posted June 18th, 2020

The lockdown-era return of wildlife to the towns looked foreboding, with images of our streets deserted but for the odd roaming animals - but weren't cities built for everyone? Sean O' Hagan and his daughter Livvy have teamed up to sing of this ecstatic, divisive and unexpected homecoming, with squelching, modern r'n'b beats to boost the much needed energies in our stagnated communities today. Mixed by modern art-pop wunderkind Fryars, "The Wild Are Welcome" introduces a futuristic side of O'Hagan's always inventive songcraft. Sean writes:

"This April, the animals were coming back to the cities. I love our wild in London, the foxes and badgers - but then sheep, deer and goats started to stray back into the edges of urbanity, in Essex and on the fringes of Swansea and Edinburgh. So I imagined the conversations the animals were having as they acclimatized to the new norm. And of course it flipped the status for the rest of us not in captivity, as we stared out at the wild from our lockdown. As much as I have enjoyed the musical landscape that I have explored for 30 years, I want to creep beyond it. I can still drop the chords as I always have but I am enamored with the 2020 RnB experience and here I have found new tools to put records together. Livvy keeps me informed and I increasingly run stuff by her, so when the idea of this tune emerged, I wanted a female vocal around which to hang an approximated vocal running through bit crushing and transformers to get the 'sound'. The sounds of Sly's Riot mixed with these vital new expressions. This is where I am at in 2020: SEAN SYLVESTER DRAKE 61."

Much more of this to come? We hope so! Listen to "The Wild Are Welcome" by clicking the link above.

Artists in this story: Sean O'Hagan