Sometimes you hear a song that just strikes you as gorgeous immediately – love at first listen. Michael Weston King’s new single ‘Sugar’ is one such song. The guitars are fluttering, bright and shimmer with melody. King’s vocal, characterful, distinctive and soulful, follows a beautifully tuneful route through the song, at once feeling both new and familiar. It’s a classic, rootsy sound full of warmth.
He shared with AUK the story of how the song came to be written: “In the spring of 2019 I found myself in Lafayette, Louisiana, on a songwriters’ retreat organised by The Buddy Holly Foundation. I have been fortunate to be part of a few of these over the years, where different writers are teamed up, in twos or threes, and sent off in the morning to come back with a song ready to be performed that evening in a mini-concert given by all participants. Quite an undertaking but it focuses the mind that is for sure. I must admit these events are something of a mixed blessing. Enjoyable to hang out with kindred spirits, often in wondrous places, and share the vagaries of our musical lives but not always, well in my experience, hugely productive in terms of coming up with great songs. Maybe that’s just me and I am more of a solitary writer, but am still thankful the times spent at these gatherings. At the event in Lafayette, along with the likes of Mary Gauthier, Jim Lauderdale, Gary Tallent, Louise Goffin and many more, I was delighted to see my old friend, touring companion, and one of my favourite artists, Peter Case was in attendance. On the final day, he and I, along with Louisiana musician Sean Bruce, were teamed up and this song, Sugar was the result of our endeavours. Written in The Blue Moon Saloon where I had been staying for the week, it was Peter’s idea to write a song with this title. Whether it actually is about sugar, you can decide. My thanks to Peter and Sean for a joyous collaboration, and also the brilliant David Dalglish in Glasgow for his terrific work on the video. I was aware of David via his videos for Steve Wynn and also The Long Ryders, and I am grateful he was keen to work on something for this song. He also did a great job on the video for another song from the album, the song ‘Weight Of The Of World’, which you can see here. Hope you enjoy the song and the video. Stay tuned. More to come.”
The video begins with the evocative ‘Coalface’ by renowned Welsh painter Dan Llywelyn Hall, which is also used for the cover of the new album. Then, Dalglish uses a series of psychedelic images shown on retro television sets to accompany the song. ‘Sugar’ is taken from ‘The Struggle’, Michael Weston King’s first solo album in ten years. Look out for one of the album highlights of the year, due out on 1st April 2022.
Over the course of three decades King has worked with many great artists, such as Nils Lofgren, Guy Clark, Nick Cave and his mentor Townes Van Zandt. In recent years, he has been acclaimed for his work with My Darling Clementine alongside his wife and musical partner Lou Dalgleish. Dalgleish also appears on ‘The Struggle’ with a host of other highly-regarded guests, including Steve Nieve, Jeb Loy Nichols and jazz trombonist Barnaby Dickinson. The resulting album is a typically warm, ’60s and ’70s country-inspired collection from one of the UK’s best singer-songwriters. Check it out.
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