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New album EMERGE, RETURN, out now

Five years since the idea was first muted in the studio of Pete Townshend, our new album is complete, finished, printed, digitised, vinylised, packaged up, posted… and out today. You can hear it on streaming services, or you can hold it in your hand via the limited edition CD or vinyl version. Either way you’ll get to see Stanley Donwood’s striking artwork, linked to the lyrics lifted from our Robert Macfarlane inspired, Underland song, which make the album title, EMERGE, RETURN

On it are featured songs inspired by a fascinating array of books, which came to us in a number of different ways. The Vanishing Hours, by Barney Norris, The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel, and Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch are curated by Mr B’s Emporium, while the Philip Pullman inspired songs come from the launch event at the Bodleian Library for The Book Of Dust. Our song for The Testaments by Margaret Atwood was for the book’s launch in Canada, while Deep Time, our Underland-inspired song was for the book’s launch at Daunt Books, in London. Our song inspired by the Brontë sisters' work was written for an event at The National Portrait Gallery, and our Brave New World inspired song came from a concert we did for the V&A on banned books. And of course, Shaun Bythell’s The Diary Of A Bookseller found its way into our hands via his shop, which is only a few doors down from us, in Wigtown. 

"Hypnotically beautiful" - Shaun Keaveny, The Folk Show, BBC Radio 2

"They are amazing" - Zoe Ball, BBC Radio 2

The album itself was recorded during five sessions at Pete’s studio, spread over a few years, and Pete was incredibly generous with his time, sharing stories, his musicianship and his support for this album. You’ll hear his playing on every track, weaving into a complete whole. If you’d like to hear more about the recording process, we’ve also just released the first few episodes of a podcast series where we chat to Pete Townshend and the authors about the process. You can also hear us talk to authors Robert Macfarlane and Shaun Bythell.

Beth and I are currently at Glastonbury Festival - in fact, if you’re reading this, it means the breeze has blown the internet in our direction - so we thought we’d celebrate with a little song, not from the album, but one about starting a story, binding a book, which seems fitting.

We hope you enjoy the album. Do spread the word, share the streaming links, post on social media, tell your friends, it all really helps to make this a sustainable exercise for us, even print off a tour poster and stick it in your window! We really hope some of you can make it to one of our UK shows. They are starting to sell out, so get your tickets quick. 

Love from us both, and thankyou for your support

Ben & Beth 

The Bookshop Band


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