Set for release on 11 May via Xtra Mile Recordings, the album will be followed by a UK tour.
The album’s first single Off the Rails, released earlier this week, sears along with an e-bow guitar drone thrumming underneath while Seán gives the lyrical equivalent of an arm around the shoulder and kiss on the cheek of his mates for being there for him.
As a glimpse into Son of the Smith, it captures his band absolutely ploughing through the parts he wrote for them. In that spirit, Son of the Smith captures everything live. Recording at SS2 Studios in Southend with labelmate Sam Duckworth (AKA Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.) and Jay Malhotra, drums were done without a click-track, each instrument colliding with the rhythm. “It feels urgent, like it could tip over the edge at any point,” Seán says.
There’s a spine of a concept running through the album, and one of Seán’s oldest ideas for the record: a journey across London between Old Street, Oval and Camberwell, itself a trek through Seán’s current sound. Over 13 tracks, Son of the Smith is disarming in its scope, surprising in its erudite tackling of life’s challenges, and strong of voice with just a dab of laddish humour – the aural personification of Seán himself. McGowan could end up soundtracking our social conscience well into next year.
Seán has a huge year lined up in support of the album. Ending 2017 supporting Billy Bragg through the UK he began the year touring with labelmate Will Varley, including a massive show at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire last week.
Coinciding with the album release he will play a short headline tour throughout May as well as joining Frank Turner for a main stage slot at the Lost Evenings 2 Festival at the Roundhouse in London.
Here are Seán’s live dates:
14 May – Roundhouse, London (supporting Frank Turner at Lost Evenings II)
15 May – Monarch, London
26 May – Fighting Cocks,Kingston
27 May – Crofter’s Rights,Bristol
28 May – Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
29 May – Bodega, Nottingham
31 May – Totem, Sheffield
1 June – Santiagos, Leeds
2 June – Joiners, Southampton
3 June – Tiny Rebel, Cardiff
5 June – Cavern, Exeter
7 June – Portland Arms, Cambridge
8 June – Cellar, Oxford
9 June – Rising Sun Arts Centre, Reading