NEWS: Chris Riley releases new album, Cestrian | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Cestrian is the new album from North East music scene veteran Chris Riley, who is actually a fully fledged Cestrian himself. For anyone who doesn’t know, a ‘Cestrian’ is someone who hails from the “un-hip market town, Chester-le-Street” (his words, not mine).

Cestrian-quarantine has led to Chris moving sonically through his four walls to pull together an album, with the intention of taking listeners to unexpected places which are decidedly untypical of a guy with an acoustic guitar. A perfect example of this is my personal favourite track The Dirge, an ode to Chester-le-Street itself, which takes us from Flamenco guitars to spoken word poetry and back again, via an ominous wall of backwards tape echoes and rainfall.

Lead singles Syracuse and When The Roses Are In Bloom are fine examples of psych folk balladry, with sparkling acoustic guitars, intimate vocals and generous smatterings of spacey reverb. Chris also takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to his craft, so we’re treated to some light relief through the almost vaudevillian country fun of Kirsten’s Song and the mock spaghetti western, A Fistful of Quavers.

Chris Riley releases Cestrian on 3rd July via Nice Mind Records


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