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Still, it’s unlikely Aqualung’s gentle ballads will trouble the top of the Billboard charts (hey, Matt did get close enough, in 2003 ‘Brighter Than Sunshine’ reached 32 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 chart in the U.S.). Bonacich, Drago. "Aqualung – Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic . Retrieved 21 February 2013. Aqualung first came to attention in 2002 when the debut single ‘Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put A Spell On You)’ became a surprise UK Top 10 after being discovered via a Volkswagen Beetle advert. While that song created a magnetic allure, the strength and versatility of Hales’ songwriting further enamoured audiences. The debut self-titled Aqualung album reached Gold status in recognition of over 100,000 domestic sales, while the brighter symphonic scope of his second album, Still Life, led to another chart hit with ‘Brighter Than Sunshine’. By the time Aqualung’s third album, Memory Man emerged, glowing comparisons had been made with everyone from Bacharach to Radiohead via The Beach Boys, while his music has featured in ‘Twilight’, ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’. A quirky little thing here, is that the cover of Dead Letters will tell you side one isn’t done. But it is.

One of the great things about streaming is that the system tells you what the best songs are that you’ve ever written. It ranks them, so you can also see all the songs you’ve written that aren’t very good as well. Accordingly this next song is…absolutely worthless!”. Songs have been getting shorter and shorter. Now 3 minutes and 17 seconds long, the average pop song lost a whole minute between 2020 and 1990. It’s all because streaming allows people to skip songs that don’t get ‘to the point’ soon enough. Long, Joe (25 July 2005). "Aqualung: Breathing Underwater". Glidemagazine.com . Retrieved 21 February 2013.James, Nicole (21 February 2013). "Lianne La Havas Is Winning British Soul Right Now". Fuse . Retrieved 22 February 2013. As those songs evolved into a catalogue of material, Hales reunited with some of the team behind the second Aqualung album, ‘Still Life’, for sessions at Real World near Bath, where that album was recorded. Those demos were finessed over the course of two years with some of his trusted collaborators: his brother Ben Hales, his wife Kim Oliver, and Matt Vincent-Brown, his bandmate in his pre- Aqualung projects The 45s and Ruth. Hales' work has earned him various awards and nominations, including two Grammy and three Ivor Novello nominations. Kellman, Andy (29 May 2012). "Fall to Grace – Paloma Faith". AllMusic . Retrieved 21 February 2013. Brown, Helen (6 July 2012). "Lianne La Havas, Is Your Love Big Enough?, review". Telegraph Media Group . Retrieved 22 February 2013.

Ganz, Caryn (10 March 2010). "Sara Bareilles Turns Panic into Rebirth on Uptempo Summer Disc". Wenner Media LLC . Retrieved 21 February 2013.Dead Letters is the new album from Aqualung - aka songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hales - his first in more than seven years. Collaborating with all kinds of artists - including Lianne La Havas, Bat For Lashes, Mika, Tom Chaplin, Jason Mraz, For King and Country and countless others – Hales’ hectic yet immensely rewarding schedule resulted in huge acclaim, including both an Ivor Novello and a Grammy. No wonder, then, that aside from occasionally briefly resurfacing, Aqualung remained in hibernation.

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