Ali Horn gives an exclusive play of his debut EP while also discussing songwriting, inspiration and what he wants for Christmas, Getintothis Peter Guy dives in.
Ali Horn is a firm favourite here at Getintothis.
His heartfelt and beautiful songs have captivated us since we first heard his demos back in 2016, when he was part of the much missed Strange Collective.
We described these demos as the perfect accompaniment to road trips and adventures.
Our next mention of Ali Horn was in a Deep Cuts column in 2017, where we noted that ‘through its fuzzy haze and melodic churn, it evokes a simpler time of seaside trips and thwarted romantic intentions.’
Our first taste of Ali live was from his support slot to Frankie Cosmos the same year, where our review said that he ‘grabbed our attention with the very first beat of his set’.
His track Dreamers saw Ali move up from Merseyside’s Best Kept Secret to 6 Music stalwart. Recent release Crooked Mind took this further, gathering plays on both 6 Music and Radio One amongst others.
The reason for all this backwards looking nostalgia?
One of the best parts of being a music fan is coming across a genuine new talent and watching it blossom before your eyes.
A significant step on Ali Horn’s journey is about to take place, with the release of his first EP and news of his debut album, currently being recorded at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios.
Called It Wears Off, the EP starts with I Feel Wind, a six minute epic of sunburst psychedelia.
Guiding Star is an effects drenched shimmer of a song, while Jesus Take the Wheel calms things down a little as a laidback country ballad, while Modern Voodoo might be the darkest love song of the year, with Horn singing ‘I hang my head in a noose I made’ over a trippy, melancholic tune.
It Wears Off is a late contender for one of our favourite musical highlights of 2019 with opener I Feel Wind characteristically trading his sun-soaked vocal and windswept guitar washes before bleeding into a crescent of washed psychedelia.
The more contemplative Crooked Mind gives way to one of the singles of the year, Dreamers, all catchy hooks and dreamy vocal-led cloudy lemonade melodies.
Jesus Takes The Wheel is a trip inside some of Ali‘s most direct influences – the stoner slacker cool of Kurt Vile twinned with the pop sensibilities of northern rock and roll – albeit underplayed and beautifully teed up with lovelorn lyrics.
Modern Voodoo is well documented on these pages – and it remains a definitive statement of intent while closer Guiding Star is a melancholic ode finding comfort in home.
Before his EP is released, Getintothis spoke to Ali about his journey so far.
Getintothis: Ali – congratulations! It’s been an epic journey to reach this point – but you must be made up – tell us about the creation of the record and how it feels to finally have it released?
Ali Horn: “This record has been a while in the making, I started writing demos for this project when Strange Collective started to wane and I was left with a creative void so the songs in some shape or form have been around for a while.
Having signed to Rooftop Records and Funnel Music I started working on them at Parr Street Studios which Chris Taylor made such a pleasant experience.
The recording was pretty hazard free and easy thanks to my amazing band – Nathan Price on drums, Chay Heney on bass and Barney Goodall on keys.
We sporadically recorded over the last 8 months or so, so it feels great to finally have a complete finished product for everyone. “
Getintothis: You’ve had a impressive year of live dates – the culmination of a lot of hard graft playing live with bands, and solo, tell us about the recent tour – and what you’ve got coming up?
Ali Horn: “The most recent tour was great. We played 12 dates over England with 1 up in Glasgow, breaking into Scotland for the first time. It felt great.
We drove ourselves and it was just the four of us on the road so felt more like a road trip with my mates, with A LOT of driving.
The shows were great, favourite venue had to be Ramsgate Music Hall, a gorgeous small venue where we supported The Magic Gang. We’re playing our biggest headline show to date in a couple of weeks time at The Arts Club in Liverpool and then we’ll be back out on the road spring 2020. “
Getintothis: What was the inspiration behind the new tracks on the EP – plus what’s inspiring you on new material?
Ali Horn: “The inspiration varies wildly, themes stray between birth and death, love and paranoia all muddled with what I see on a daily basis. But I’m pretty one dimensional, give it a listen and you’ll get the gist of it. “
Getintothis: Finally, it’s Christmas time now – what are you hoping Santa brings you?
Ali Horn: “A Labour government and maybe a successful EP.”