Press Release

New Album
"The Wolves Are Coming"

Released February 23, 2024
via Atomic Gemini / Forty Below Records

ORDER The ALBUM

Featuring the new single "Black Moon"

WATCH MUSIC VIDEO

"Pure, unadulterated blues brilliance." – Blues Matters

"Energy, technique, ability, funk, soul, rock – Philip Sayce has it all."  - My Global Mind

"Philip Sayce is a bold blues player who creates atmospheres with sonic textures. When the mood takes him, and it frequently does, Sayce extends his fingers into the heavens and takes fire from the sun. Oh my!" – Raw Ramp

Rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter Philip Sayce is excited to announce the release of his highly anticipated studio album “The Wolves Are Coming.” The album will be released by Atomic Gemini/Forty Below Records on Friday February 23, 2024, and is available to order HERE.

The album features the new single “Black Moon.” Watch the official music video HERE.

Produced by Philip at Station House Studio in Los Angeles, and engineered by GRAMMY award winner Mark Rains (Rival Sons, Shooter Jennings, Tanya Tucker), mixed by Brian Moncarz (Fantastic Negrito, Alice Cooper, Ian Moore), and mastered by Brian Lucey (Lizzo, The Black Keys, Michael Bublé), The Wolves Are Coming features Michael Leasure on drums (Walter Trout, Edgar Winter), Fred Mandel (Queen, Supertramp, Elton John) on keyboards and piano, Bernie Barlow (The Moody Blues, Melissa Etheridge) on background vocals, Aaron Sterling on drums (John Mayer, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift), and Sayce, who provided the vocals, guitars, bass, and piano.

The Wolves Are Coming follows the album Spirit Rising which has over 14 million streams to date. This new album is a career highlight, exemplifying Sayce’s commitment to his craft and using the power of music as a uniting force to welcome in the light during incredibly turbulent times. Philip's new album, is more powerful, unique, and bold than anything he has written or recorded. "These songs and stories came into focus during my darkest times," says Philip.

“The new single, Black Moon, is a song about ruthless individuals that often pollute the music business,” says Philip. “It’s about being tricked, violated, hurt, and manipulated but still holding on to my personal power and self-worth, and trusting that these fools will one day end up laying in the bed they’ve made.”


On the new album, songs like “Oh! That Bitches Brew” and “Backstabber” hit like hurricanes, while “Lady Love Divine” explores the light in contrast to darkness. Ballads like “It’s Over Now” and the magical instrumental “Intuition” round out Sayce’s signature fuzz tones and sledgehammer mountain-sized drum grooves with delicate, intimate, and dynamic performances.

The bold and brash performance on “Oh! That Bitches Brew” turns out to be a musical interpretation of a memory that came flooding back to Philip one day.

Oh! That Bitches Brew came together quite quickly one evening,” recalls Philip. “I was sitting on the couch and started playing the riff that became the song’s main riff. I dug it and thought, ‘What am I going to say about this? Oh, I know, I remember that time someone gave me a drink at a party called “The Bitches Brew”, and it totally fucked me up.’ And that’s what the song became.  It came together in about ten minutes.”

The second single, Lady Love Divine" is an uplifting, foot-stomping, funk groove that delivers hooks in all the right places. Philip states, "It's a funky, upbeat song about that feeling you get when you instantly fall in love with someone forever. Finding the courage to talk to this person and win their love. The song represents a bridge — a connection between despair and hope — that invites broken spirits to be transformed and healed."


Photo Credit: © Adam Kennedy

With the release of the third single, Philip gets to the point about 'Backstabber,' "This is a song about fake friends and a ruthless music business. The lyrics speak loud and clear, and the weight of the track conveys the intensity of my feelings. It is a jungle out there; watch your back. This song also speaks to my life-long journey with OCD — named one of the ten most disabling disorders by the World Health Organization — and this burden that myself, and many others live with every day."

The recording of The Wolves Are Coming proved to be an unforgettable experience for Philip.

“When I first started writing and recording these songs, society was upside down from the pandemic,” says Philip. “The studio became a real spirit-lifter for me during the sessions, a very fun and free atmosphere, as opposed to the outside world. I recorded with GRAMMY winning engineer Mark Rains at Station House Studio in Los Angeles during several different sessions over the course of a year or so.”

“I booked some three-day sessions, and we’d try recording the new songs I was writing. Michael Leasure played drums magnificently, tracking live with me during some of these sessions and then I would record overdubs with Mark and decide if a song was going to be a keeper. Mark mixed a few songs on the album including “Intuition” and you can really feel and hear the vibe and sound of the studio during the sessions. Brian Moncarz had brilliantly mixed songs on my previous album, Spirit Rising, so I just had to reach out to him with these new songs. He absolutely nailed it with his mixes taking The Wolves Are Coming to another level. It is a such a pleasure and privilege to work with this wonderful and talented team.”

On the forthcoming album, Philip consciously set out to achieve something new and different.  


