Newton wrote ‘Clouds’ in a garage in the LA sunshine with his brother Toby and Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet). The track sums up one of the over-riding themes of the album, which is ‘I know things appear to be bad now but they will get better’.
It’s been over three years since 2009’s Rebuilt By Humans and in that time he’s toured the world, started a family (he has a one year old son, Beau Henry Faulkner-Richards) and some might say helped usher in a new generation of singer-songwriters. Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard and Michael Kiwanuka might be stylistically diverse, but their ‘have-guitar-will-travel’ approach surely flows from the trailblazing example of Newton.
Now, after invention, innovation, reinvention and creation, comes his third album, Write It On Your Skin. This one man band (in every sense) has opened himself up to the talents of other writers and players working with his brother Toby (aka Billy Battenberg songwriter), hip hop fan Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet) and production writing pair Nexus.
The result? An album bristling with spontaneity, the best kind of DIY imagination, and songs from unlikely sources but with a very likely-lad appeal.
He is the feelgood man of the season, the summertime troubadour who brings singalong vibes. As he says now with a laugh, despite his trademark rust-red dreads, he only seems to get recognized when it’s sunny outdoors:
“For some reason if it’s raining it can’t be me – but if the sun’s shining, then it’s definitely me! I’m completely affiliated with the sun. I get that now.”
October dates are:
- 1st // Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
- 3rd // Glasgow O2 ABC
- 4th // Inverness Ironworks
- 9th // Newcastle O2 Academy
- 10th // Manchester O2 Apollo
- 11th // Liverpool O2 Academy
- 12th // York Barbican
- 14th // Leeds O2 Academy
- 15th // Oxford New Theatre
- 16th // Leicester O2 Academy
- 18th // Birmingham O2 Academy
- 19th // Bournemouth O2 Academy
- 20th // Exeter Great Hall
- 22nd // London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire