Even before the isolation of the pandemic hit, Edward Rogers spent a lot of time alone indoors (due to a leg injury), reflecting on life. The songs on his eighth solo album, Catch a Cloud, written in late 2019, are poetic, intimate and resonant, reflecting his musings during that time spent recuperating.
“This album is more intimate and sparse than my prior albums, and is a little bit more revealing,” he said.
The British-born indie-pop singer-songwriter, who is now based in New York, will perform songs from the album at the Cutting Room in New York, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. He will be joined by James Mastro, Sal Maida (Roxy Music, Sparks), Konrad Meissner and Don Piper, who all appeared on the album, along with George Usher and Steve Butler. Tickets are available via Eventbrite.
John Ford and Smash Palace (Butler and Cliff Hills) will also celebrate their new releases, and May Pang will host the event.
Rogers said he used his home studio for most of the recordings for the album, which was co-produced by Piper. “I created the madness and Don Piper helped create the music from that madness,” he said.
The title track (listen below) dances by with a gentle breeze, poetically commenting on the passage of time and encouraging us “to feel the sun touch your face, find the time to embrace, feel the breeze rustling through the trees as autumn starts to take its seize.” With the sweet sound of Mike McGinnis’ flute in the background, Rogers sings, “Be one with the world/Heal the soul that left you burned.”
This song has a prescient message. The pandemic brought a perspective about the fragility of life and the importance of appreciating the ordinary, which in many cases represents the extraordinary.
“You don’t know how hard it is to write a simple song on life’s observations,” Rogers said. “This was inspired by having spent one day outside without any demands on my mind or time. The simple joy of wanting to catch a cloud.”
“What Happened to Us” is a song about lost youth in which Rogers reflects on days when time seemed endless and options limitless. His voice and storytelling here remind me of Ian Hunter; coincidentally, Mastro plays mandolin and electric guitar on this song, as he has for Hunter’s Rant Band.
Accompanied by vocalists Stephanie Seymour and Bob Perry, Rogers sings:
Seems one day we just woke up
Our youth stolen away
Searched through some old pictures
Now look so dark and grey … A lifetime
In our prime and never saw the crime
What happened to us? Did it happen to you?
We all grew old. Didn’t know what to do
Never really had a clue
Not a second to think it through
Rogers said the song comes from “a child’s perspective from when he’s 7 or 8 years old, and thinks he’ll never grow up and his parents will always be there. Then, one day, reality takes hold and he is now the ‘grown-up’ lamenting over his former innocence and youth.”
“Imaginary Man,” another well-crafted song, was inspired by Pink Floyd co-founder Syd Barrett. With its psychedelic rock melody and sound effects, the song has an eerie, desperate and compelling quality.
Playing in the mind of a madman
Do as much damage as I can
Waiting for a cracked smile
Before you walk the last miracle mile
Oh, I’m your imaginary man
I’m in your head since time began
Live inside your mind
Remind you of those you left behind
“This is a total fantasy song about being in the mind of Syd Barrett and controlling his inner madness, “he said. “At one time, this (‘Imaginary Man’) was the working title of the album.”
For more about him, visit edwardrogersmusic.com.
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