Alex Highton’s debut album ‘Woodditton Wives Club’ is released by The Local Label on 27 February 2012. Set to lush orchestration, the album chronicles Al’s move from the city to the country; collecting his songs of simple life observations played with refreshing, heart-breaking honesty.
From ‘Village Life’ – “probably the first song I wrote when I got to Woodditton, figuring that there would be a darker underbelly to what on the surface seems a bastion of respectability. Turns out I was right, to a point the song was apocryphal and now half the village don’t believe it didn’t just spring from my imagination” – to ‘(Kids) On The Corner’ – “it’s about a fella topping himself, due to his lonely existence in the urban sprawl. This was kind of inspired by all the things that made me want to leave London. It had slowly beaten me down. I was genuinely losing my mind” – to ‘Little Rocks – “it’s about my wife. She is the centre of all things Highton. Our planets revolve around her sun” – Al says he feels uncomfortable explaining the stories behind the songs.
“Why would tales of rural S&M, mental, emotional and economic collapse and salvation through love make anyone uncomfortable?” replied a friend to this admission on Twitter.
From home in Liverpool, university took Al to London where he studied performing arts. This is a surprise when you meet him; there is none so modest and self-deprecating. This is no actor. Honesty should be his middle name. Particularly when it comes to talking about himself.
“I always feel my music is too middle-of-the-road for some tastes and too weird for others – its middle-of-the-weird – but there’s something in it that resonates with people. When you state your inspirations as Harry Nilsson and David Ackles, I’m sure it doesn’t set the hearts of the major record companies fluttering.”
Moving to rural Cambridgeshire after losing his job, the demos for ‘Woodditton Wives Club’ mark one were recorded on a single microphone in his garage. Somehow, Hollywood superstar Ashton Kutcher heard Al’s music on Myspace and Tweeted a link to his millions of followers. The following day saw a gazillion additional listens. This ever growing dedicated grass roots fan support was invaluable; studio recording, manufacturing and marketing was paid for via fan-funding websites Sellaband and Pledge Music.
London based music promotion and management agency The Local became involved after Al approached old friend Howard Monk for management advice. “I’m really excited to be working on this as it feels more and more important the more I listen” says Howard.