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RISES

Johnny Flynn & Robert Macfarlane

The Moon Also Rises

    Johnny Flynn’s sixth album, and the second co-written with his friend Robert Macfarlane gathers songs that Johnny and Robert have written together since finishing their first joint album, Lost In The Cedar Wood (2021). At its heart are the oldest themes of all: death and renewal, darkness and light. The first five tracks are songs of burial, shadows and memory, while the final four are songs of awakening, light and love. The album turns around a central song, ‘The Sun Also Rises’, which stands with a foot in both dark and light.

    Fuses poetry, story, landscape, history, nature and myth into a series of rich, strange songlines that criss-cross time and place, joining winter to spring, ancient to present and birth to death. As the Sun sets, so the Moon rises as its echo; as one light dies, another, altogether different light is born.

    Partly recorded in an old Methodist chapel –now the home of Johnny and Rob’s friends, Cosmo and Flora Sheldrake.

    Produced by Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Marika Hackman).

    BIOG
    Johnny Flynn is a singer, composer, musician and actor. His musical releases to date include the studio albums A Larum (2008), Been Listening (2010), Country Mile (2013), Sillion (2017) and Lost In The Cedar Wood (2021). He has released two full live albums, Live in Washington DC (2014) and Live at the Roundhouse (2018) and various EPs and soundtracks. As well as touring the world with his band, Johnny regularly composes music for film, TV and theatre –– including work for period instruments at the Globe Theatre. Johnny’s recent acting projects include Hangmen and True West (for which he also composed the music) on stage and Emma, Beast and The Dig on film. He is currently appearing as Richard Burton in Jack Thorne’s sell-out play The Motive and the Cue, directed by Sam Mendes.

    Robert Macfarlane is a writer of books about nature, people, place and landscape including Underland (2019), Landmarks (2015), The Old Ways (2012) and, with Jackie Morris, The Lost Words (2017) and The Lost Spells (2020). He also writes films (inc. Mountain and River, both starring Willem Dafoe), operas, plays and screenplays, and collaborates widely, including with artist Stanley Donwood, and musicians Cosmo Sheldrake, Jocelyn Pook and Karine Polwart. His work has been widely adapted for film, stage, television, radio, dance, music and performance, and his books have been published in more than thirty languages. In 2023 he was awarded the inaugural Weston International Award for Non-Fiction.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: A rousing collection of songs from the neo-folk troubador Johnny Flynn (whose Detectorists theme is forever etched in my brain) and frequent collaboration partner Robert Macfarlane. It's a warming, bucolic selection that's every bit as beautiful as 2021's stunning 'Lost In The Cedar Wood'.

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1. Uncanny Valley
    2. Song With No Name
    3. Burial Blessing
    4. No Matter The Weight
    5. Coins For The Eyes
    Side B
    6. The Sun Also Rises
    7. The Wild Hunt
    8. Through The Misty With You
    9. Year-Long Winter
    10. River, Mountain And Love

    Mustafa

    When Smoke Rises

      Muslim poet and songwriter Mustafa presents his debut project, ‘When Smoke Rises’, via his own Regent Park Songs label.

      Mustafa’s two singles to date - ‘Stay Alive’ and ‘Air Forces’ - have been met with adoration from fellow artists, critics and fans and serve as a near-perfect introduction to an important new voice in music. Both songs are included on ‘When Smoke Rises’ alongside ‘Ali’. They exemplify a style Mustafa himself describes as “inner city folk music” that finds musical inspiration in the folk greats such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Richie Havens but channelled through the contemporary lens of Mustafa’s modern-day Toronto.

      Mustafa was moved to release his own music following the loss of close friends to gun violence. Much of his music is addressed to those departed friends and to his Toronto neighbourhood, Regent Park; a vehicle to honour and affirm the concerns of his community while providing sonic solace for those looking to make sense of their own loss.

