And the kids are hungry
But the city’s rich
Breaking bread like promises
Archangelo Recordings announces the unveiling of “A Rose On The Road (At The Traffic Lights),” – an extraordinary auditory collaboration by Jules Maxwell and Polly Scattergood, that enhances an already breathtaking track with a new layer of ethereal lyricism.
The first incarnation of “A Rose On The Road” manifested as an instrumental piece within the intricate layers of Jules Maxwell’s 2022 musical mosaic, Cycles. However, the genesis of the title sprouted from Polly Scattergood’s fertile imagination. Upon the launch of Cycles, Polly and Jules embarked on a journey deeper into the piece, fostering this hauntingly beautiful vocal variant. The track weaves a tapestry of a nocturnal metropolis in a delicate balance between Scattergood’s whispered lyrical allure and Maxwell’s refined orchestration. It tells a story of a city consumed by late-night shadows, where clandestine occurrences unfold, unnoticed, beneath the watchful gaze of streetlights.
Drawing upon lyrical wizardry, (not unlike that of Patti Smith), set against a rhythmic pulse that ensnares the senses, Scattergood’s voice radiates a potent energy that holds the listener captive. She traverses the lyrics with an enchanting finesse. As though caught in an otherworldly reverie, her performance is an entrancing splendor. The song’s exquisite arrangement reveals its pensive poetry that softly whispers over luminous layers of keys and strings. It sighs and swells like an introspective breath, drifting like thoughts that slowly dance skyward and into the clouds above.
Watch the song’s cloud-laden lyric video below:
Jules Maxwell is a multi-instrumentalist composer and songwriter. He plays keyboards for Dead Can Dance, and in May 2021 released a critically acclaimed album with Lisa Gerrard, entitled Burn.
In 2021 he also released Nocturnes on Archangelo Recordings – a beautifully melancholic collection of instrumental pieces, much of it written in collaboration with the UK dance company Vincent Dance Theatre. This was followed in 2022 by a second volume of instrumentals entitled Cycles. He composed four songs for Le Mystére des Voix Bulgares 2018 album Boocheemish and the song First of July which appeared on Foy Vance’s debut album Hope. Jules has also collaborated with Duke Special on numerous recordings, shows and projects including the 2009 National Theatre production of Mother Courage directed by Deborah Warner.
His work at Shakespeare’s Globe includes the 2016 production of The Merchant of Venice starring Jonathan Pryce and the 2017 production of Boudica starring Gina McKee. He has created modern dance soundtracks for Wayne McGregor, Cathy Marston, Vincent Dance Theatre, Bern Ballet, Skanes Dansteater Malmö, Jasmin Vardimon and Candoco Dance Company, and in 2019 his debut full length opera The Lost Thing was presented by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
In 2023 he released One Night in Porto, a live recording of his Burn show with Lisa Gerrard.
Polly Scattergood is a British-based indie electronic artist who enjoys experimenting with sound and lyrics. Polly studied at The Brit School before signing with Daniel Miller – Mute/EMI. Polly has released four studio albums, three under her own name and one as a side project called onDeadWaves with MAPS. She later set up her own label and studio, Future Paradise, and released her last album and EP through FP.
Polly’s latest full-length album, entitled “In This Moment,” charted at number 23 on the Official UK Independent Album Charts. Polly also hosts a podcast alongside Katie Melua called The Detail about the art of songwriting and making records. She is currently in the process of writing her fifth studio album.
For those adventurous listeners, a fresh interpretation of “A Rose On The Road (At The Traffic Lights)” by Glowlines will also be available, offering a unique perspective on this already evocative creation.
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