Sea Change III
Keep scrolling to learn more about the artists joining us in Totnes on 24th and 25th August for Sea Change.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the artists joining us in Totnes on 24th and 25th August for Sea Change.
Hookworms are hard-working Leeds lads, juggling actual real lives with making super awesome music. Live and on record, like Spaceman 3, they pointedly subvert the tripped-out sound environments of psychedelia with a darkly malevolent punk menace; unlike J.Spaceman et al, there’s no chemical assistance, these concepts and feelings come with clarity. Released in February, Microshift is the Leeds band's first new work in over three years and marks a seismic shift in their sound, dynamic, song-writing and production, whilst still bearing all the ferocious energy, intricate musicianship and bruised but beautiful song-craft of the previous releases, which have quietly made them one of the UK's most revered young bands.
What if your mother tongue is an ancient language of a land that you’ve never lived in, whose native speakers have only recently broken 200 years’ silence? What if the only place it has ever existed over the years is hundreds of miles away, in your home and your heart? We are thrilled to have Gwenno, the 2015 Welsh Music Prize winner, join us for Sea Change to perform a very special album that's close to our heart and close to our shores. Written entirely in Cornish, Le Kov translates as “the place of memory” and is a set of beautiful, timeless, psychedelic pop songs.
For Sea Change 2018 we are so incredibly proud to present a collaborative headline experience that is right at the very top of our most very wild wishlists. Damo Suzuki - former singer in Krautrock legends CAN - will unite with Japanese noise rockers Bo Ningen for a live set channeling the most vivid experimentalism. After a near ten year hiatus post-CAN, Damo has spent the last 35 years touring the world with his remarkable Damo Suzuki's Network show, collaborating with some 7000+ “Sound Carriers” in some of the most pioneering and genuinely experimental live music around. Bo Ningen are categorically one of the most exciting live bands on the planet. An explosive combination of noise and rock, they have collaborated with Faust and Savages and recorded three critically acclaimed albums for Stolen Recordings.
Oh, but the way... the name Bo Ningen means "Stick Man" in Japanese.
One of the most consistently progressive and challenging producers around, James Holden will be bringing his “synth-led folk-trance standards” to Sea Change 2018 with his expanded James Holden & The Animal Spirits line up. Their self-titled debut on his own superb Border Community label was one of 2017's most unique and exciting albums. In a bid to capture what he calls the unfakeable “psychic communication” of a group performance, The Animal Spirits was recorded live in one room together in single takes, no overdubs, no edits, in accordance with his own self-imposed dogma. We cannot wait to see this rich and kaleidoscopic live show... we're pinching ourselves still to be perfectly honest.
2017 saw the release of Jane Weaver’s ‘Modern Kosmology’ to critical acclaim, winning numerous awards and wowing audiences across the globe. Using ‘Modern Kosmology’ as a starting point, Weaver teamed up with long time visual collaborator Sam Wiehl and Liverpool new music group Immix Ensemble to produce ‘Kosmologie Ancienne’. Together, Wiehl, Weaver and Immix developed a multi-disciplinary performance for voice, guitar and classical instrumentation, complemented by Wiehl’s visual world, and presented it at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral Crypt. The triumvirate brought in Immix composer in residence Andrew PM Hunt (Dialect) and Andy Votel to complete the bill. It is a show that we’ll never be able to full articulate, it is simply an experience that you’ll likely never forget.
Though he’s been a recording artist for over two decades now, and has been writing songs for thirty years, Josh T. Pearson hasn’t racked up much of a discography thus far, at least in terms of the number of albums he’s released. But then, those two albums – 2001’s ‘The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads’, by his group Lift To Experience, and his 2011 solo debut ‘Last Of The Country Gentlemen’ – contained more substance and inspiration than most artists’ entire careers. The former was a cosmic, apocalyptic allegorical fantasy that saw Pearson try to come to terms with his faith and his intense upbringing; the latter was an agonizing, powerfully confessional account of the collapse of his marriage. You can’t rush material like that. His new LP ‘The Straight Hits!’ is joyful, giddy, life-affirming stuff and feels like one of those albums we'll be playing for a long old while. Josh plays a very special solo show as part of the Mute takeover at St Mary’s Church.
Josh is also in conversation with Will Burns at the Barrel House Ballroom.
