It’s been a while since the world last heard from Torn Sail, the soft-focus and sun-kissed musical project helmed by songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Huw Costin. The Nottingham-based artist last popped his head above the parapet in 2017 with debut album ‘This Short Sweet Life’, a superb collection of timeless songs and instrumentals that built on the success of two stellar singles for Claremont 56, ‘Birds’ and ‘Treasure’.
With his love of gently unfurling guitars, sunset-ready grooves, delicate arrangements and emotive vocals, Costin is a neat fit with NuNorthern Soul, a label long celebrated for its atmospheric and life-affirming approach to music. His first single for Phat Phil Cooper’s imprint is a sunny, slow burn treat, with Costin delivering two heartfelt songs.
‘A Beautiful Life’ lives up to its name, with Costin passionately delivering poignant, thoughtful lyrics over a similarly heart-aching musical backing that makes the most of sustained synthesizer chords, hazy, finger-picked electric guitar notes and a gentle but rhythmic piano motif.
The track that follows, ‘Disconnected’, is equally ear catching. More folksy in tone and lyrically dexterous, the track’s part acoustic, part electronic construction is little less than stunning: a yearning, head-in-the-clouds treat that evokes buried memories of slow, sun-baked afternoons amidst Britain’s most idyllic rural locations.
The track’s future Balearic credentials are strengthened further by the accompanying remixes. Manchester veteran Neil Scott, the man behind El Diablo’s Social Club, dons the North Of The Island guise to deliver vocal and instrumental versions that tease the track further towards the dancefloor whilst retaining every ounce of beauty contained in Costin’s original version. The gorgeous guitars and chords remain, with Scott adding shuffling drums, warm bass and the kind of electronic flourishes that gurgle and babble like a mountain brook.
To complete the package, Cooper has turned to Bali-based Liverpudlian Joey Fitzgerald, a DJ/producer best known for playing regular sets and the now legendary beachside venue Potato Head. His ‘Sunset Drums’ mix builds slowly and majestically, with Fitzgerald layering up delay-laden guitars, bass, vocal snippets and cosmic electronics before introducing a suitably heady drumbeat and more spaced-out electronic flourishes. By the time the rework plays out, you’ll be smiling, saucer-eyed and gagging to play it all over again. It’s a fittingly brilliant conclusion to another must-have Torn Sail release.
Phil Mison, Cantoma - Sounds great!
Chris Coco - The atmospheric and moody Joey Fitzgeralds Sunset Drums version is the one for me on this package.
Bill Brewster - Fave track is ‘A Beautiful Life’ and the North Of The Island remix of ‘Disconnected' is lovely too.
Paul ‘Mudd’ Murphy, Smith & Mudd, Claremont56 - I love Huw's beautiful and emotive originals, excellent work all round Torn Sail!
Adam Macca, NTS Radio - Beautiful stuff this. Exactly the sound I need in times like this. Particularly feeling A Beautiful Life and loving Joey Fitz's drums mix of Disconnected.
Dave Pickering, One Million Sunsets, Music For Dreams Radio - Nice little package this! The original vocal versions of the two tracks have that nice laid back sound that Huw does so well and the acoustic guitar parts are glorious, but it is the NOTI Instrumental remix and the 'Sunset Drums' mix that are doing it for me, the latter has a similar vibe to the 'Birds' remix that everybody loved. 'Sun blissed folk not folk vibes’
B.J. Smith, Smith & Mudd - These are all pure gold.
Peter Croce, Rock Steady Disco, Detroit, USA - Absolutely stunning music from NuNorthern Soul again. Singer-songwriter vibes meets sunset DJ sets. "Disconnected (Joey Fitzgeralds Sunset Drums Mix)" is massive and I'll be playing it for many years to come.
released April 10, 2020
Disconnected (Original mix) recorded & mixed by James Bennet at Swanyard. Produced by E.R. Thorpe
Guitar and vocals for Disconnected North of the Island mixes recorded at Kinema Audio by Huw Jones.
A Beautiful Life : Recorded at Random Recordings by Huw Costin, Synth by Simon White, mixed by Simon White at Studio 31.
North of the Island mixes by Neil ‘Diablo’ Scott
Mastered by Robin Lee
Artwork Design by Mr. Vincent
Jungle Reflection photo taken in Agonda, Goa, India by Phil Cooper, March 2020
NuNortherns Soul has been running events since 1996, the label, which was formed in 2012, is about presenting a rich tapestry of music, not restricted by genre or production techniques, it is not a Soul music label, but a label for music WITH Soul.