Spotlight: Robyn Hitchcock

Thursday, March 14, 9pm, Continental Club

Spotlight: Robyn Hitchcock

Robyn Hitchcock's latest album, Love From London (Yep Roc), arrives as the songwriter turns 60, an event marked last month with a career retrospective concert in his London hometown that delved back to his earliest work with the influential Seventies psych-pop band Soft Boys. Hitchcock hasn't let the occasion steep in undue nostalgia, however.

"Some of the songs sound silly now, just phases that I went through, kind of manic songs with a touch too much Syd Barrett," admits Hitchcock with a laugh. "And they maybe didn't do me that many favors, may have given people the impression that I was more of a goofball than I am. I don't aim to be taken too seriously, but some of them may sound a bit silly now, or the mania may seem a bit forced, as if I was particularly wearing my personality disorders on my sleeve."

Hitchcock's oeuvre remains one of the most fascinating in music, a universe that opens unto itself in moments both playful and poignant. Love From London proves a beautiful ode amid tenuous times via songs like "Death and Love" and "End of Time."

"It's not a record that's sending out blasts of doom. The emphasis is definitely on celebrating," insists Hitchcock. "There are the facts as they are, but I do my best to try to avoid facts; I'm an artist. But there are things that even I can't tune out, and maybe we're all just making moonshine on the Titanic.

"I hope it's a warm record. I want people to feel comforted by it in the same way that the Beatles' records always had a terrific humanity to them, or records by the Band. Things you could kind of warm your hands over."

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