Browse By

Joel Stoker releases acoustic version of debut album

When Joel Stoker released his debut solo album ‘The Undertow’, fans and critics alike embraced its introspective, confessional lyrics as well as a warm rootsy sound which felt far closer to the Americana world rather than the raucous rock ‘n’ roll of The Rifles. Having received such a strong reaction to the album that included Top 10 positions on the UK Official Independent Albums and Record Store Charts, Joel now announces that he will release an acoustic version of ‘The Undertow’ on October 20th via Cooking Vinyl. The acoustic recordings will be available as a standalone CD or as part of the digital deluxe version of ‘The Undertow’, and are available to pre-order or pre-save HERE.

If the original intimacy of ‘The Undertow’ was a surprise, the new version takes that approach further by replicating the original album tracklist with a stripped-back set of solo acoustic guitar performances. In this context, Joel’s lyrics – at times haunted by the past, but often with renewed hope for the future – become more vulnerable than ever, his seasoned, soulful voice brimming with vulnerability.

Joel says, “As a music fan I always enjoy listening to acoustic versions of any song. I feel it’s important to hear the song in its rawest form. I always stand by the rule that if the song works with just an acoustic guitar and a vocal then it’s a good song.”

The first acoustic track to preview the new version of the album is ‘The Valley’. In the context of the original album, NME described it as, “the turning point – a tortured song that ends with leaving the darker territory behind.” Its new arrangement is just as impactful, especially as Joel feels like he has uncovered a new-found clarity with the lyric, “Now the road that I’ve been travelling on all these years is starting to feel like I might make it out on the clear.”

Joel Stoker played his first solo show as special guest to Liam Gallagher at KOKO before starting his own headline shows in support of ‘The Undertow’ with a homecoming set at Walthamstow Trades Hall. His touring now continues with the following shows, remaining tickets for which are available HERE.

28th – Preston, The Ferret

12th – Atherton, The Snug

2nd – Newport, Le Pub
16th – Aldershot, West End Centre

Joel Stoker’s solo career represents a new adventure after he established a loyal cult following with The Rifles. The band have released a host of acclaimed albums, the most recent two of which achieved the highest chart positions of their career, as well as playing numerous sold-out tours, and picking up famous fans including Paul Weller, Madness and Ian Broudie. They’re back in action with a headline show at London’s Electric Ballroom on October 27th, followed by the Shiiine On Weekender on November 17th, and are working on their first studio album since 2016’s ‘Big Life’.