Johnny Lloyd, the former Tribes frontman, and famously, boyfriend of Billie Piper, is set to release his debut solo full album as a follow up to the Dreamland EP. Next Episode Starts In 15 Seconds is due for release on 3rd May via Xtra Mile Recordings. The announcement has been coupled with an exclusive first glimpse of the new material on the horizon, the title-track which also features backing vocals from longtime friend and label-mate Frank Turner.
Johnny has become a father, entered his thirties and spent time in America, which is reflected in his new sound. Pared-back of sound and pure of lyric, the delicately spindled and chiming melodies of Next Episode… find Johnny making a considerable leap forward into lush and dreamy pastures new. After a 2-year period in which Johnny found himself busily scoring music for various high-profile projects for the silver screen (including the celebrated Rolling Stones Film ‘The Quiet One’), Next Episode… materialised somewhat out of the blue as the first music he had penned for himself in sometime, but would prove to be the first ripple in a wave of new material that would form his forthcoming solo album.
Very much indicative of his newfound direction and a bold departure from his indie-rock roots, Next Episode… sees Johnny’s sound metamorphosing to find kindred spirits with the likes of Nick Drake or Sparklehorse, channeling that hushed, alternative-folk sound that is so eternally enchanting.
Speaking about writing Next Episode…, Johnny reveals “[Next Episode…] was the first song I wrote for the album and it just landed out of nowhere. It marked a real turning point. It’s all about trying to enjoy the moment and not succumb to this modern idea of constant success. Everyone is different and that’s what makes life interesting, you don’t have to be anything or anybody you don’t want to be. It’s about trying to live in the moment.”
Johnny’s daughter, Tallulah, was born in January but he and Billie appear on the artwork for the album and in the video whilst Billie was eight months pregnant. The impending welcoming of a new life into the world adds to the context of the song
Checking into a 10ft square bunker in north London in late 2018 with producer Nathan Coen, the pair began to flesh out the bones of the record, operating with a hard-and-fast rule for each recorded track to be completed in “no more than three takes”. Though often a challenging process, the results as such were remarkable. With its rawest, purest and most endearing qualities perfectly preserved, the collection of tracks began to glisten like diamonds in the rough. Dusted with finishing touches from Frank Turner, Hugo White (The Maccabees) and Adam Prendergast of Harry Styles’s band, these esteemed guest appearances finessed the album with a touch of magic and drew the album into crystalline focus. Adding a last touch of class, the album was mastered at the infamous Abbey Road Studios by Frank Arkwright in late 2018.
Rich with personal renovations and revelations inspired by a whirlwind of changes in Johnny’s life over the past few years, the intimate and mature songs of the album tackle growth, getting sober and becoming a father, in a record that earnestly witnesses this songwriter enter back into the spotlight and truly come of age.
With the debut album and tours in the pipeline for the UK, Europe and further afield, Johnny Lloyd is back with a renewed sense of direction and a steadfast attitude that is echoed throughout this assured new album. Johnny is confirmed for Lost Evenings III in Boston in May, and 2000 Trees Festival in July.