Spottiswoode adds to his prolific output with his most intimate record so far. His first solo collection in over a decade, Piano 45 is as raw and stripped down as it gets. Of the fifteen tracks only one is performed on guitar, Spottiswoode's primary songwriting tool. Spott turns instead to the piano, an instrument he has only recently started playing and composing with. "The piano has allowed me to be more emotional and direct. And it inspires quite different melodies." Most of the songs feature simply piano and voice. Only a few have any extra embellishment - and then mostly just some extra backing vocals. "After working for over a decade with my 7-piece band, it's refreshing to focus on the basic song. I don't feel I have to prove that I can rock out or be orchestral. It has been quite a challenge to make a record so naked and unpolished." Documenting the period around a romantic break-up, the songs on Piano 45 combine Spott's storytelling skills and trademark wit with a greater vulnerability. These are palpably spiritual songs about love, family and loss. The opener, Sentimental Song, looks in the rear-view and tells the story of a small family. There then follows various shifting perspectives on the end of a relationship. Now Didn't I is philosophical. Haven't Changed At All wallows in self-pity. The Walk Of Shame takes a more film noir approach. The narrative of the CD weaves between light and dark through a clearly soul-searching prism. What Comes Next closes the collection on a reassuringly gentle and hopeful note. "Yes, I have turned into a cliché. This is my mid-life solo acoustic heart-on-my-sleeve romantic break-up record. At this rate you'll find me in a lounge suit swigging martinis by 2012." For those who like the more dressed-up and filled-out incarnation of Spottiswoode & His Enemies, rest assured that a new band CD will be available by the fall. Produced by Kenny Siegal (Chris Whitley, Larkin Grimm, Joseph Arthur, Johnny Society) for Old Soul Records.