Lost Horizons is a collaborative project founded by Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins and Dif Juz's drummer Richie Thomas. Their debut LP ‘Ojalá’ (released on Simon’s fine Bella Union imprint) featured guest contributions from Ghostpoet, Marissa Nadler, Horse Thief's Cameron Neal, The Innocence Mission's Karen Peris, ex-Midlake frontman Tim Smith, Sharon Van Etten, and Lanterns On The Lake's Hazel Wilde. The guests helping to bring these beautiful songs to life for us in Totnes will be Nordic Giants collaborator and vocalist Beth Cannon, Helen Ganya Brown of Dog In The Snow and Ed Riman of Hilang Child. “It must feel like fun, never a chore, and it has to be improvised,” Simon explains. "If it never became a record, it didn’t matter. It was all about recapturing that feeling when you’re 15, making music with friends."
As a founding member of Throbbing Gristle alongside Cosey Fanni Tutti, Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Chris Carter has had a significant role in the development of electronic music - a journey which has continued through his releases as one half of Chris & Cosey and Carter Tutti and a third of Carter Tutti Void - as well as with his own solo and collaborative releases. Chris returned this year with his first solo release in 17 years, ‘Chris Carter’s Chemistry Lessons Volume One’. It's a real masterclass in tones, atmospherically it's really stunning. Twenty-five short tracks that all create different spells. Hugely excited to have one of the most innovative UK electronic music producers join us at Sea Change.
Late last year, Toronto songwriter Tamara Lindeman released her fourth studio album as The Weather Station. Self-titled and self-produced,it is a spirited, frequently topical tour de force that declares its understated feminist politics, and its ambitious new sonic directions, from its first moments. An amazing collection of songs from one of the most arresting voices about, we are ready to see these wonderful songs with a full live band.
London-based producer Ryan Lee West, better known under the name Rival Consoles, is notable for making synthesisers sound human and atmospheric. It’s rarely reported that Rival Consoles was Erased Tapes’ very first signing, with a CDR of early demos under the name Aparatec that inspired founder Robert Raths to start the label in 2007. Following an appearance at our debut Sea Change (2016), we are delighted to invite Ryan back to Totnes to play tracks from his immaculate career and stunning new LP Persona.
Over the last five years Daniel Blumberg has been primarily working within the radical community of musicians centred around London’s Cafe Oto. Still only 27 years old, Blumberg has written himself a rich musical history; from his teenage band who signed to XL whilst he was still at school, on to and through the projects of Yuck, Oupa and Hebronix, whilst solidifying close creative partnerships with the likes of David Berman (Silver Jews), Low, Lambchop and Royal Trux’s Neil Michael Hagerty (with whom Blumberg has performed as a member of the Howling Hex). His debut solo album ‘Minus’ was released on Mute this year and is an astonishing work. The record weds an improvisational, free-music ethos to the rawest emotional songwriting, rooted deep in the personal turmoil Blumberg experienced whilst making the record. Alongside an intimate band show at the church, Daniel will be in conversation with Emma Warren at the Barrel House Ballroom.
When we first started the festival (well, dreamt it up) back in 2015, it was a collection of thoughts, albums and post it notes. The one that was first stuck to the wall simply said "ANDREW WEATHERALL". It is with huge personal gratification that in only our third edition we are able to bring Andrew Weatherall to Totnes for Sea Change, undoubtedly one of the most thrilling DJs we've ever had the pleasure to witness. Where do we go from here? Well, that's anyone's guess but Sea Change joins the ranks of many fine events who can reminisce: “Do you remember the time when Weatherall melted all those minds…” Yep.
We are extremely proud to welcome Hatis Noit to Sea Change as part of the 2018 Erased Tapes showcase. Hailing from the distant Shiretoko, a small town in Hokkaido (the largest island in north Japan), Hatis Noit’s accomplished range is astonishingly self-taught, inspired by everything she could find from Gagaku - Japanese classical music - and operatic styles, Bulgarian and Gregorian chanting, to avant-garde and pop vocalists. Her ‘Illogical Dance’ EP is one of the most gripping releases of the year to date, creating unique song-worlds with transcendent vocal interpretations that at once deconstruct and recombine Western Classical, Japanese folk and nature’s own ambience atmosphere.
Ex-Easter Island Head are a UK-based musical collective composing and performing music for solid-body electric guitar, percussion and other instruments. Primarily performing as a trio, the group incorporates multiple electric guitars augmented through mechanical preparations and extended techniques to create works that explore group interplay, repetition and melodic invention through purposefully limited means. Krautrock shapes, hypnotic repetitions and pure euphoria coming out of drones. This is going to be explosive.
