PRE-ORDER NOW: Released 23rd February 2024
Sea Glass Vinyl
Big Crown Records is proud to present Zero Grace, Liam Bailey’s sophomore album on the label. Following the success of 2020’s Ekundayo album, the tried and true chemistry of Bailey and producer Leon Michels (El Michels Affair) is on full display again as they take the sound they established and push it further. On Zero Grace they lean more into the bleeding heart singer-songwriter side of Liam. The result, much like Bailey himself, is impulsively honest without reserve.
Born and raised in Nottingham, England, the son of an English mother and 2nd generation Jamaican English father, Liam will admit his early childhood was fairly chaotic and filled with "all the cliche racism that happens when people started mixing up in the '80s in England." Liam got his early influences from his mom’s record collection. Bob Marley and Dillinger, Stevie Wonder and The Supremes, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix would eventually shape the singer/songwriter we know today. Fast-forward to 2005, Liam is in London performing at every open mic and acoustic night he could, hustling with hopes of landing a record deal. It was through this time that Liam first teamed up with Michels, musician/producer luminary, and the co-founder of Brooklyn's own Big Crown Records.
Liam flew out to New York and those first sessions together produced the now classic tunes “When Will They Learn” and “I’m Gonna Miss You” which still gets spins at Reggae spots around the globe and were co-signed by heavy hitters like David Rodigan & Don Letts.That first trip to NYC brought a lot of industry attention to Liam, including being noticed by a just-famous Amy Winehouse who heard one of Liam's apartment-made, lo- recordings, and liked what she heard. Regardless of the audio quality, Liam's particular sound shone through—all guitar, warm-rough and genuine soul.
Eventually Liam signed to Polydor and wound up bumping against the typical major label industry obstacles. They already had an idea of the Liam they wanted to make, promote, and push. With the typical large advance enticement, Liam did his best to trust that path. "Maybe I can make it work,' that's what you're thinking," Liam remembers, "but, you quickly find out that you can't."
Zero Grace is full of freedom and love, in fact, working with Leon Michels and Big Crown Records has encouraged Liam to be himself. On album opener “Holding On '' Bailey speaks to his observations & fears when looking out at the world in front of him and also to the dedication it has taken to get on the other side of his personal trials & tribulations. “Dance With Me" is an instantly infectious two-stepper that nods to those incredible soul records that were coming out of Jamaica during the early Reggae days.
Bailey steps into the dance with hopes of finding a new love and pulls us all out on the dance floor with him. “Disorder Starts At Home” is another close to the chest tune that addresses the difculties he struggles with from his early chaotic childhood and his progress in getting past them. "Mercy Tree" is a powerhouse of Reggae Rebel Music. Bailey addresses the racial tensions that plague humanity and encourages everyone to step up and do their part to help foster equality. What starts out as a declaration of injustice turns into a call for action and an inspiration for hope.