In The Midst of You
Released: 26 January 2024
“Since the release of his debut EP Eternal Slowdown in 2018, Brad Stank has been providing us with dusky, oddball slow jams imbued with a swooning romanticism.” – Crack
“In The Midst of You might be Brad’s most accomplished work to date.” – Notion
“Probably the only weirdo Scouse jazz crooner you’ll ever need.” – i-D
“Confirmation that he is a master of the sultry slow jam.” – The Line of Best Fit
“Jazz-leaning twilight ruminations that puncture the mythology of R&B, the Liverpool songwriter’s work has a sensual, almost carnal property.” – Clash
“Your favourite Scouse crooner.” – Offie Mag
“Fans of Adam Green will probably dig this loungey new song from the sonorous Brad Stank” – Brooklyn Vegan
Liverpool’s acclaimed sensual existentialist Brad stank today shares his highly anticipated and resolutely romantic new album In The Midst of You, out now via Sunday Best Recordings, along with titular focus track ‘In The Midst of You’. The release follows a slew of recent singles, including recently released ‘Cry Baby’ featuring London underground rapper Lord Apex. Brad invites you to celebrate the album launch with him tonight at Shoreditch’s Rough Trade East, which will be promptly succeeded by a string of shows across the country. Ticket links available HERE.
Full-bodied, intimate and divine, In The Midst of You is an album for lovers. “In the Midst of You is finally out and I hope you love it”, stank says. “It’s a very special album for me full of vulnerability, hope, love, and wine; Dionysus would be proud. Light a candle, sit back, relax with your favourite intoxicant and join me on this journey… stank you for listening and remember: I love you because you’re me.”
In The Midst of You was recorded in Bermondsey with Andy Ramsey of Stereolab. Joe Watson from Stereolab also played all the piano on the record “he was supposed to come and play on a couple of tunes but I loved how it made all the songs sound a little more 70s and Barry White-like so I asked him to play on pretty much everything” says Brad. The album also saw Sean O’Hagan (The High Llamas) giving his assistance on the arrangements, while Lydia Kitto (Jungle, Ezra Williams) adds gorgeous vocal parts throughout. Gal Go (King Krule) on the saxophone adds his own stamp to the record, while Brad’s Liverpool friend Rachel Dover (Mike Blue) also plays some lovely warm saxophone on a couple of tracks.
Brad refers to the titular track as “a vulnerable call for love and safety”. He further states, “‘In the Midst of You’, for me kinda sums up the record as a whole – it’s almost maybe a note-to-self (“baby don’t cry, it’s only for a while”) and a reassurance for anybody who needs it.” He goes on to say that the second half and outro is one of his favourite parts of the album, describing it as “simple and uplifting”.
Stream ‘In The Midst of You’ HERE
In The Midst of You finds Brad in late night lothario mode, his previous seductive style now taking a more resolutely romantic and perhaps surprisingly spiritual direction. The phrase “in the midst of you” comes from the Bible, Zephaniah 3:17, “the full quote is something along the lines of “God is in the midst of you” – basically meaning that you have to look inward for peace or enlightenment, etc. the album is about that in parts and also, as always, I tried to put a romantic twist on it so that the “in the midst of you” is about being in love with somebody. It’s kind of a juxtaposition but I’ve always enjoyed taking spiritual messages and giving them a double meaning, explains Brad. “Hopefully it’s a positive message of prostrating yourself to somebody, or to spirituality or something – but giving yourself fully to something , being in the midst…”
The stoned baritone of his voice brings the after-hours vibe to a collection of songs which playfully traverse R&B, laidback psychedelia and jazz – often simultaneously echoing Barry White and Love Unlimited with Marvin Gaye, Ween and Mac DeMarco. If you enjoyed Brad’s previous impressively unhurried slow jams such as ‘Flirting In Space’ or ‘O.T.D.’, you will discover that In The Midst of You lives up to his early potential with new-found grace and elegance, as well as his original desert dry humour.
Beyond ‘Natty Wine’ and the recent slacker rock single ‘Flicker On!’, In The Midst of You drifts lackadaisically between standout moments such as the sizzling ‘80s soul of ‘My New Heaven’ and ‘Don’t Go, Don’t Go’, a ballad of tender sophistication that was inspired by his love of Canadian indie-poppers TOPS. Elsewhere, the title track is something else entirely – a sonic journey that begins with downbeat atmospherics before taking flight into joyous, swelling gospel. It’s a song which really showcases what Brad is capable of, and closes the album on a high.
Brad stank’s first memory of music was air-drumming to Dinosaur Jr. as a child and one of his first notable music projects was drumming for real for Trudy and the Romance. Raised in Chesterfield, he relocated to Liverpool where he started to rise as part of the city’s resurgent and varied underground scene. His debut body-of-work was the 2018 EP ‘Eternal Slowdown’ before his full-length debut album ‘Kinky Om’ followed in 2020. Notable shows to date have included gigs with Clairo and Her’s, who Brad was close friends with having played together at university, as well as this year’s SXSW. In addition to his wide-ranging musical influences, his interests in literary icons like Jack Kerouac and the world of spirituality also informs his work, specifically the poets and philosophers Rumi, Mirabai, Krishnamurti and Li Po “I would say I’ve been directly influenced by their works in the process of writing the album,” explains Brad. “Krishnamurti appears on the album, and ‘Don’t Go, Don’t Go’ is the title of a Mirabai poem. She also has a poem called ‘In The Heat of Midnight Tears’, which is where I took the name of the intro from.” This, alongside an addiction to the NYT crossword.
ORDER THE NEW ALBUM HERE