25 years after the release of his last album (as lead singer of The June Brides) Phil Wilson is set to release his solo debut on November 8th. The album is preceded by a new single “I Own It” on October 11th on 7″ vinyl and download. The album is released on Slumberland Records in the US and Yesboyicecream Records in the UK & Europe.
Track listing is as follows:
1. Three Days
2. Found A Friend
3. God Bless Jim Kennedy
4. Up To London
5. Always In Trouble
6. The Sum Of
7. Pop Song #32
8. Give Me Consolation
9. Small Town
10. I Own It
The press release for the album states:
July 1st 1986. The press release announcing the end of The June Brides was drafted in a pub on Camberwell New Road. It read: “The June Brides have decided to part company and become legend”.
Following The June Brides’ disbandment in 1986, bandleader and singer-songwriter Phil Wilson went on to record two solo singles for Creation and one for Bob Stanley’s Caff Records before “retiring” in 1987, declaring that he “didn’t want to be a desperate 30 year old still trying to make it in music”.
Over two decades later, The June Brides & Phil Wilson remain essential listening for anyone trying to put C81-C86 pop history in proper perspective.
Writing about Phil Wilson’s premature retirement, Dave Eggers wrote in a 2006 Guardian article: “We do not, on the whole, have a good deal of patience for songwriters who continue to write songs.” Wilson elaborated on this theory in a recent interview: “it seems to be fine to be an ageing folk, blues, reggae, rock or R&B singer, for example or an aging classical musician. Not just fine…but something laudable…but you’re not allowed to sing loud 3 minute pop songs at my age.”
So, in true contrarian style, Phil Wilson returns with the single “I Own It”, his first original release in over 20 years, ahead of the album “God Bless Jim Kennedy”, a collection of essential, intelligent, guitar pop music comparable to his work with The June Brides. And it is appropriate that it will be co-released by Slumberland Records, a label that has done so much to bring this era in music back in focus.
Kevin Pearce once wrote: “You may not hear a June Brides song for years on end, but some stay with you forever. For singer Phil Wilson had a way with words.” Straight from the opening bars of the mesmeric single “I Own It”, it is clear that Phil Wilson continues to write what Nicky Wire called “brilliant pop songs…on the edge of falling apart”.
In 2006, Manic Street Preachers, Jeffrey Lewis and The Television Personalities contributed cover versions to a June Brides tribute album, for which Dave Eggers and Everett True wrote liner notes. You can listen to that album below: