Cult singer-songwriter Stephen Fretwell has returned after more than a decade away – listen to ‘Oval’ below.
Fretwell explained of the track: “I think it is a song about marriage, the actuality of it, the responsibility of it, and the gamble. When my girlfriend was pregnant with our first son, we moved to a flat near the Oval in London. As our marriage fell apart a few years ago, it was this simple song that was the only thing I had to stick in the ground and push on with making some new music.
“I wrote the song about watching my wife look out of the window in that flat in Oval, looking at her new life as a mother, our new life as parents, and I was trying to show that in some way the beauty that we are gifted by becoming parents is often haunted by the loss of something, too.”
Fans were quick to comment on the new track. One fan wrote: “Such an amazing surprise, I cant believe this is happening, I am so happy about this new release. Hope this is just the first of many more new songs to come.”
Another wrote: “Waited years for this and not disappointed, just beautiful.”
Fretwell’s last album was 2007’s Ivor Novello-nominated ‘Man On The Roof’. His debut mini-album ‘8 Songs’ was released in 2002 and was followed by ‘Magpie’ in 2004. He’s also released three EPs.
News of new music was teased by Dan Carey’s cult label Speedy Wunderground last week (February 26) with a photo of the artist. The hashtag #FoundFretwell was used, referencing a fan tag about the longtime whereabouts of the elusive singer.
— Speedy Wunderground (@SpeedyWunder) February 26, 2021
Speedy Wunderground will release Fretwell’s third album later this year.
Fretwell’s music has been covered before by acts including the Arctic Monkeys. The Sheffield band’s rendition of Fretwell’s 2004 song ‘-‘ (untitled) was recorded at New York’s Electric Lady Studios for a Spotify Singles session in 2018.
Fretwell previously collaborated with Monkeys’ frontman Alex Turner as a bassist in The Last Shadow Puppets.
He is also known for recording ‘Run’, the title track from acclaimed BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey.