NEW YORK, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Columbia Records is set to release
Strange And Beautiful, the eagerly-awaited first Stateside album from the UK
musical phenomenon Aqualung (nee Matt Hales), on Tuesday, March 22, 2005.
With tracks remastered for its inaugural release in America, and song
selection curated by Hales, Strange And Beautiful provides a perfect
introduction to the music of Aqualung, an impeccably cohesive collection
culled from Aqualung's critically-acclaimed best-selling UK albums, Aqualung
(2002) and Still Life (2003). American audiences may already be familiar with
Aqualung's music through its appearances in such hit TV programs as
"Smallville," "Nip/Tuck," and "The OC."
Strange And Beautiful includes Aqualung's breakthrough single, "Strange
And Beautiful (I'll Put A Spell On You)," the mesmerizing track which first
introduced Hales' music to the public in 2002 via an enormously successful
Volkswagen Beetle television ad campaign. Powerful and enigmatic, the single
version of "Strange And Beautiful," from Aqualung's self-titled debut album,
hit the UK singles Top 10 (#7) that same year.
Strange And Beautiful features four other songs from Aqualung--which hit
#15 on the UK albums chart in October 2002--including that album's second
single, "Good Times Gonna Come," and "If I Fall," the title track from
Aqualung's double-disk EP.
Aqualung was hailed across-the-board by the UK music press as " ... a
guiltless pleasure ... " (Hot Press), " ... a must-have for all true music
fans ... " (Rock Sound), and " ... the smoking album of the year ... " (Touch)
while Hales, according to logo, " ... has just opened the door to the major
league." The NME predicted that, "It'll make him a star," while the Evening
Standard heralded " ... an astonishing talent that will quietly blow you
From Aqualung's second album, Still Life, which the Sunday Times called
"Unquestionably the greatest collection of painstaking, finely wrought pop to
be released this year," comes the album's first two singles -- "Brighter Than
Sunshine" and "Easier To Lie" -- and other handpicked tracks. "Brighter Than
Sunshine," the first single from Strange And Beautiful, has been captured in a
music video directed by Norman Watson (Echo & the Bunnymen, Ronan Keating).
At a young age, the Southampton-born, London-based Matt Hales began
absorbing multiple musical influences--including Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone,
Brian Wilson and others--listening to records being spun at his parent's
record store. Receiving a scholarship at 16, Hales studied music under some
of Britain's foremost composers at London's City University, later cutting his
rock chops in the Britpop bands Ruth and The 45's.
"Shimmering, gorgeously crafted songs, with glorious soaring choruses,
spine-tingling moments of tension and release and an overwhelming sense of
emotional honesty ... ."
-- The Telegraph
"Aqualung could be the next Burt Bacharach."
"What might result in the event that Joe Jackson ever enlists Radiohead as
a backing group."
--The Guardian Guide
"The boy has a future!"
Aqualung will be in the states for a series of select concert performances
and radio appearances surrounding the release of Strange And Beautiful (see
Jan 23 Chicago, IL Schuba's
Jan 24-27 Park City, UT Sundance Film Festival
Jan 28 Los Angeles, CA Hotel Cafe
Jan 29 San Francisco, CA Cafe Du Nord
Jan 30 Seattle, WA Crocodile
Feb 02 New York, NY Joe's Pub
March 12 Los Angeles, CA Universal Amphitheatre (KCRW)
March 16-20 Austin, TX SXSW Music Festival
SOURCE Columbia Records