Shovel Dance Collective

The Water Is The Shovel Of The Shore

Image of Shovel Dance Collective - The Water Is The Shovel Of The Shore
Record Label
Memorials Of Distinction / Double Dare

About this item

‘The Water is the Shovel of the Shore’ is the revelatory new release by the nine-piece contemporary folk group Shovel Dance Collective, an expansive ensemble of multi-disciplinary artists and musicians currently based in London. Comprising members of caroline, Gentle Stranger, as well as accomplished visual artists and solo instrumentalists, Shovel Dance Collective reconceive traditional folk music as an experimental mode of longform composition, encompassing drone, early music, free improvisation, and metal. In the performances and recordings of the collective, the arrangements and lyricism of the folk canon are reinvented, as historically disenfranchised perspectives are placed at the forefront. Predicated on recounts of queer experience, black consciousness, pioneering feminist ideals, and the labour of the working class, the output of Shovel Dance Collective represents an inclusive repository of subversive oral folklore. With their third release ‘The Water is the Shovel of the Shore’ the collective explore the myriad experiential and symbolic resonances that water has for working people, focusing on the essence and significance of the river Thames. Across stark, profound adaptations of fabled balladry, elegiac sea shanties, graceful jigs and impassioned, unadorned vocal airs, Shovel Dance Collective deliver an innovative, stirring exposition of poignant folksong threaded through with site-specific field recordings. Songs of English, Irish, Scottish & Guyanese origin, documented by the likes of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Cecil Sharp, A.L. Lloyd & Wordsworth McAndrew, reflect an international, anti-colonial ethos and chronicle enduring tales of proletarian life. Embedded within an immersive sound collage, incorporating environmental recordings captured along the Thames, in churches and cathedrals, as well as in the midst of liminal urban surroundings, the evocative songcraft of Shovel Dance Collective constitutes an authentic, powerful embodiment of visionary modern folk music, rooted in ancestral homage, restitution, timeless communion and collective solidarity. 


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