SOUTHERN TENANT FOLK UNION
Award winning UK collective SOUTHERN TENANT FOLK UNION new album ‘HELLO COLD GOODBYE SUN’ out now
Irish tour 7- 16 Feb visits Dundalk, Ballina, Macroom, Cork, Cookstown, Ballymoney, Galway, Dublin & Thurles
“the latest album demonstrates a willingness to take folk beyond the usual boundaries…the sonics are as adventurous as the lyrics”8/10 Hot Press
“another strong performance…warm complex melodies and frequently haunting melodies” *** Irish Times
“hailed for years as a great live act…definitely worth catching on their Irish tour” **** Irish Mail on Sunday
February 4th saw the release of the fifth Southern Tenant Folk Union album ‘Hello Cold Goodbye Sun’ a collection of new and original material written by five of the award winning Scottish collective’s members. Fresh from a sold out UK tour, Southern Tenant Folk Union, winners of Americana Artist of the Year 2010 in the UK, return fora nine date Irish tour starting THURSDAY 7th Februaryin support of the new album – full tour dates below. Watch the bands recent RTE ‘Late Late Show’ appearance HERE.
With a more difficult and emotionally charged pre-production process than on previous albums, the band have developed a set of songs that build on some of the soundscape folk from the acclaimed fourth album Pencaitland as well as showcasing the growing songwriting, instrumental and vocal talent within the group.
Originally proposed with a focusing theme of ‘modern horror’ (as a lyrical and a musical basis for a cohesive album with influence from John Carpenter, Fabio Frizzi and Goblin) the band’s ideas diversified and led away before all coming back together finally in the recording studio (once again the album was recorded live in a circle of microphones by Lau sound engineer Tim Matthew). The discovery of Jed Milroy’s talent on the clarinet feeds the claustrophobic atmosphere of tracks like Crash (using the J.G.Ballard book title and imagery as a metaphor for City of London based financial ‘vehicles’ hitting that wall but continuing to move), Chest Freezer and Conscience Falls. Plus the important addition of guest percussionist Steve Fivey (on Cajon and Djemebe) drives the backbeat of tracks like Goodbye Sun, Men in Robes and Days By The Seaside With Ice Cream.
Cover art by Belfast based designer Jonny McClean sets the mood as the band pick through themes old and new. Again they look ahead with their ‘sci-fi concept’ folk themes; songs like Pat McGarvey’s Chest Freezer depicting a fantastical seeming-liar in a post apocalyptic setting and Jed Milroy’s Spey Riverinspired by an open canoe adventure that led him to imagine a jailbreak from a slave camp on the banks of the river Spey in a dystopian post oil future. Poetry adaptation comes again with Carrie Thomas setting another Donald Ker darkly comic poem to music on Days By The Seaside With Ice Cream andthere’s poetic imagery from guitarist Chris Purcell with his tracks Goodbye Sun and Relic Of A Reasonable Mind. Mandolin/tenor guitarist Adam Bulley embeds the magnetic wonder of EBow on They Stand Alone and the aforementioned Spey River – usually heard on feedback driven Sonic Youth style epics the EBow is used on acoustic instruments by Adam to interesting effect, at once droning and also enhancing the sound of the wood and strings. Similarly on Crash the 5-string banjo, with the help of a tea towel to deaden the reverberation, is used to simulate the arpeggios of the first generation of analogue sequencers (like the Moog 960 module used by Chris Franke of Tangerine Dream in the 70’s), the strength of the repetitive acoustic sound driving the track and it’s funk backbeat forward.
‘Hello Cold Goodbye Sun’ is another album from Southern Tenant Folk Union that like its four predecessors bears repeated listening and is one that has collected disparate ideas and themes from many different places and musical influences. Those themes and the atmosphere present result in quality roots music that isn’t ready to stop progressing along its own subtle pathway, each song propelling the album forward. Steps taken (large and small) toward making this Scottish collective leaders of the acoustic, folk and roots scene and among the most experimental and ambitious musicians of their genre.
SOUTHERN TENANT FOLK UNION ARE:
Adam Bulley – Mandolin/Tenor Guitar/Ebow/Vocals Rory Butler – Guitar/Lead Vocals
Ailig Hunter – Double Bass Chris Purcell – Guitar/Harmonica/Lead Vocals
Pat McGarvey – 5-String Banjo/Guitar/VocalsEwan Macintyre – Harmonica/Lead Vocals
Jed Milroy – Clarinet/Guitar/Clawhammer Banjo/Vocals Carrie Thomas – Fiddle/Octave Fiddle/Lead Vocals
WHAT THE PRESS SAID ABOUT THE BAND’S PREVIOUS ALBUM ‘PENCAITLAND’:
‘The band knock up a fierce, raw and earthy music that is the stuff of Mumford & Sons’ dreams…the results are as compelling as they are oppressively bleak’ The Guardian
‘Pencaitland is their most serious and ambitious album yet’ UNCUT
‘A Fascinating union of Celtic and American influences’ The Sun
‘Atmospheric, with sonorous rumbles of bowed double bass and melancholy harmonica against a stealthy ticking of strings’ The Scotsman
‘Honest, thoughtful and admirable’ The Irish Times
‘One of the finest Celtic roots albums you will hear this, or any other, year’ Americana UK
‘There’s clearly a lot more to come from this act, given their desire to push the boundaries of folk music rather than stubbornly stick to its traditional basics.’ 8/10, Neon Filler
‘Offering an alluring Scottish folk/old-time string band mix, it’s still stamped with a provocative charm that makes it an effective slow burn…beautiful recording quality, subtle arrangements and involving, melancholic songs are powerfully persuasive’ MOJO
‘There was more heart in the room last night than you’d find in a whole tour of Mumford & Sons. And art. Nothing too flashy to begin, just lovely interwoven mandolins and fiddles, driven by guitar rhythms and their trademark bluegrass banjo. Southern Tenant Folk Union might have been playing in a boozer, but if people call these guys a jumped-up pub band, they’ve got it all wrong.’ The Arts Desk.
AFTER THE GIG
Whelan’s Indie Club w/ Late Bar from 10:30pm or check out the bands playing The Midnight Hour in the upstairs venue (FREE ENTRY, 12am).