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TRAPPED ANIMAL

Fassine

Forge

    A Yorkshire farmer who led a challenging and isolated existence, caring for elderly relatives whilst running her farm in the most extreme conditions. She became an overnight celebrity after appearing in an ITV documentary, her virtues of hard work without any complaints, without any expectations of praise or credit, were something an entire nation identified with. Hauxwell is the subject of album track ‘Perfectly Planned’, whilst ‘Hellsto’ looks on admiringly at the working women of WW1 and WW2, who often go nameless, under the radar. “FORGE’ is about the small pockets of communities that are overlooked, unheard, ignored. Their ways of work and living are changing, either drying up or being sold off, and this is causing people to burn with frustration whilst also causing them to reaffirm their strengths and identities”, say Fassine.

    The London trio’s distinctive take on electronic music has previously earned acclaim and support from the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, Clash and more. Yet on ‘FORGE’ they’re bolder than ever before, the instrumentation heavier and more aggressive than on previous full lengths ‘Gourami’ (2017) and ‘Dialectik’ (2016). They still follow tradition in one sense though, opting again to feature a cover, this time Paolo Conte’s‘ Max’ with guest vocals from Italy’s Fabrizio Pagni (Arqtic, Zen Circus). Recorded primarily at London’s Battery Studios, Sarah Palmer, Laurie Langan and James Hayward (Fassine) would play late into the night, adopting a much more improvisational approach than previously, “This process was far more improvisational - a lot of ideas were done on-the-fly in the studio. We had a skeletal demo, then ideas were batted out and put down.

    Far fewer demos were gone through to begin with, and gut instinct was followed much more quickly. We also decided that no matter what the song, if we liked it, it would go on’’. Since their last release, Fassine have been busy on our screens, the London trio’s XTC cover of ‘That Wave’ appeared on the Sky Arts’ documentary on the seminal band, This Is Pop. Their track ‘Whatever It Takes To Help You Sleep’ played as the backdrop to Netflix’s first feature film ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’, and ‘Leaves’ was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s Queen Sugar. ‘FORGE’ literally meaning to ‘create something strong and enduring’. And with this album, Fassine have embodied the grit and grime of their personal heroes to weld into existence something that’s an industrial and hard-hitting piece of craftsmanship. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Limited edition blue vinyl.

    Maija Sofia

    Bath Time

      Maija Sofia, one of Irelands most lauded young folk artists has produced a timeless debut album, inspired by story-driven traditional folk-ballads, shone through the lens of punk DIY ethos. Following the success of lo-fi dream-pop single ‘Flowers’, Maija Sofia releases her debut album ‘Bath Time’ Sofia took inspiration fromstory-driven traditional folk ballads and shone them through the lens of a punk DIY ethos. The album name comes from the ritual of daily bathing, a whimsical place where most of the lyrics were written. The album deals with the ways in which women's voices, stories and desires have been sidelined and misrepresented throughout history. From Edie Sedgwick to Bridget Cleary, Sofia's songs imagine a world in which silenced women speak back..


      The album was recorded by Chris Barry at Ailfionn Studio and features performances by Ronan Kealy (Junior Brother) and Niall Murphy (Oh Boland). The Gold Shoes’, is a mystical, ethereal opening before the melancholic ‘Hail Mary’, which starts soft, but the music grows in power as Sofia interrogates the sexual hypocrisy of the Catholic church, and the harp feeds into the haunting sound with effortless complexity and depth. ‘Edie Sedgwick’, named after the muse of Andy Warhol has alt-country elements from lap steel player Niall Murphy (Oh Boland) and cellist Laura McCabe (Molly Sterling). ‘The Wife of Michael Cleary’ is an ode to Bridget Cleary, killed by her husband in 1895. Michael Cleary believed his wife had been abducted by fairies with a changeling left in her place. The male vocal is provided by off-kilter alt-folk Junior Brother, with singing in the round building tension.


      ‘The Glitter’ is disturbingly beautiful, an ode to Jean Rhys, a troubled novelist from the Carribean who came to England aged 16 and dealt with issues of displacement and unbelonging. As is ‘Cobweb’ with Sofia’s rich contralto “I didn’t know I was on my own. I’m only as wise as you.” ‘Morning’ mourns lost relationship and the failure of trying to fix a flawed lover. ‘Elizabeth’ dwells on the troubled love affair between Elizabeth Siddal and the Pre-Raphaelite painter Rossetti.. ‘The Trees They Do Grow High’ is a disturbing English folk ballad sung from the point of view of a woman forced to marry an inappropriately younger man.. The album wraps around the listener like a velvet cloak, time is irrelevant, and the pain and complexity of female life has been sharply observed by Sofia. 'Bath Time' is a collection of songs written between Dublin, London and rural Galway, it was recorded slowly over several months by Chris Barry in Ailfionn Studio in Dublin. The guitar and vocals tracks were recorded all in one take and then others we brought in to finish the piece - Niall Murphy from Oh Boland plays lap steel and synths, Christophe Capewell who plays with Lisa O'Neill played fiddle, harp by Meabh McKenna, synths by Clara Tracey, and Cello by Laura McCabe, and some guest vocals by Ronan Kealy (Junior Brother). 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Barry says: Beautiful brittle guitar pieces, cavernous echoes and Sofia's transportive vocal prowess form together into a haunting and effecting whole. Brilliantly original and reassuringly heartfelt.


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