Photo Credit: © Amp Photography

Says Philip, “I’m always striving to do something better today than what I’ve done before. I’m a student of music and life, and my intention for this album was to be more deeply connected to spirit, inspiration, and creativity, and to record and make this music to push myself as an artist.”

But what is it that makes “The Wolves Are Coming” so special?

“That’s easy, says Philip. “It’s a personal journey and a diary. These new songs and recordings became a lifeline to me during the pandemic and illustrate some of the highs and lows I have been navigating since releasing Spirit Rising in 2020. The Wolves Are Coming was created during the bleakest of times, not knowing if I would ever release these songs, or what being a musician and artist would look like moving forward.”

What does The Wolves Are Coming mean?

“It has a lot of meanings for me, which are definitely illustrated in some of these songs,” reflects Philip. “The title covers a lot of areas for me, and I encourage listeners to see what comes up for them personally when they hear this title and listen to the new songs. Some of these new songs, such as ‘Backstabber’, have a very obvious and personal meaning and relate directly to the album title, which I’ve discussed openly. While another obvious meaning is…to get myself in gear, to get going, and get moving!”


Philip Sayce. Photo Credit: © Matt Barnes

Philip is looking forward to performing the new songs on his upcoming tours.

“We’ve already been performing a few of the new tracks live and they feel great,” says Philip. “Oh! That Bitches Brew” was debuted live during our November 2023 UK tour, and we’ve been working up more of the new songs during rehearsals and soundchecks. Sam Bolle and Bryan Head are such outstanding musicians and we’ve been really bonding as a group during our live tours and through playing this new music together.”

On the new album, Philip has recorded an acoustic cover of John Lee Hooker’s “This Is Hip” which is deeply moving and a completely different gear from the rest of the album, featuring a duet with legendary pianist, Fred Mandel.

“I used to love listening to this song in the car with my father,” recalls Philip. “It was John Lee Hooker’s “This Is Hip” from the album Mr. Lucky, with Ry Cooder on guitar. What a great track and the song just always kind of stayed with me. I’d been playing it during live shows on solo acoustic, so we tracked it and Fred Mandel played exquisite piano on the recording. I think it’s fun!”

There has been no shortage of praise; Guitar World declared, "Philip Sayce stands on the edge of hard rock and psychedelia, slinging guitar riffs past your ears at warped speed." Billboard Magazine has raved about Philip’s “outstanding songwriting” and “stylish rock guitar”, and Rock & Blues Muse effused, "With powerful vocals close to the edge, Sayce uses his classic Strat sound and overdriven amps to unwind a powerful tale. His guitar riffs are fastballs", and Music News stated, "This is an all-out blast from the opening notes, massive riffs and pounding drums with Sayce's vocals getting the full treatment."


Photo Credit: © Manuela Langotsch

ALBUM TRACK LISTING

1. “Oh! That Bitches Brew” (3:29)
2. “Lady Love Divine” (3:04)
3. “Babylon Is Burning” (2:51)
4. “Your Love” (3:18)
5. “It’s Over Now” (5:35)
6. “Black Moon” (2:40)
7. “Blackbirds Fly Alone” (5:37)
8. “The Moon Is Full” (3:43)
9. “Backstabber” (3:54)
10. “Intuition” (3:19)
11. “This Is Hip” (2:46)

PHILIP SAYCE – ALBUM TRACK BY TRACK

Oh! That Bitches Brew
This is a song that wrote itself one evening. It’s a song about a potion I ingested that wasn’t what I was expecting or prepared for. It’s got a heavy riff followed by a big chorus and a fully psychedelic middle section. All the things I love in the music I listen to; I’m really excited with the way this song came together from a writing perspective and in the studio. Turn it up!

Lady Love Divine
This is a song about that feeling you get when you instantly fall in love with someone forever, love at first sight. How am I going to get the courage to talk to this person and win their love? One of my favourite songs on this album, I hope it brings joy to anyone who hears it.

Babylon Is Burning
This song is based on conversations with a friend of mine about our shared belief in the need for equity and equal rights and the perspectives around these issues. The rhythm and tempo of this song is intentionally fast and hectic to create a feeling of intensity and urgency, like something burning out of control, a feeling of coming off the rails.

Your Love
This song is a mantra for me. Learning to not have time or room in my life for toxic and abusive relationships. Internally and externally. It just felt good to groove on this riff, combined with a message of self-encouragement and empowerment.

It’s Over Now
This is a song about getting through a really challenging time in my life. About weathering the storm, healing, and ultimately, a rebirth. To be able to look back on that and to learn from it, and to be celebrate my personal growth.

Black Moon
This is a song about the ruthless individuals that often pollute the music business. About being tricked, violated, hurt, and manipulated but still holding on to my personal power and self-worth, and trusting that these fools will one day end up laying in the bed they’ve made.

Blackbirds Fly Alone
This is a song about trusting myself, honouring and celebrating exactly who I am. Recognizing when a relationship is not a good fit, the complexities around that, believing in myself, and remembering that sometimes saying “no” to someone or something is making room for a greater “yes.”

The Moon Is Full
This is one of my favourite songs of all time. This is from the album “Showdown” by Albert Collins, Johnny Copeland, and Robert Cray, which is a desert island record for me. I also had the pleasure and privilege of performing this song many times with my friend and mentor Jeff Healey, while we were out on the road together, so it brings up some special memories. I just love playing this song.

Backstabber
This is a song about fake friends and a ruthless music business. The lyrics speak loud and clear, and the weight of the track conveys the intensity of my feelings. It is a jungle out there, watch your back. This song also speaks to my life-long journey with OCD — named one of the ten most disabling disorders by the World Health Organization — and this burden that myself, and many others live with every day.

Intuition
The emotion behind this song is all about my journey around learning to trust my intuition. This was a very emotional song to record. The outro guitar solo was tracked live and was the first guitar solo I played in the studio coming out of the pandemic lockdown. I was holding all this pent-up energy, anxiety, and intensity, and I laid it all into that outro solo. It was very healing for me. The sudden stop at the end of the song represents the fragility of this world and life, and the Covid pandemic really brought that front and centre for me. I didn’t know if there would ever be an opportunity to perform live again when this was recorded, so I gave it everything I had.

This Is Hip
I fell in love with this song years ago. I used to listen to this song with my dad in the car on the way to school - It was a duet with John Lee Hooker and Ry Cooder from the album “Mr. Lucky”. It just felt right to record it for this album as it’s a tune that always brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart. Having Fred Mandel join me on piano for this was the icing on the cake.

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Philip Sayce
Recorded at Station House Studio, Los Angeles, California
Engineered by Mark Rains
Mixed by Brian Moncarz
Mixed by Mark Rains (Tracks 8, 10, 11)
Mastered by Brian Lucey, Magic Garden Mastering
Art Design by Dingbat Design and Phyx Design
“It’s Over Now” Produced by Philip Sayce and Jay Ruston, engineered by Jay Ruston and Mark Rains, recorded at Clear Lake Studios, North Hollywood, California and Station House Studio, Los Angeles, California

1. “Oh! That Bitches Brew”
(Written by Philip Sayce, Sayce Songs SOCAN)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Michael Leasure: Drums

2. “Lady Love Divine”
(Written by Philip Sayce, Sayce Songs SOCAN, Richard Marx, Richard Marx Music ASCAP)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Aaron Sterling: Drums and Percussion
Bernie Barlow: Vocals

3. “Babylon Is Burning”
(Written by Philip Sayce, Sayce Songs SOCAN)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Michael Leasure: Drums and Percussion
Fred Mandel: Organ

4. “Your Love”
(Written by Philip Sayce, Sayce Songs SOCAN)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Aaron Sterling: Drums and Percussion
Bernie Barlow: Vocals

5. “It’s Over Now”
(Written by Philip Sayce, Sayce Songs SOCAN and Nathan Crow, Pop Explosion Music BMI)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitars
Fritz Lewak: Drums
Joel Gottschalk: Bass
Fred Mandel: Piano, Organ

6. “Black Moon”
(Written by Philip Sayce, Sayce Songs SOCAN)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Michael Leasure: Drums

7. “Blackbirds Fly Alone”
(Written by Philip Sayce, Sayce Songs SOCAN and Marti Frederiksen, Round Hill Music BMI)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Michael Leasure: Drums
Fred Mandel: Organ

8. “The Moon Is Full”
(Written by Albert Collins, Collins and Collins Music BMI)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Michael Leasure: Drums

9. “Backstabber”
(Written by Philip Sayce, Sayce Songs SOCAN)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitars, Bass
Michael Leasure: Drums
Fred Mandel: Keyboards

10. “Intuition”
(Written by Philip Sayce, Sayce Songs SOCAN)
Philip Sayce: Guitars, Bass
Michael Leasure: Drums
Fred Mandel: Keyboards, Organ

11. “This Is Hip”
(Written by John Lee Hooker, Boogie One Music BMI)
Philip Sayce: Vocals, Guitar
Fred Mandel: Piano


Photo Credit: © Matt Barnes

ABOUT PHILIP SAYCE
Born in Wales and raised in Toronto, Canada, Philip's love of the guitar started early. As a teen, Philip was plucked from the Toronto blues scene by the legendary Jeff Healey, who took the young guitarist under his wing and showed him the ropes, touring the world and recording as a member of Healey's band. From 2004 to 2009, Philip toured internationally and recorded with Melissa Etheridge, including performances at The Oscars and The Grammys. He then kick-started his solo career, establishing a rabid fan base in Europe and beyond. During this period, Sayce recorded his first solo album, Peace Machine. Buoyed by guitar fans' response to the album, Philip returned his attention to his full-time solo artist career, and subsequent releases garnered high praise in both the blues, rock, and guitar worlds. He has since released six studio albums and the Live EP, Scorched Earth: Volume 1.

Links & Downloads

Further Information

Peter Noble at Noble PR
+44 207 272 7772, +44 794 908 9762, peter@noblepr.co.uk

U.S. Publicity - Pati deVries | pati@deviousplanet.com
917-751-2532, www.deviousplanet.com