Embarking on a confident new path in 2021, Ali MacQueen returns with the brand new track, Loretto, via Blaggers Records. A new single that laces the alt-rock spirit of Radiohead or Gomez via the Americana thrum of Neil Young and widescreen ambition of Sea Change-era Beck, Loretto brims with the kind of maturity that it can take years to accomplish. The Fountain caught up with Ali on the track and his plans for the year.

TF: You have a new single out, what has the reception been like to Loretto?

It’s actually been really good. The comparisons it’s been getting and the response and support by radio stations like Hit Mix 107.5fm and Stone Town Radio has been amazing. And then people have picked up on it internationally, too. It’s been played in South Africa and France quite a bit. I think it would be really at home on US college radio, so we’ll see what happens there. The UK bloggers and online magazines have been really supportive too, which I’m really grateful for, because there are so many talented artists like The Skinner Brothers, JW Paris and Dois Padres as well as thousands of others, releasing great music every single day.

TF: How would you sum up the track in one sentence?

Widescreen alt-rock with a warming orange hue. Less is always more when trying to do something like that.

TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, after this release?

So I’m going into Buffalo Studios again soon with the same producer, JB Pilon, who recorded Loretto, and we’ll record another track, which will be released this year. Then I’ve been approached by promoters who are gearing up to put on some live gigs around September/October time so, fingers crossed, we can go ahead with those and start playing live again.

TF: Where is your favourite venue for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging?

It has to be The Bodega in Nottingham or The Half Moon in Putney. The former has a great sound and a pretty high stage, which gives the illusion you’re playing to more people that you are! And the Half Moon just has a really cool vibe, and people go there to really listen and appreciate music, and there’s always a good rapport between all the musicians who play on any given night. I’m really looking forward to playing the 100 Club again, because of its heritage and it’s everything a gig venue should be: out of sight, underground, slightly sweaty, but with a certain electric atmosphere that promises a good night, no matter what might be on.