Hard And Strong
Released: 29th Apr, 2013
Label: Tru Thoughts
Boasting new remixes from Let The Machines Do The Work and Typesun, “Hard And Strong” is the second single from Alice Russell’s fifth solo album ‘To Dust’, which came out in February, elevating the much loved British soul and blues singer to a new level of mainstream recognition, with accolades including BBC 6Music Album of the Day.
The “Hard And Strong” single follows a slew of media coverage for the album, and heavy airplay on BBC 6Music and Radio 2. Numerous live radio sessions include stunning turns for Gilles Peterson and Craig Charles in BBC 6Music Live At Maida Vale (with “Hard And Strong” being picked by the BBC for its online and Red Button highlights); as well as Jamie Cullum (BBC Radio 2), Robert Elms (BBC London), The Selector, Loose Ends (BBC R4), and interviews include Huey Morgan (BBC 6Music), the 6Music Lunchtime Show, Echoes, DJ Mag, Blues & Soul and more.
‘To Dust’ has been widely hailed as a fresh and emphatic set of new sounds from a singularly charismatic, emotionally compelling performer and songwriter; and “Hard And Strong” epitomises the crisp, cutting edge production and eclectic influences that join a lifelong love of vintage soul and gospel, and that voice, at the core of Alice Russell’s style.
This single package brings two inventive remixes of “Hard And Strong”, from hotly tipped Brighton foursome Let The Machines Do The Work and rising Bristol star Typesun, who has recently been supported by Gilles Peterson, Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Fact and The Independent, and Playlisted by BBC Introducing for BBC Radio 1 daytime play.
Featured on the promo CD, the LTMDTW rework brings in a soulful male vocal and morphs the punchy, Prince-meets-Janelle Monae strut of the original into a woozy and wonky, lilting deep house monster. Typesun, well known for his way with a drumbeat, strips “Hard And Strong” right back to drums and vocals, the spacious treatment building and tweaking into a subtly irresistible cut that demands repeat listens. The promo CD also includes a Radio Edit of “Hard And Strong”, clocking in at 3:22.
‘To Dust’ arrived in style in late 2012 with the “Heartbreaker” single, accompanied by a video starring comedy god and long-time Alice fan Harry Shearer (The Simpsons/Spinal Tap) dressing up as Alice, gaining over 100,000 YouTube hits and a major buzz. An upfront free download of the album track “Twin Peaks” was then premiered by Clash and featured as an MPFree by Lauren Laverne on the 6Music Morning Show, ahead of the album’s release.
‘To Dust’ marks the next step forward in a remarkable career which has seen this diminutive Brit universally acknowledged as one of the best voices of our time. Whether on a huge stage with a 16 piece band, charming 4000 revellers into staying out dancing in the rain, or rocking an intimate club, Alice’s raw talent and charisma command attention and affection. Highly in demand, Alice recently guested on Talking Heads leader David Byrne’s solo LP, to add to work with Mr Scruff, Quantic, DJ Yoda and Nostalgia 77. But it’s her solo records with longtime collaborator TM Juke that she is best known for, and they have borne some of the most arresting blues soul since the glory days of Aretha. Tru Thoughts signed ‘To Dust’ for territories including the UK, Americas, Australasia and Japan; reuniting Alice Russell with the label that introduced her to the world, where she released her first three albums, as well as myriad collaborations (including the 6Music Playlisted “Look Around The Corner” with Quantic in 2012).