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This album tells a story about three relocations; first, when sat on a hill with school friends overlooking the late night lights of Cambridge we decided to walk across the fields towards town; second, when having moved to a basement flat just off the Old Kent Road in south London the same group found ourselves following a parade of lanterns; and third, when having decided to head to the coast to take in some sea air, one of us mysteriously disappeared…
Often the most charismatic of our old friends are the ones least likely to survive and this was the case in my twenties, when friends who shone the brightest seemed to fall like flawed romantic heroes. Part of getting beyond the age of excess and towards some clarity involves resisting the urge to either reject everything that happened, or ache for the lost wilderness. In this album we’re sort of glorifying whilst also saying a farewell to all of that.
From a musical point of view we decided to record as much of the album as possible live, with minimal separation. We were keen to capture the energy of our recent gigs at which this album had already been played, in its entirety, a good number of times.
Our good friend and producer Sam Inglis had the keys to a beautiful half-converted, half ramshackle, watermill in Northampton where he had recorded all manner of musicians before us. After a few overdubs and editing the files then passed to mix engineer Simone Silvestroni (Minutes to Midnight) (who also mixed Premonition & Ruin). Finally, Ian Shepherd (Mastering Media) added his mastering magic.
Like Dreamers is a kind of brief pre-titles scene-setter and anticipates the final song by sharing a melody.
From The Country is a wonky groove – of which Premonition & Ruin was full – in which our heroes head off across fields late one night.
To The City is a big number, featuring Liz Mitchell on clarinet. The rhythms remind us of ‘Push’ by The Cure, and the rambling instrumental in the middle of ‘The Cinema Show’ by Genesis.
Now We Were Kites takes its title from the second verse of To The City and its main accordion groove from the middle section of From The Country. To this we added xylophones and metallophones, music boxes and a harmonium…
Walk / Don’t Walk started life as a Steve Reich-inspired African groove then gradually developed into a big nasty Prog beast.
And So To The Sea was our attempt to write something in the melancholy style of Jeff Buckley, who we loved. In this song, we’ve staggered out of a club on Brighton’s seafront and….. someone then disappears.
UltraMarine is a kind of underwater fantasy, a sort of suicidal shanty, driven by Chris’ accordion.
Like Dolphins is a farewell to someone who burned too brightly. We tried to create a kind of My Bloody Valentine-inspired wall of distortion at the end – which often is how it sounds live – but ended up with something that allows the tune, first heard in Like Dreamers, to come through clearly. It’s a good’un, we like it.
Dan Ecclestone 2019
released September 20, 2019
Dan Ecclestone - Vocals & Guitar
Chris Peckham - Accordian
Dom Hall-Smith - Bass Guitar
David Youngs - Drums & Percussion
Also featuring: Liz Mitchell - Clarinet
Produced by Ember Rev
Words & music by Dan Ecclestone
Recorded by Sam Inglis at The Mill, February 2019
Clarinet recorded at The Acorn Rooms
Mixed by Simone Silvestroni at Minutes to Midnight