Berlin-based singer songwriter Ian Late describes his music as ‘timeless pop’. There’s a nostalgic feel to his music, although the nine tracks that make up his forthcoming album Choices are also contemporary, relevant and relatable, with a musicality to the arrangements that’s delightfully engaging too.
Before you read on, Ian Late is giving a FREE download of his track “Over Now” to Angry Baby readers. If you’re not already subscribed to Angry Baby, just pop the email address that you’d like it delivered to here and it will be on its way to you straight away, together with a bumper collection of music that has been shared by Angry Baby. The music comes from outstanding artists that you may not have heard before. With a mix of rock, pop, folk…you name it…there’s bound to be something new that floats your musical boat, and all for free! What’s not to like about that?!
Opening the album, “All That I Am”, which was released as a single on 21 February, brings a lilting melody to a song of conscience and responsibility for the world around us. Like rock? Late rips it up a notch with “Magic”, singing of the challenge of life in a metropolis:
‘big city life
sucks me dry
why don’t we get away
find a place we belong to?’
This is an album of variety and contrast. There are traces of funk here, with a laid back dance energy in “One By One”, blending into an almost country feel in “Dream” and the delightfully percussive soft-pop ballad “Cold Heart”. As with many debut albums, Late uses the space it affords to showcase his range and influences, all held together with his own effortlessly appealing vocals.
There’s meaning behind the music too. “All Things Must End” is the note from a friend that we all need to receive:
Lifes a gift, treat it well
Take care of others and of yourself
You’ve got it all…
What are you just waiting for
Nothing’s going to be for sure
Because all things must end.
Hold on until the end of the track for a blissfully arranged instrumental, showing that even an independent musician like Late benefits from collaboration with long-time band-mates.
Exploring vulnerability in life’s experiences, “Grow” tells of fear of failure through introspective lyrics set to a rock-pop rhythm, with glimpses of guitar magic to introduce and close the track.
Experience of love and life is never far away, so “Work It Out” debates the difficulties of on-off relationships, with the heartfelt cry to ‘work it out, for you, for me’. Building from an electro-guitar intro to full-on rock-band crescendo, Late reveals emotional vocal delivery, developing the track to anthemic proportions worthy of any festival stage.
Moving from the personal to the societal, “Creatures” may speak of global loss through greed, or something closer to home. Clever songwriting combines with cool pop styling – with just a hint of psychedelia – to close the album with a poignant statement.
Scheduled for release on May 4th, Choices was produced on a farm far away from the city and arose from songwriting sessions with Late’s band, who he credits as an important part of his musical development. They are:
Markus Abendroth (Guitar), Peter Thomas (Drums) and Ben Kinder (Bass) with guest appearances from Arpen (Keys, Piano), Lorraine Buzea (Cello), Rolf Langhans (Keys), Andy Edner (Keys) and Minni and Liv Summer (backing vocals)
Ian Late’s advice for anyone just starting out with their music displays a strong work ethic:
Make and write as much music as you can, visit and play as many shows as you can, learn from them and connect with people
Pre-order your copy of Choices here, and look out for Ian Late as a series of hand picked shows when Choices drops- for more details keep an eye on:
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