(UK) Blessed with a voice of stripped back, stop-you-in-your-tracks beauty, Rhodes releases his eagerly anticipated debut album ‘Wishes’ September 4th on Rhodes Music / Ministry of Sound. Having honed the songwriting talent that has been clear for all to hear on his captivating early EP’s, ‘Wishes’ confirms the arrival of a major talent who has already been compared to artists as diverse as Jeff Buckley and Adele. The album is written entirely by Rhodes and produced by Rhodes and his long-term collaborator James Kenosha (Dry The River, Pulled Apart By Horses), with additional production by Drake producer Nineteen85.
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Several of the brooding, slow-build songs that featured on Rhodes’ early EPs appear on the new album including the brilliant ‘Breathe’, the yearning ‘Raise Your Love’, and the upbeat ‘Turning Back Around’. Those EPs first introduced listeners to the haunting duality at the core of Rhodes’ music: songs and soundscapes that are both incredibly fragile and hugely powerful.
Alongside those songs are new compositions including epic closer ‘You & I’ and the pulsating new single, debuted on Radio 1 as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record, ‘Close Your Eyes’ about vulnerability and trepidation. “It’s about my fear of performing” Rhodes says of the forthcoming single. “I wanted to make this a little more ambiguous so I changed it to the third person and made it more about me talking to somebody else-when really it’s me talking to myself.”
Rhodes grew up in Hitchin. His father introduced him to the blues when he was small most notably Robert Johnson. Soon after he began to play guitar. His best friend’s sister later turned him onto Nirvana, Blur and Oasis at which point he took up piano. While at a local college, Rhodes regularly met other musicians at Club 85. After moving to London, he joined a band as their bassist, which quickly became a catalyst for songwriting.
He’s spent the last 18 months quickly making up for lost time because it’s his voice that really defines Rhodes, setting him apart from everyone else. This was never more apparent than on a recent Huw Stephens Radio 1 session when Rhodes performed an incredible cover of Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’. It was so good that Taylor Swift re-tweeted the session. Rhodes has travelled a long way in a short time building on what has been a phenomenal beginning to a career that promises longevity. He’s supported Ben Howard, London Grammar, George Ezra and Sam Smith while selling out his own shows including his biggest show to date at London’s Village Underground in March.