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Julie Byrne

Rooms With Walls And Windows

    Rooms With Walls and Windows was the debut album by Seattle-by-way-of-Chicago-by-way-of-Buffalo singer, songwriter & guitarist Julie Byrne. Blending psychedelic and traditional folk elements, Julie Byrne creates a highly personal and quietly mystical world that echoes the early work of Leonard Cohen & Vashti Bunyan.

    Rooms With Walls and Windows' twelve tracks were collected from two limited edition cassette releases, recorded between 2011 & 2012 by Jake Acosta in Chicago, Illinois. Each song was recorded live, with Julie accompanying herself on fingerpicked acoustic guitar. Rooms With Walls and Windows was lovingly remastered by Owen Ashworth & Matthew Barnhart.

    Julie Byrne released her second album Not Even Happiness in January to mass acclaim and will take the songs from her two albums on the road throughout the whole 2017.


    Jim Ghedi

    A Hymn For Ancient Land

      Fourth release on new independent label Basin Rock following highly acclaimed albums by Julie Byrne and Nadia Reid.

      Born in Sheffield before moving around various parts of Derbyshire, Shropshire and Scotland and then settling in Moss Valley - an abandoned and forgotten area on the edgelands of South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire - it makes perfect sense that 26 year old Jim Ghedi’s music feels both fluidly transient yet also deeply rooted to a sense of place.

      In 2015 he released his debut album, Home Is Where I Exist, Now To Live and Die (Cambrian Records), which was an extension of the folk-tinged six and twelve-string acoustic guitar instrumentals he had been forging for some time around Sheffield's pubs and then whilst traveling across Europe. On his second album, A Hymn For Ancient Land, his elemental style of playing has expanded into a fuller band set-up, complete with glorious orchestration and dazzling composition that makes it a truly innovative contemporary record whilst still being rooted in great tradition.

      Through the inclusion of double bass, violin, cello, harp, trumpet, piano, accordion and numerous other instruments, Ghedi has elevated his unique blend of folk music to a level far beyond that of that of his earlier work. Perhaps most remarkable still is how seamless their inclusions feel, rather than wrestling for space, the wealth of instruments float in and out of one another, interlocking absorbing guitars, gently whirring strings and drums that beat like the faint sounds of thunder on the horizon.

      On top of the community of Moss Valley, a driving force behind much of the creations on this record come from Ghedi’s travels, playing shows in numerous rural towns and villages across the British Isles. This traversing through remote parts of the UK, Wales, Scotland and Ireland soon brought a desire to capture the full breadth, scale and beauty of the landscapes he was witnessing. “I wanted to bring in wider instrumentation to somehow resemble the landscapes which musically I could hear in my head, It was at this point I became fixated on connecting the two worlds of classical and contemporary folk” Ghedi says of the album’s birthing period.

      All songs on the album are named after places from said travels - ‘Home for Moss Valley’, ‘Bramley Moor’, ‘Cwm Elan’ etc - and Ghedi’s natural ear and eye for capturing the spaces he inhabits creates an immersive environment, in which the guitar lines seem to mirror rolling hills, the rich hum of the ambience hangs like a gentle morning fog and the intricacies and beauty of the arrangements create something almost tangible in their efforts, like capturing a light dew on the tip ends of grass or the sticky moisture of well trampled soil. Nature permeates through this record from start to finish, gliding through its core like a bubbling brook.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: LP jacket is gloss laminate with front & back folds on the outside.The back panel is uncoated/matt varnish - 300 gsm card and 180g vinyl. Inner sleeve 'field notes' from Jim (CD is in 8 page booklet). Digital Download included.

      Self-discovery doesn’t come easy. It’s usually a rite of passage to get burned before the wounds can heal and often takes a new perspective to truly understand yourself. 18 months and 10,000kms travelled since many needles first dropped on her debut LP Listen To Formation Look For The Signs, it’s safe to say with new album Preservation, Nadia Reid now knows herself extremely well.

      “Preservation’ is about the point I started to love myself again. It is about strength, observation and sobriety,” Nadia says. “It’s about when I could see the future again. When the world was good again. When music was realised as my longest standing comfort.”

      Through cavernous lows, blissful highs and globe-trotting adventures, music has been by Nadia’s side the entire way. Whether in New Zealand’s familiar rugged beaches and mountains, brutally windy Wellington, her hometown harbour Port Chalmers or the untrodden territory of faceless hotel rooms or the jungle in Kuala Lumpur, every episode of loss, heartbreak, and disappointment glimmers throughout. “Travelling inspires me. I’m learning that things need to happen for the writing to come. Like making time to be alone with my guitar. I’ve grown to crave that. I almost like to starve myself of it to crave it.”

      For some, being so far removed from all you know would be unsettling, but Nadia is keen to embrace the challenge of moving forwards in the face of uncertainty. “This place of newness must be where all the good stuff happens,” Nadia reveals. “An artist must be uncomfortable, must tour the world, and mustn’t stay in her home-town for too long. I feel very happy and changed by my time abroad. I have fallen back in love with music, or perhaps learnt to trust her a little more. Often in times of exhaustion, confusion, and home-sickness, music has been the constant.”

