Line's debut album, Hearts, available here in digital flavours, with CD/LP direct from Uncharted Audio.
"A welcome human element in the machine music sphere".
- Clash Magazine
"Deep, pressurised funk and catchy synth pop".
- Plan B Magazine
"Brilliant and intriguing… fascinating lyrics with simple rhythms and skewed melodies".
- Irish Daily Star
Plaintive voice times delectable electro prettiness times a monstrous bass equals Line… touching and defiant".
- Lend Me Your Ears
Wicked tunes… fans of Hot Chip might just find the next big thing here… ‘Hearts’ works, and it shows that Britain’s electronica scene is alive and well… the scene can still throw out some great tunes".
- Bearded Magazine
"You can’t help yourself liking it… 'Hearts' is quite an exceptional album".
"One of the comparatively few artists operating within what might be loosely termed as the electro-pop genre to really get a firm grasp of the 'pop' part of that pigeonhole… good stuff".
Line is 30-year old Neil Wells, who as a member of various bands and collaborative projects has steadily carved out a unique persona that segues pure electronics with indie musicality and vocals. ‘Hearts’, his debut solo album, delivers heartfelt lyrics of loves and lives lost and won across stark yet warm cinematic electronics.
Born in Brighton, when he was 2 years old the Wells family moved to Munich, Germany and then later to The Hague, Holland, where at age 14 he first picked up a bass guitar and started playing in bands with schoolmates before moving to Nottingham to study philosophy and quantum physics. After playing in a number of indie bands, which broke up due to techno, death and singers converting to radical islam, he found himself briefly without anyone interesting to play with and so installed some free software on his PC and started experimenting with 8-bit computer game sounds, going to clubs, trying to imitate Missy Elliott and getting increasingly obsessed with electro and techno.
After circulating a few minidiscs of experiments round friends involved in the Nottingham DIY music scene, he was offered a show at the now-legendary WhyCan'tWeJustAllGetAlong series of nights, and with only a few days to choose a name, Line (a fairly obvious anagram) was born.
Through the WCWJAGA nights appearances on Tzanda's limited CDR releases followed whilst at the same time, he reconvened with university friends Fletcher and Ed Earl, as well as with Argentinian ex-cabaret drummer Jorge Lerda, to form Escapologists - initially a hardcore techno duo, the band quickly morphed into the exact opposite- a reflective, piano-led post-rock band, as evidenced on the self-released `Starlight' EP. Wells was asked to join Nottingham slow-core masters Savoy Grand on bass and cornet for the recording and subsequent touring of 2005's `People and What they Want' LP, as well as contributing a Line remix to the `Empty Roads' CDR EP. Leaving the band due to other commitments, Wells also joined Matador and Glitterhouse Records' (and long-time Nottingham friends) Seachange as multi-instrumentalist for the recording of 2nd LP `On Fire, With Love', until that band's demise in 2007 and he continues to work with 3 of that band's members as Dearest whilst also contributing to Savoy Grand’s third album due out next year.
As Line, a chance online encounter with Uncharted Audio led to his 2005 debut 7" proper, `A Snowstorm in a Globe/Observe the Mechanics'. A slew of compilation appearances followed, as well as live shows with the likes of Fog, Alias, The Bug, DMX Krew, Kid606, Debasser, Cylob, and Panda Bear, topped off in 2008 by an appearance on Uncharted Audio's "Signals" subscription 7" series alongside artists such as Plaid, Si Begg, King Cannibal and label mate Cursor Miner.
Now as we turn into 2009, Well’s debut solo album is ready to be unveiled. Opening with the spine-tingling rawness of `Optics', Neil's clinical approach to electronic music production appears to contrast starkly with the raw emotional state of his words and delivery of them. Yet perhaps they have more in common with each other than might at first be suspected. Whilst speaking recently of a complex sequencer he used to make many of the early Line tracks, he summarised it in exactly the way you might expect him to describe the relationship between two lovers - `quirky, unstable, frustrating but ultimately incredibly inspiring'.
A rare thing then, occupying a space at once overtly analytical and yet buffeted by random tugs of the heartstrings. `Hearts' has many stories to tell, and it tells them as well as they could be told, but despite an apparent simplicity, it is a dense record of many layers, hidden meanings and abstract musings. Like its subject matter, it is something to be marvelled at, shocked by and deeply immersed in.
released February 9, 2009
Words and music written, arranged, sung and played by Neil Wells, Winter 2007-Spring 2008.
Mixed by Peter Fletcher and Neil Wells at First Love Studios, Nottingham 2008.
Mastered by [snyzch] + jimmy stewart.
Cover paintings by David Gray.