Take One: Richard Thompson – “Freeze” – Ship to Shore

by | Apr 27, 2024 | 0 comments

Playing in the rock room today is a track from Richard Thomson’s upcoming new album Ship to Shore. Thompson is preparing to release what will be his 19ths solo record of his almost 60 year career, not including his discography with former wife and vocalist Linda Thompson and his time with Fairport Convention.

The first single released from Ship to Shore was “Singapore Sadie,” a slow drifting character study that has become a recent concert standard for Thompson. The second cut and the focus of this Talk from the Rock Room “Take One,” feature is titled, “Freeze,” a chilling number that explores bleak themes typical to Thompson’s extensive back catalog.

The song inspires one to move forward fearlessly against all odds, and to be steadfast about your decisions. The tune begins like the fluctuating hull of an ice breaker slicing through broken and serrated frozen seas. Thompson’s clean main guitar line undulates anxiously side by side with the vocal melody that elicits a psychedelic sea shanty.

Long time Thompson drummer Michael Jerome’s drums rumble in conjunction with Thompson’s knotted guitar lines causing a swirling and disorienting groove. Jerome hits well timed snare cracks that punctuate the nervousness inherent in the song. The track dramatically uses rising and falling intonation to increase the intensity of a melody line delicately balanced on a precipice.

Having played primarily acoustic shows since the pandemic, Thompson’s approach on electric is vibrant and welcome. His partner Zara Phillips lends her voice to the album continuing the theme of Thompson’s voice working perfectly in collaboration with female accompaniment.

While only a sample of Thompson’s newest work, “Freeze,” illustrates that his creativity hasn’t waned and that he continues to write and perform relevant and exciting music. His new record, Sea to Shore is sure to collaborate all of his career moves into a diverse selection of songs.

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