Dusty Stray - 'Winter's Day'
Flake Brown - 'Cool is the Snow'
Due to the severe weather conditions most of the UK faced this winter (well, if the rail service can get away with it, so can we) the release of our third and penultimate Seasonal Seven has been a little late in showing itself. Now ready though and pressed onto white vinyl as crisp as fresh snow, we want you to look back and celebrate the season that was our most snow filled for quite some time with these two ever so wintery tracks.
Side A is home to 'Winter's Day', a track taken from the album 'Tales of Misfortune and Woe' (released on Basta Records in 2009) by American and now Netherlands resident, Jonathan Brown, aka Dusty Stray. On 'Winter's Day' we hear the story, sung in Jonathan's rich vocals with accompaniment from Marjolein van der Klauw, of a man becoming lost in the frozen wilderness, succumbing to the cold, dying and being 'given up to eat' to the local wildlife. What is winter but a time of giving up and sharing?! A seemingly sad and disturbing tale, yet with the additional acoustic guitar, banjo and percussion, the track is nowhere near a depressing dirge but a toe-tapping (slightly sinister) and lightly comedic ode to the harshness of winter.
The double A side is a track played by the spider like fingers of Brighton's surreal troubadour Flake Brown (Tony Ramsay). 'Cool is the Snow' is taken from Flake's unique and fascinating debut album 'Help the Overdog' which we had the delight in releasing in the summer 2008. 'Cool is the Snow' is a flurry, nay a snow storm, of whirling finger picked guitar and lyrical/vocal wizardry; Flake's distinctive style being compared between the likes of Jake Thackray, Robin Williamson and Ivor Cutler.
Released on virgin snow white 7" vinyl and limited to 300 pressings. Make sure to get your copy to add to the other two seasons before the last release in the collection comes out this spring!<
Pamela Wyn Shannon - 'Woolgathering'
The Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree - 'The Blackthorn Tree'
The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is truly upon us so it's high time we brought to you the second in our Seasonal Sevens series: Autumn, featuring Pamela Wyn Shannon and The Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree.
Originally from the States , but now living in Wales, Pamela's 'Woolgathering' is taken from her fine salute to our season in question, 'Courting Autumn', released in 2007. With bleating sheep and the gentle trundle of a spinning wheel, 'Woolgathering' is a blustery walk through swirling leaves and bonfire smoke, draped delicately in autumnal melancholy. Finger picked guitar and violin sections as warm and comforting as a glowing hearth provide a full and emotive backing to Pamela's charming vocals. With the right blend between rosy cheeked leaf kicking and the foreboding, drawing in of autumn nights, 'Woolgathering' is a perfect ode to the misty moistly season.
The double A side's 'Blackthorn Tree' is a track from Ireland's wonderful and slightly mystique band of musicians, The Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree (Shane Cullinane, David Colohan, Gavin Prior, Caroline Coffee, Sean Og and more ). Taken from their now long out of print cdr gem, 'The Mildew Leaf' released through Deserted Village in 2003, 'The Blackthorn Tree' is a folk flavoured foray through the hedgerows of love and romance, similar in analogy to Burns' 'Red, Red Rose'. With lead vocals from David Colohan (Agitated Radio Pilot) as heart warming and strong as a fine malt (or Sloe liquor) and with accompanying vocal harmonies, banjo and flute foraging their way throughout the track, 'The Blackthorn Tree' is an endearing song that will wrap you up against the frost of the encroaching winter.
Released on autumnal 'leaf-mould' brown coloured 7" vinyl with artwork front slip and housed in a deluxe pvc sleeve. 300 pressings only.
Emily Scott - Pond Dipping
Hélène Renaut - Bumblebee
Side A's 'Pond Dipping' is a jazzy little punt down river that evokes the quintessential British summer of a bygone era when hot summers seemed predictable, school holidays went on for months and time was joyfully wasted away messing about in the water with a net and a jam jar of tadpoles and water boatmen. Emily's vocals are sweet and full of harmony and, with Malcolm Le Maistre (ex-Incredible String Band) and Pete Baynes bringing banjo and ukulele to the track, an 'old timey' feel is captured. With ragtime shuffle, chinking percussion and a spiralling, quirky recorder solo this foot tapping sepia toned track meanders into a delicious end.
If side A reflects the first early flush of summer then double A side's 'Bumblebee' is lazy- hazy midsummer, when the grass is long, people are dreamy with cider and sunburn, wildflowers dot the wheat fields and the drone of insects and drifting flower seed fills the air. Recorded by Jason Quever (Papercuts) in his San Francisco studio, Hélène's ode to the bumblebee captures the vintage analogue warmth and bubblegum, psych folk of the 1960's, bringing a distinct and refined European flavour with her poetic lyrics and signature accent. Mellowness is in abundance with Jasmyn Wong of The Skygreen Leopards providing the rhythm section, performing with the laid back pace of a wasp drunk on fermenting apples. Shimmering glockenspiel and sugar coated backing vocals turn the track into a sultry summer romance, casually heading in the direction of a hot and heavy Indian summer.
Released on summer yellow 7" vinyl and kept to a very limited 300 hand numbered copies, this split release is the first of four records in our Seasonal Sevens series.