognition he deserves”
Louder Than War (online)
“Delicate, folksy sounds that seem to conjure up England’s rolling green hills, swaying corn fields and shady woods…Helme captures sadness, soul and sincerity ... there are plenty of melancholic, electro-acoustic numbers, languid rhythms and picked-riffs”
Louder Than War (magazine)
“If your main association with Chris Helme is the dying days of Britpop then it’s time to have another listen ... Helme has become quite the songwriter and The Rookery is a wonderful mix of light and dark, contradicting moods and well-crafted balladeering.”
“The Rookery has a great, resonating energy that pulls from the huge pool of blues, folk, indie, psychedelia and Americana to make something altogether beautiful”
“This highly textured collection of songs clearly demonstrate Helme’s command over good melodies and thoughtful lyrics
“It will definitely appeal to those that want to lay back and be whisked off to a beautiful place where acoustic guitars, melodies, graceful lyrics and whistling will reign supreme”
“The Rookery is melodic and imaginative, it’s quite hard to believe that an album as well produced as this was recorded in just nine days in a country hideaway in the Yorkshire Dales… if you’re a fan of acoustic guitars, great vocals and like to be reminded of how good music was in the 70s, you need to buy this album.”
“Some can only dream of making such a prophetic album, while he succeeded with an acoustic guitar and sometimes just happened to be hooked up to a fuzz pedal”
“Enjoy this one in solitude, out of the clatter of the day, just sit back or lie on a floor and press play”
Shout For Music:
“The Rookery is a charming collection of folk-infused indie of a predominantly acoustic persuasion”
“Chris Helme’s latest full-length album, The Rookery is a collection of beautifully crafted songs, laden with charismatic charm and an intrinsic underlying lyrical context which clearly belongs strong to Helme’s own heart”