      An ode to self-reflection and self-betterment, Preservation is the sound of Nadia showing her true colours, taking back a bit of power, and learning more about herself. Deeply intellectual but felt by all, it punches harder than before. Nadia’s beautifully warm vocals coolly wrap around feelings of turbulence, and exude a gently improved confidence. “This record is about being OK with who I am in the world, and who I want to be. Learning to live with the fact I’m a person who operates differently to others,” admits Nadia. “I’m richer for the fact I am a musician. Without this way of being, I couldn’t write songs.”

      Returning to the production skills of Ben Edwards in his Sitting Room studios and long term guitarist Sam Taylor, this time around everything is rubbed in more grit and channels Nadia’s deftly profound take on life and whilst we already knew it, her own realisation that it is music which drives her. “I remember recording the tracks, it was about 11 at night, and I felt almost transcendental, as if I was out of my body, singing these words to myself. That’s what these songs are; a confession to my future and past self.”

      Nadia has seen the world she once knew become a whole lot larger. Simply singing her truth has taken her to becoming acquainted with her Scottish and Irish heritage during her first full European tour, downtime with long-time sister-from-another-mister Aldous Harding and even making the odd award shortlist along the way (NZ’s 2016 Taite Music Prize).

      Rather than growth in its most typical sense of any artist finding their way in the world, Preservation marks a natural passing of time – what you pick up along the way is a bonus. “Making music feels like a very natural expression for me – to record songs and mark time a little. Just like a painter needs to paint pictures.” Sometimes those home comforts can be found a little closer than you might think.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Sil says: Great voice, great songs and great, simple production. Lyrics exuding pain and elation will make your hair stand.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd LP Info: LP jacket is gloss laminate with front & back folds on the outside. The back panel is uncoated/matt varnish - 300 gsm card and 180g vinyl. Digital Download included.

      Sometimes it can take years to find your calling. Not so, for wanderer Julie Byrne; whose power of lyrical expression and melodic nous seems inborn. But often, what comes naturally demonstrates against speed. Julie’s second album Not Even Happiness has taken time to evolve, but as it spans recollections of bustling roadside diners, the stars over the high desert, the aching weariness of change, the wildflowers on the coast of California and the irresolvable mysteries of love. Her new album archives a vivid world that would've otherwise been lost to the road and in doing so, Byrne exhibits her extraordinarily innate musicality.

      In fact, some of the album’s songs took two years of fine tuning to get where they needed to be. And if you were to ask her why the follow up to 2014's Rooms With Walls And Windows has taken so long, you’d only be greeted with a bemused smile as though it's the strangest question she's ever been asked; “Writing comes from a natural process of change and growth. It took me up to this point to have the capacity to express my experience of the time in my life that these songs came from.”

      Having counted Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Northampton, Massachusetts, Chicago, Illinois, Seattle, New Orleans as her home in recent years. For now, Julie has settled in New York City where she moonlights as a seasonal urban park ranger in Manhattan. Whether witnessing the Pacific Northwest for the first time (‘Melting Grid’), the morning sky in Colorado after staying up through the night at a house party in the mountains of Boulder (‘Natural Blue’), recording the passage of freight trains on the outskirts of Buffalo, New York ('Interlude'), or a journey fragrant with rose water; reading Frank O’Hara aloud from the passengers seat during a drive through the desert of Utah into the rainforest of Washington State (‘All The Land Glimmered Beneath’), Not Even Happiness is Julie’s beguilingly ode to the fringes of life.

      Self-taught on the guitar after picking it up when her father became ill and could no longer play the instrument himself, Julie readily admits she can’t read music and doesn't even listen to it all that much - the first vinyl she owned was indeed, her own. Recorded with producer Eric Littmann (Phantom Posse), Julie laid down the new album in her childhood home in western New York state and offers an altogether bigger picture to its predecessor through a wider, yet subtle, exploration of instruments and atmospherics, Not Even Happiness reveals an artist who has grown in confidence over time.

      Byrne's debut album was released back in January 2014 on Chicago based DIY label Orindal after initially being as two separate cassettes releases. Rooms With Walls and Windows went onto become a true modern-day word of mouth success story (it would have to be for an artist who shuns all forms of social media) and ended the year being voted number 7 in Mojo magazine's best albums of the year, with the Huffington Post calling it "2014's Great American Album". A collection of hushed intimate front porch psych-folk songs, that unknowingly recalled the greats, but felt very much for our time. It saw her travel to Europe over two summers playing the Green Man festival and End Of The Road, as well as lesser trodden tour paths around Europe.

      Julie Byrne will take the songs from Not Even Happiness (the first release on a new record label Basin Rock, based in the Lancashire / Yorkshire border town of Todmorden) on the road throughout 2017.


      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Lightly strummed and impeccably arranged folk guitars meet with swaying and mournful vocals all purposefully and beautifully delivered as a shining example of minimal affectations with maximum results.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: LP jacket is gloss laminate with front & back folds on the outside.
      The back panel is uncoated/matt varnish - 300 gsm card and 180g vinyl.
      Digital Download included.


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