Arch Garrison - The Bitter Lay CD

Craig Fortnam: voice, guitars, piano, Philicorda organ, monosynth, percussion
James Larcombe: melodeon, dulcitone, wind organ, Philicorda organ, monosynth, piano
special guest:
Pete Aves: pedal steel guitar on 'Open My Eye'

This is one of those albums that seems simple and acoustic-oriented and straightforward and when you really listen to it, you realize that it actually is anything BUT simple. Conditionally recommended.

“North Sea Radio Orchestra's Craig Fortnam and James Larcombe play psychedelic acoustic music - songs (and instrumentals) about ghosts, green growing things, old roads, earthworks, barrows and mounds."

ARCH GARRISON is, in some ways, the flipside of the coin to Craig Fortnam’s excellent, self-styled alternative chamber group North Sea Radio Orchestra. But it’d be wrong to think of them as the ‘other’ band; although perhaps it’s the latter outfit who claim the higher profile, they’re both remarkably potent musical creations.
They’re a duo of finely honed instrumental texture-craft, are Arch Garrison, so before exploring further let’s take a look at the deliverers of the sonics herein. Craig sings and plays guitar, piano, Philicorda organ, monosynth and percussion; his partner in this project, James Larcombe, adds melodeon, dulcitone, wind organ, Philicorda organ, monosynth and piano. As previously mentioned, there’s a real English folk-wyrd/wyrd-folk pervading Arch Garrison’s work. Of corners turned on leaf-festooned lanes as dusk approaches; forgotten copses, holloways, the land resonant with the whisper of song, if only you’d listen.
And Craig can be found, invariably, tracing those long old drove roads and connecting valley tracks that are such a feature of the English chalk downs – in Craig’s specific locale, south Wiltshire. This is where the Arch Garrison sound arises: in the ploughline and pylon line, among the shady, sudden valleys and bleak church towers.
Let’s delay no more. A journey awaits...
he Bitter Lay was both and written and recorded near the first peak of All This, in March and June; but Craig says that although “ … technically a ‘lockdown record’, [it’s] not about lockdown in any way. However, lockdown has lent the album a certain intensity and introspection. All these songs about gardens, green things and an almost childlike focus on small growing things. Hunkering down!”
Arch Garrison and the North Sea Radio Orchestra have a devoted following. If you’re new to the nexus, then come in; you’ll find a record that slakes its thirst on the very finest English trad arr song structuring, and then graces it and spins it off in sometimes eerie, sometime trippy, sometimes folkloric directions.
It’s an album that knows that as soon as the hum of traffic is at your back, the land is unchanging, and it will bring it’s melodies to you as much as you bring your tread to it.”-Backseat Mafia
  • LabelBeliever's Roast
  • UPC5060608506521
Your Price $18.00

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