Archive Tag: phil thornalley

08 Oct 2020

I was cycling through Suffolk in the April sunshine during the dark days of lockdown and this song just fell into my head” says veteran songwriter Phil Thornalley, “It seemed darkly funny, but honest too.

After years in the music industry writing, producing and playing for Bryan Adams, The Cure and, perhaps most famously, Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’, Phil has honed the skills of writing, arranging and playing to pop perfection. The recording took barely a day with Phil laying down all the instruments at his modest home studio, taking on the familiar role of a one-man-band akin to his other solo project, the seventies rock inspired Astral Drive.

For ‘22nd Century‘ the song’s production took on a distinctly Jeff Lynne / Travelling Wilburys sound.

I’m a fan of Jeff Lynne’s records” raved Phil, “and I worked with Jeff on a song I’d co-written with Mr Adams for his ‘Get Up’ album. I thought the demo I made was simple and no-nonsense but Jeff took that demo and made it even simpler! Simpler drums, the most basic bass guitar part, everything was reduced to work for the song and the voice – no fancy shit!”.

When i sang the line ‘ooo-ooo-ee, 22nd century’ I thought I might be pushing the limits of simplicity into bubblegum absurdity. A hit songwriter friend suggested changing the line for something with more substance but the song seemed to want to stay simple and that’s what i went with – the feel of that breezy, sunshine Suffolk bike ride”.

Its tongue in cheek lyrical message hopefully brings a knowing smile to the listener, young or old. A record made for classic radio and Saturday evening barbecue playlists. Something to kick back to.

A simple beat, a simple hook and an unavoidably simple truth. Three chords and the truth, in fact.

Phil Thornalley - 22nd Century

Apple | Spotify | Deezer | Tidal

22nd Century by Phil Thornalley is out now on Lojinx.

Find Phil on Facebook and Instagram.


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23 Aug 2019

Self-titled Astral Drive album #2… sort of… aka “Green”. Although this is an album of new recordings it’s designed as a companion piece, an extension to the original Astral Drive record.

After playing my songs solo and acoustically during promotion of the album, Andrew at Lojinx gave me the idea to strip down and “recycle” the summer-bleached original recordings and go back to their green grass roots, the essence of the songs, with me singing at the piano.”

I recorded the original album with an avalanche of ideas and off-the-cuff performances that caught the vibe, in the moment. I aimed to capture the spirit of the songs as they bubbled up from a fragment of melody or a line of scribbled lyrics and formed into a full-on production.

The theme of this ‘Green’ album was to strip away the production from the original recordings and shine an astral light on the songs from a different angle. I re-recorded them in a more basic form, added some spicy herbs, and then served it all with some chilled vibes. Like an astral green curry.

There’s a few name-dropping guest performances from Keith Scott on guitar and Gary Breit on piano and vocals (Bryan Adams band), David Munday on harmonica (who had sat in on my live performances) and Kasim Sulton (Todd Rundgren’s band) on vocals. My daughter Maddy also sings harmony vocal too.

Astral Drive green album (Lojinx)

So, here it is… Astral Drive, the ‘Green’ album, back to basics with, hopefully, a few spicy surprises.


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21 Jun 2019

Out now is the new 3-track single and video from Astral Drive! ‘Wishing I Could Change the World’ is taken from the self-titled album and now re-mixed for radio by the legendary Dave Bascombe. The single includes 2 new recordings; a cover of the Goffin/King classic ‘Up on the Roof’ and new song ‘Who Loves You’.

‘Up on the Roof’ has such evocative, melancholic lyrics”, says Phil “and in my slowed down version, based on Laura Nyro’s 1970’s recording, I wanted to let the words come to the fore – the wide-eyed hope and the heart wrenching sadness“.

The great reception for Astral Drive inspired me to write the lyrics for a dreamy song that wasn’t finished in time to make that first album. ‘Who Loves You’ is about how life can change in a heartbeat and how insecurity can haunt us just as easily as love can lift us.

Lojinx: https://ljx.cc/wicctw (digital download + new limited edition T-shirt)

Apple: https://ljx.cc/wicctw-Apple
Spotify: https://ljx.cc/wicctw-Spotify
Amazon: https://ljx.cc/wicctw-Amazon
Deezer: https://ljx.cc/wicctw-Deezer
Tidal: https://ljx.cc/wicctw-Tidal

Astral Drive is songwriter/producer, Phil Thornalley’s vision of a long lost album from the 1970s. Writing, singing and playing all the instruments in the style of 70’s legends Todd Rundgren and Stevie Wonder. The eponymous debut Astral Drive album is out now!


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04 Jan 2019

Our first release of 2019 is the new single by Astral Drive, out today!

“Love Is Real” is taken from the self-titled album and re-mixed for radio by Dave Bascombe. The 3-track singles includes 2 new recordings; a cover of Todd Rundgren’s ‘A Dream Goes On Forever’ and an acoustic version of ‘Wishing I Could Change The World’.

Apple: https://ljx.cc/LoveIsReal-Apple
Spotify: https://ljx.cc/LoveIsReal-Spotify
Amazon: https://ljx.cc/LoveIsReal-Amazon
Deezer: https://ljx.cc/LoveIsReal-Deezer
Tidal: https://ljx.cc/LoveIsReal-Tidal

Astral Drive is songwriter/producer, Phil Thornalley’s vision of a long lost album from the 1970s. Writing, singing and playing all the instruments in the style of 70’s stalwarts Todd Rundgren and Stevie Wonder.


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06 Jul 2018

Astral Drive‘s self titled album, and new video, is out now! Astral Drive is songwriter and producer Phil Thornalley’s vision of a long lost album from the 1970s, that only existed in his own mind. A labour of love that is very much the statement of a lifelong music fan living in the modern world.

He may not be a household name but many of the records he’s made with artists as diverse as The Cure, XTC, Psychedelic Furs, The Jam, Duran Duran, Paul McCartney, and Natalie Imbruglia (he produced and co-wrote her worldwide smash “Torn”) certainly hold a special place in the hearts and ears of millions.

Astral Drive features guest contributions from Utopia’s Kasim Sulton, drummer Mickey Curry, keyboardist Gary Breit, and guitarist Keith Scott, with portrait photography by Bryan Adams.

As Phil says, “If you like trippy melodic rock with soulful harmony vocals and positive lyrics, step into the warm and welcoming sunshine of Astral Drive. Just don’t forget your space suit“.

Astral Drive is out now on Lojinx CD and digital: Amazon | iTunes | Spotify | Lojinx direct

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philthornalley
Facebook: https://instagram.com/astraldrive

Summer of ’76 video credits:

Director: Ollie Rillands
Producer: David Smith
Production Company: Shapeshifter Films
Lead Male Actor: Daniel Watson
Lead Female Actor: Lucy Marie Curry
Older Male Actor: John Watson


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