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SLOW TOWN CLOCK

Slow Town Clock is Glasgow born singer-songwriter Jamie Leven, often accompanied by various musical collaborators. Jamie writes contemporary Scottish folk songs that stand at the crossroads of traditional British folk music and Americana, always with a gentle nod towards the modern pop and rock influences that started him on his musical journey. At Slow Town Clock's heart is wide-ranging and thoughtful songwriting which explores the passage of time and charts our inner and outer landscapes.

Currently based in North East England, Slow Town Clock’s upcoming debut album was written on and inspired by the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, and will be released in August 2023.


‘A class act…a deft finger picker and melodious singer.’ - Steve Tilston

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About (drafts): Welcome
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ABOUT SLOW TOWN CLOCK

Scottish singer-songwriter

Slow Town Clock is the creative output of Glasgow born singer-songwriter and guitarist Jamie Leven, along with his ever-expanding band of musical friends.


Winner of the 2008 Glasgow Songwright competition, Jamie has toured in the UK and Canada and has spent over a decade travelling Great Britain and Ireland collecting, performing and writing songs. With two decades as a performer lining his face Jamie has played in almost every conceivable type of venue; from the Glasgow Carling Academy, the Inverness Ironworks and the Lerwick Mareel, to pubs, folk clubs, festivals, bandstands, living rooms, woodland glades, and even - bizarrely - the Scottish Parliament building. He has sung on the streets of countless towns and cities across Europe - from Galway to Rome, from Stornoway to Pamplona - and many an alleyway in-between - always tinkering, always working to improve his delivery and always striving to discover and to respect the heart of the song.


With influences ranging from Rabbie Burns to Nick Cave, Jamie writes contemporary folk music that stands somewhere at the crossroads between traditional British folk song and modern alternative music. He has a deep interest in song and verse in its purest form but also, increasingly, in the exploration of the seemingly inifinite possibilities that come with arranging and producing records.


By the late twenty-tens Jamie was growing increasingly concerned that - despite his huge repertoire of folk and popular songs - he was not devoting enough attention to the exploration or presentation of his own original compositions and - watching his twenties drawing to a close - he resolved to remedy this. With the help of his future wife and fellow folk musician Sophie Wren - a piano-accordionist and gifted vocal harmoniser - Jamie began to create arrangements for his songs that went some way beyond the limitations of the acoustic guitar on which they were written. Jamie and Sophie began making and performing music as Slow Town Clock in 2019, initially recording a four track EP in Calderdale, England. The EP also featured two local Yorkshire musicians; double bassist Jez Watson from Pontefract and fiddle player Ian Illsley from Sheffield. Recording took place at Hebden Bridge Underground Studios in bits and pieces over the span of almost two years; completion and release of this EP, Tables Turning, was significantly disrupted and delayed by the events of 2020 and ultimately it wasn't released until 2021.


After relocation to Northumberland in 2021, Jamie quickly began to connect with local folk and jazz musicians and - almost by accident - formed what could loosley be described as a band. The core members of this group were Jamie's wife Sophie Wren and Jamie's close friend and north-east drummer-extraordinaire John Hirst, but the lineup would go on to feature half a dozen players in various combinations. Beginning in late 2021, and picking up pace in 2022, Jamie and these musicians began working on arrangements for three studio albums' worth of original material. 


The first of these projects, Crossing Tides, was completed in early 2023. The album was a collection of songs Jamie had written in his mid-twenties during extended visits to the Outer Hebrides and it was structured as a journey north through that archipelago. Crossing Tides featured Jamie's vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica as well as Sophie Wren's piano-accordion and vocal harmonies, with John Hirst providing vibraphone, percussion, drums, background vocals and haunted dulcimer. The project also included double bassist Paul Susans (of well known festival favourites The Baghdaddies) and Newcastle based musical octopus Dean Parker who provided atmospheric electric slide guitar on some tracks and melodic mandolin on others. Julie Bartley beautifully facilitated the recording, live in the studio with no overdubs; the whole album being recorded over just two days - the 17th and 18th of February 2023 - in Cupola Studios, Newcastle. After two singles earlier in the summer, the album was released digitally in August (and physically in September) of 2023 to positive reviews. 


Jamie and friends are currently in the process of pre-production and recording of a further three studio albums comprising of three slightly different lineups and arguably spilling over into three slightly different musical styles. The spring of 2024 will see the release of the first single from one of these three projects. 


