Damien Rice has announced three UK shows for Summer 2015 in support of his critically acclaimed and Rick Rubin produced new album My Favourite Faded Fantasy.  In one of only three UK performances across the summer, Rice will perform at Manchester’s Albert Hall on 11th June 2015.  The dates follow significant success for the album, which debuted in the UK Top 10 Album Chart.

My Favourite Faded Fantasy follows Rice’s seminal and two-million selling album O and the Brit-nominated and million selling 9.  It’s a record which might seem to address a lover or attempting to take it all back again. Here, however, is a selection of songs which – says Damien –  are “sung straight into the metaphorical mirror”.  Those reflections appear to shift and slide from the self-aware (‘It Takes A Lot To Know A Man’) to the self-critical (see the barbed humour of ‘The Greatest Bastard’) and, perhaps, to that place of moving forward (particularly the rousing uplift of ‘Trusty & True’).  It’s a lyrical push-and-pull effectively based on the idea of being yourself, which can be felt in the ambitious scope of Rice’s new material (the longest track clocks in at just under ten minutes) but is also articulated into something more raw, heavy and focused (just eight final songs were selected for the record).

Keen to never stay in one place for too long, Damien Rice’s new material nonetheless found its spiritual home in Iceland, where he and co-producer Rick Rubin completed the record after an initial period in Los Angeles. Rice was drawn to Rubin by what he didn’t know about him, as opposed to what he did (he meditated, had a big beard, and some people called him a guru). Rubin first saw Rice play live around the release of ‘O’, and recalls that “he was my favourite new artist at the time. A lot of our work together was to help him see what was so clear to everyone else in the room.” Encouraged by Rick to open up and have faith in the songs he kept starting, criticizing and scrapping, Damien relocated from Los Angeles to the fittingly volcanic energy of Iceland, where he assembled a cast of friends and local musicians to complete ‘My Favourite Faded Fantasy’ against the stunning backdrop of Reykjavik (which can be seen in the album’s striking accompanying videos).

“I sat for a minute,” recaps Damien, “and imagined myself with one more hour on the planet. And I noticed that I didn’t care about whether I had sold more records, or less records. What was most important to me was wanting to shed whatever mask I’d been wearing so that I could at least be myself in the world, instead of some version of myself that I thought was appropriate.”

The full tour listing:

9 June   –   Edinburgh, Usher Hall
11 June   –   Manchester, Albert Hall
13 June   –   London, Royal Hospital Chelsea

Tickets for Damien Rice performing at Manchester’s Albert Hall go on sale at 9am on Friday 27th February.

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