In Praise Of Shadows (B-Sides & Live…)
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In Praise Of Shadows (B-Sides & Live Versions)
Puma Blue won widespread critical acclaim with the release of his debut LP ‘In Praise of Shadows’ earlier this year. Described by NME as “a brief moment of relief for those lost in the darkness” the album found his storytelling at its most honest and vulnerable to date whilst his production reached new heights, retaining its characteristic bedroom intimacy …
Puma Blue won widespread critical acclaim with the release of his debut LP ‘In Praise of Shadows’ earlier this year. Described by NME as “a brief moment of relief for those lost in the darkness” the album found his storytelling at its most honest and vulnerable to date whilst his production reached new heights, retaining its characteristic bedroom intimacy.
Yet for all the intimacy of his ‘voicemail-ballads’ on record, his songs carry a different resonance in a live setting; a mix of improvisation, in-the-moment escapism and the collective power of an audience taking his music to new heights. It’s something the producer & vocalist, real name Jacob Allen, has had a lot of time to reflect on in the last year, the absence of touring, combined with a move to Atlanta GA, giving him the time and distance to fully appreciate the importance of the record vs. live dichotomy to the way his work is perceived, experienced and felt.
Today he pays tribute to his band – Harvey Grant (sax, keys, co-production), Cameron Dawson (bass) and Ellis Dupuy (drums) – with the release of ‘Phone Calls: A Short Film’. Featuring live content, rehearsals, jam sessions and behind-the-scenes footage, ‘Phone Calls’ – which was directed & edited by Allen himself – puts a spotlight on each member’s contribution to the wider Puma Blue experience, and gives them the opportunity to reflect on their work together through a series of conversations recorded over the last year spent apart.
The resulting short film captures the spark of four young musicians whose telepathy allows them to become more than the sum of their parts. Yet it’s about more than just music. This is also about the otherwise unspoken bonds of friendship that make performing these often introspective songs such a life-affirming experience.
Jacob says, “As beautiful as I could make something on my own, it could never compare to what these beautiful boys bring to it. Not just because they’re incredible musicians who are really connected to the spirit of music, but it’s more that live music is such an untameable thing. It’s such a deeper spectrum.”
The release of ‘Phone Calls’ also marks the announcement of Puma Blue’s biggest tours to date and the release of a Deluxe Edition of ‘In Praise of Shadows’, due November 5th, the original album boosted by eight live recordings, mostly taken from rehearsals in early 2021 and two b-sides. With limited opportunities for people to hear the album in a live setting thus far, this represents an intimate first glimpse at the magic unique to the full band arrangements.
The Deluxe Edition is completed by two new bedroom studio recordings with new single ‘All I Need’ (a Radiohead cover) perfectly extending the album’s small hours spirit, the raw emotion of Puma Blue’s voice growing in tandem with the scale of the initially skeletal production, and the previously unreleased ‘Postcard From Toyko’ exploring loneliness with brutal honesty and a sparse acoustic atmosphere. The Deluxe Edition is available to pre-order here as a digital deluxe record along with a limited-run standalone bonus ‘B-Sides & Live Versions’ vinyl.
- Postcard From Tokyo
- All I Need
- Velvet Leaves (Live)
- Snowflower (Live)
- Already Falling (Live)
- Sheets (Live)
- Oil Slick (Live)
- Opiate (Live)
- Bath House (Live)
- Super Soft (Live)