Alan Pownall has been flying around the edges of my radar since I first read about him over at The Daily Growl, and I was lucky enough to get a few questions with the rising songsmith last week. He has risen through the ranks along with Mumford & Sons, Jay Jay Pistolet and others that have been part of the resurgence of folk we’ve been covering in and around our nations capital over the last 18 months – but folk doesn’t quite cover all of his repertoire. Colourful Day may be a wistful piece of acoustic guitar folk, but Take Me is more upbeat pop perfection (download below), whilst my favourite, “The Others”, easily plods along beautifully with a violin part that can’t help but draw you in.
But enough of the introductions, here is what he had to say for himself (he’s the one in italicized bold being the important one here as normal)…
You were previously studying art in Italy. Do you think you could have had the success you’ve had in the London folk scene over there?
‘London Folk Scene’? I like to see myself as more of a crooner than a folk singer!
Haha – especially with your folk makeovers (now I feel guilty calling them that) of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” and Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” I suppose. Why did you choose them anyway?
I chose them simply because they were on the radio at the time and I liked them.
The London folk scene (there I go again) is quite a mixture of solo artists and bands, how do you think being a solo artist compares with those touring as bands?
I don’t know what it’s like to be in a touring band, but I imagine solo artists and bands both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Being creative is something I’ve always preferred to do alone. I envy those who can share the experience with their friends, It must be very gratifying
With your status as a folk/pop/acoustic solo artist – some have described you as the British Jack Johnson. Compliment or no?
I’d prefer Michael Buble
Right, onto your actual releases…Your first two singles “Clara” (Young & Lost) and “Colourful Day” (PureGroove) have been released on small indie labels. How has that compared to working with Mercury for the album?
It’s been a pleasure doing stuff with Young & Lost and Pure Groove, they are both really great Labels with lovely people behind them. I can’t compare it to working with Mercury though, firstly because I am yet to release anything with Mercury and secondly, because they are two completely different machines with different goals.
Talking of the album, any dates set yet for when we can hear it?
I’m hoping May next year (2010). I’ve still got a bit to do before a final date is set for release.
There you go folks, album coming May next year – just in time to play it in the car on your way to the cheese rolling festival (OK, fine I was stuck for anything else happening in May – but that gives you all plenty of time to wander down to your local record shop to pick this up).
Alan Pownall LIVE in London
Tonight @ Queen of Hoxton (Young & Lost Club)
2 Dec @ St Moritz (Clash Christmas Party)
9 Dec @ St Barnabas (Christmas Party)