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 GARRATT: A FRESH PHASE  IN THE MARKETPLACE

The debut album from hotly anticipated U.K. act Jack Garratt, Phase, is out today via a joint venture with John Janick's Interscope and Darcus Beese’s Island in Blighty.

Has Garratt had enough time to drum up awareness to be in with a decent chart placing? Will his niche yet accessible style pique the public’s interest?

The BRITs Critics’ Choice winner has big shoes to fill, with previous victors of the award being global breakthrough acts James Bay (Virgin EMI) and Sam Smith (Capitol).

None of Garratt’s singles have cracked the U.K.'s Top 50 chart yet - Bay had two by the time his #1 debut, Chaos and the Calm, was released in March last year (it hit #15 in the U.S.). Smith, meanwhile, boasted two #1 singles in Blighty prior to the release of In The Lonely Hour in May 2014 (that reached #1 U.K. and #2 U.S.). Radio support for Garratt so far has included a BBC Radio 1 A List spot but little else.

Backed by Vevo’s LIFT programme, and the Beeb via his Sound of 2016 gong, Garratt has had some high profile boosts so far, and his live numbers are impressive. As a multi-instrumentalist, it’s onstage where his one-man show stands out from the crowd and a 5k. cap Brixton Academy gig on 4/15 is sold out.

Ticket sales in the U.S. for his upcoming nine-date tour starting on 2/26 are also strong, especially considering he hasn't had much media exposure stateside yet. But that may be about to change. The New York Times today hailed Phase as "a vrituosic, thrill-packed album, ricocheting among extremes ... Yet underlying each strenuous track is a clear-cut, old-fashioned pop structure: verses and choruses, tension and release, matters of the heart. But now they are buffeted, brilliantly, from all directions."

Garratt was also the subject of a thoughtful NPR profile and interview on release date; you can listen to it below.

Then there was this double-blast of diva love on Twitter:

Back in Blighty, Garratt won’t have a primetime slot to showcase his talents during the BRIT Awards next week, with performers instead lined up to be Rihanna (if she turns up), Adele, Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Jess Glynne, James Bay, The Weeknd and Little Mix.

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