It had already been an extraordinary enough journey for John Grant, from the point where he thought he’d never make music again or escape a life of substance abuse to winning awards and accolades and collaborating with Sinead O’Connor, Rumer and Hercules & Love Affair. But then in the spring of 2014 came the nomination in the Best International Male Solo Artist category at the BRITS alongside Eminem, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars and Drake, like some sort of fantasy dreamt up in a moment of outrageous hubris.
But in actuality, it was a sorely belated recognition for one of the most beautiful voices of the 21st century, matched by a songwriting and lyrical prowess that conveyed every atom of pain, fear and endurance that has defined Grant’s life so far, not just with a striking level of self-awareness but the most life-affirming streak of dark and scabrous humour too. Despite all his personal and career setbacks in the past, Grant has continued to build on the incredible acclaim won by his first two solo albums, 2010’s Queen Of Denmark and 2012’s Pale Green Ghosts. In the autumn of 2014, he embarked on a tour accompanied by the Royal Northern Sinfonia orchestra while also playing a prestigious show for BBC Radio 6 Music with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Come 2015, Grant has begun recording his third solo album, and his biggest tour plans to date: not only confirming a show at London’s Hammersmith Eventim Apollo in November but also supporting the legendary Pixies across America.