British indie pop artist Mike Gale has released his new single ‘Grumble Pie’, the second taste of world / folk-inspired indie pop from his forthcoming album ‘Thanks for Always Waving’ (out September 8). This comes on the trail of ‘Summer Be Gone’, an atypical summer anthem, for which the accompanying video was filmed in Suzhou, China by Matt Wallwork, featuring the artist Kimvi.
Gale may not be a household name, but his music is universal, positively-vibed lo-fi bedroom pop. Generating catchy melodies and harmonies despite dubbing himself “a prolific, lo-fi recluse”, this will be his 20th album in 20 years. Initially writing and performing under the Co-Pilgrim and Black Nielson monikers, this is the twelfth album released under his own name.
“I’ve been listening to a lot of Tall Dwarfs music and their use of rhythm and space. I really love those guys and I think ‘Grumble Pie’ owes a lot to them. I found the really cool, driving percussion sample first and built the song up from there. I suppose that, lyrically, it’s about trying to focus on the things you have, rather than don’t have. Seems like something that should be easy to do,” says Mike Gale.
“I remember Grumble Pie being that song that happens with most albums I’ve done, where you get a feel for the direction the album is going to go. I felt like I had a handle on the rest of the recording after this one. I also left my mistake in the guitar solo bit to remind myself never to do solos.”
While a multi-instrumentalist, playing all the instruments heard on this album, Gale considers himself to be primarily a guitarist. Singing for as long as he can remember, he formally began playing a the guitar and writing his own music around 20, citing The Lemonheads as a big influence in those early years.
Born in Southampton and raised there for some years, Mike Gale spent a good chunk of his childhood in North Devon and some of his formative years in Oxford, New York and Melbourne before returning home to settle on his beloved south coast of England.
With Gale taking melodic and percussive cues from influences such as Tall Dwarfs, Pavement and The Clean, ‘Thanks for Always Waving’ is ultimately one of his most pop-orientated albums to date, filled with mellow bongo beats and gentle washes of wavey organs.
Mike Gale explains, “I’m naturally introverted and have never enjoyed being onstage in front of people, so performing live was always my least favourite part of making music. Now I’m solo I feel no pressure to perform live at all, maybe one day but for now I’m happy. Recording by myself at home seemed to open a flood of songs and creativity. I think the lack of any expectations just helped me make music for the pure enjoyment of it.”