      The video for ‘Stay Alive’ prominently features footage of Regent Park, one of the first housing projects in North America and one of the biggest redevelopment projects on the continent. Mustafa’s experience of seeing the blocks, community and culture that raised him transform into something unrecognizable is a story that is playing out in neighbourhoods across the world - the inner city from which his folk songs are born.

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Gorgeous downbeat grooves, twinkling piano and shimmering acoustic guitars all coalesce into an organic sounding but perfectly produced backdrop to Mustafa's intoxicatingly smooth vocals. Falling somwehere between neo-soul, R&B and swimming in airy electronic beats, this is a wonderful listen and a great sign of what's to come.

      TRACK LISTING

      Stay Alive
      Air Forces
      Separate
      The Hearse
      Capo (ft. Sampha)
      Ali
      What About Heaven
      Come Back

      Papa M

      A Broke Moon Rises: Music For Four Acoustic Guitars By Papa M

        Late 2016’s ‘Highway Songs’ brought Papa M back to us, after many years of silence and several harrowing dances with death for his Id-ego/host body, David Pajo. Now, two years on down the road, we’re all here again to witness ‘A Broke Moon Rises’.

        ‘Highway Songs’ was a necessarily cathartic experience in all phases. Afterwards, with no tour dates forthcoming (partially due to lousy clubs and their lack of wheelchair-accessible stage doors), it felt good just to play for fun again, like being in the practice space instead of the psych ward - a much healthier change of pace than some might guess. David blew it out; all the different styles he’s played in over the years, from folk-blues to metal, electronic, pop, Bollywood... all of it. When the spasms subsided, however, a back-to-roots sediment remained in the bottom of the bowl, which he read as a motive for a new Papa M album done with all acoustic instruments. That’s how there’s nothing electric about ‘A Broke Moon Rises’. Even the drums are acoustic.

        The five songs of ‘A Broke Moon Rises’ find David focusing his technique in unknown directions, to find out what he can do with them. When that happens, he finds himself on the very spot where Papa M music becomes alive. As the quietly funereal march of the opening track resonates with a spare drum beat, we are completely transfixed into the open spaces around the guitars.

        David’s been engineering and mixing his records for years, so the sensation of his sound-thoughts doesn’t entirely surprise us, even in their latest, acoustic anointment. Layers of guitars curl and unfurl, falling away from the centre with feathery softness. Slide figures cut through the progressions with a rusty glide. Arpeggiations flicker with light, leading into a change that’ll break on ones ear like a small revelation. Even the sound of Papa M playing in the room, leaning forward or untouching the strings, provides textural byplay in created space. ‘A Broke Moon Rises’ is meditative in the most active sense, with the unquiet mind leaping from place to place in a static, spartan theatre. All of which action makes hypnotic music, perfect for listening.

        The album’s title is based upon his son’s observation of a half-moon one evening (when his son was 29) and it helped infuse the record with an essential feeling, which draws to a decidedly tasty conclusion with David taking on an Arvo Pärt piece. After years of fascination with the music, listening in passivity, he finally decided to do something about understanding it by playing it himself. If you’re wondering, that’s the key to ‘A Broke Moon Rises’.

        TRACK LISTING

        The Upright Path
        Walt’s
        A Lighthouse Reverie
        Shimmers
        Spiegel Im Spiegel

        Rises

        EP #002 - The Rock

          Second release in this series of three limited edition EP's from Rises. The five track EP kicks of with "Saved My Skin" with its simple drums pounding a lazy beat and guitars playing intricate rhythms amidst crackles and feedback, all topped with fragile vocals. "The Rock" is a more straight forward fuzzy, lo-fi strummed acoustic song, while "Has It All Come To This" is a huge soaring epic, with heavy guitar reminiscent of Radiohead at their noisiest. On the B-side, "Sunday Nite" is a gentle slowie with strummed acoustics, while "She Told Me" has heavy guitars building and building until they finally reach their peak and sink into a gentle fade out. Stunning!


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