No matter the project, whatever the style, the quartz crystal at the heart of the Slow Town Clock mechanism is a deep appreciation of wide-ranging and thoughtful songwriting and a human need to explore love and death, light and dark, bitter and sweet - all set against the ever-present and inescapable backdrop of the passage of time. Slow Town Clock is an attempt to chart - however crudely - our vast outer and inner landscapes and to make some sense of ​the miraculous, the mysterious and the mundane. A movement that goes ever on. 


‘A class act…a deft finger picker and melodious singer.’ - Steve Tilston

About (drafts): About
DSCF6215-2.jpg

ABOUT SLOW TOWN CLOCK

Scottish singer-songwriter

Slow Town Clock is the music of Glasgow born singer-songwriter and guitarist Jamie Leven, encompassing multiple projects, spanning several genres and often accompanied by a varied and ever-expanding band of musical friends.


No matter the project, line-up or style, at the heart of Slow Town Clock is wide-ranging and thoughtful songwriting that seeks to chart our vast outer and inner landscapes, and to make some sense of ​the miraculous, the mysterious and the mundane.


With influences ranging from Rabbie Burns to Nick Cave, Jamie writes contemporary folk music that stands somewhere at the crossroads between traditional British folk song and modern alternative music. He has a deep interest in song and verse in its purest form, but also, increasingly, in the exploration of the seemingly infinite possibilities that come with arranging and producing records.


The Story So Far


‘A class act…a deft finger picker and melodious singer.’ - Steve Tilston


Winner of the 2008 Glasgow Songwright competition, Jamie has toured in the UK and Canada and has spent over a decade travelling Great Britain and Ireland collecting, performing and writing songs.


Jamie has played in almost every conceivable type of venue, from the Glasgow Carling Academy and the Inverness Ironworks to pubs, folk clubs, festivals, bandstands, living rooms, woodland glades, and even - bizarrely - the Scottish Parliament building. He has sung on the streets of countless towns and cities across Europe - from Galway to Rome, from Stornoway to Pamplona - and in many an alleyway in-between, always tinkering, always working to improve his delivery, and always striving to discover and respect the heart of the song.


By the late twenty-tens Jamie had a huge repertoire of folk and popular songs, but felt he was not devoting enough attention to the exploration and recording of his many original compositions. As his twenties drew to a close, he resolved to remedy this.


With the help of his future wife and fellow folk musician Sophie Wren - a piano-accordionist and gifted vocal harmoniser - Jamie began to create arrangements for his songs that went beyond the limitations of the acoustic guitar on which they were written.


The pair began making and performing music as Slow Town Clock in 2019, initially recording a four track EP in Calderdale, England. The EP also featured two local musicians; double bassist Jez Watson and fiddle player Ian Illsley. Recording took place at Hebden Bridge Underground Studios over the span of almost two years, disrupted by the events of 2020 but ultimately released in 2021.


After relocation to Northumberland in 2021, Jamie quickly began to connect with local folk and jazz musicians and, almost by accident, formed what could loosely be described as a band. The core members of this group are Jamie's wife Sophie and his close friend John Hirst, north-east drummer-extraordinaire and multi-instrumentalist.


The line-up would go on to feature half a dozen players in various combinations. Beginning in late 2021 and picking up pace in 2022, Jamie and these musicians began working on arrangements for three studio-albums'-worth of original material. 


Crossing Tides


The first of these projects, an album titled Crossing Tides, was recorded in early 2023. Jamie wrote this collection of songs in his mid-twenties during extended visits to the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, and the album is structured as a journey north through the archipelago.


Crossing Tides features Jamie's vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica as well as Sophie’s piano-accordion and vocal harmonies. John Hirst provides vibraphone, percussion, drums, background vocals and haunted dulcimer.


The album also features double bassist Paul Susans (of well known festival favourites The Baghdaddies) and his arsenal of FX pedals.


Newcastle-based musical octopus Dean Parker provides atmospheric electric slide guitar on some tracks, and melodic mandolin on others.


Julie Bartley beautifully facilitated the recording live in the studio with no overdubs; the whole album being recorded in just two days - 17th and 18th February 2023 - in Cupola Studios, Newcastle. After two singles earlier in the summer, the album was released digitally in August (and physically in September) of 2023 to positive reviews. 


"A lovely album, sometimes stark and simple, sometimes musically rich and complex... You should seek it out." - folking.com

Upcoming Releases


Jamie and friends are currently in the process of pre-production and recording of a further three studio albums comprising of three slightly different line-ups, and arguably spilling over into three slightly different musical styles. The spring of 2024 has seen the release of the first single from one of these projects.

About (drafts): About
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