Forming in early 2012, Manchester (via London) based duo Virginia Wing is Alice Merida Richards and Samuel Pillay. The duo returned this year with an new album called ‘Ecstatic Arrow’, recorded in Switzerland, in the family home of longtime friend and collaborator Misha Hering. Sonically rich, and also smartly subtle, three albums in they sound like a band who have utter confidence in their sound - it is pretty stunning. ‘Ecstatic Arrow’ was recently listed alongside Gwenno and Hookworms in the “Best albums of 2018 so far” by The Guardian… can’t see many better albums on the forecast than this one, it’s already a 2018 highlight for us.
The Surfing Magazines are a garage rock supergroup. The band contains one half of Slow Club and two thirds of The Wave Pictures, with principle influences being Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground and all the great surf guitar music of the 1960s. Loose, fun and very chill, The Surfing Magazines intend to rock out and blow your mind, and then to mellow out and soothe your mind… then to rock out again. They want to see dancing, they are bringing good soul. In the most gripping way, listening to their music is like riding a rock and roll rollercoaster. They are the real deal.
Sweet Baboo is Stephen Black, a native of the north Wales countryside and a single-minded, idiosyncratic singer. Black possesses an ear for a sparkling melody, a restless soul, and a gift for a deft lyrical turn – from darkly funny to piercingly tender, twinklingly boastful to deliciously self-deprecating. Seven albums and four EPs over the last decade, as well as playing on albums with Cate Le Bon, Slow Club and H. Hawkline. Nothing is as glorious as Welsh psychedelia, and Mr. Black is one of the finest.
Hater are Caroline Landahl, Måns Leonartsson, Adam Agace and Lukas Thomasson. They make blissfully dreamy guitar pop and had us absolutely hooked from the very first time we heard them. Among those to declare themselves fans were the band’s heroes in The Radio Dept… this is ticking some serious boxes. Hater have quickly established themselves as Sweden’s most exciting new indie act, offering up a sound that’s both instantly accessible and grows with every listen.
+ Included in the festival magazine is a very special Flexi Disc with the track “it’s So Easy” taken from the bands SCORCHING forthcoming LP ‘Siesta’.
Returning to Totnes for the second time, we're delighted to celebrate Red River Dialect's new album – ‘Broken Stay Open Sky’, released on the immaculate Paradise of Bachelors label - with a full band live show. The London-based, Cornwall-bred band brings a windswept energy and daylight to a contemplative, gorgeously rendered suite of songs about inhabiting the landscape, and our bodies, in joy and pain alike. Informed by songwriter David Morris’s spiritual practice, and recorded largely live in the studio, this is the band’s most ambitious and emotionally affecting work to date: atmospheric but deeply rooted, equally concerned with investigating the concrete and the cosmic, both quiet details of the everyday and looming matters of faith.
They came from the trees. Now settled in fertile east London, Snapped Ankles maintain the feral energy of the forest. Fight or flight. Primal motorik rhythms, the rush of white noise and post-punk angles; an aural onslaught played out on homemade log synths, electrified guitars and sticks beating hell on taut animal skin. We were absolutely thrilled last year by the ‘The Best Light Is The Last Light’ EP and the following ‘Come Play The Trees’ album (both on the Leaf Label). Genuinely different music made with passion, joy and seemingly a lot of fun. Snapped Ankles will play a special wild showcase as part of The Quietus third tenure at Sea Change.
Hailing from the Isle of Man via Brighton, Penelope Isles is the collaboration of brother and sister Jack and Lily Wolter. We were given a huge tip off on these guys and we're thrilled that Sea Change gets to be part of the early story here, as this is pretty special stuff. The band mix waves of ambient delays and fuzz guitar noise, sonic dynamics and melodic pop hooks entwined with girl-boy harmonies. Their self-produced home recordings portray an honest lo-fi approach in capturing their own music. Penelope Isles are currently recording their debut LP at the Bella Union Studios in Brighton and will join us as part of the Bella Union showcase.
The Boy Azooga story encompasses both Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon and playing triangle for the National Youth Orchestra Of Wales. But this only brings us to the margins of a musical map that also includes The Beach Boys, Nigerian funk, krautrock and 1940s British noir fiction. We were lucky enough to see them last summer and they knocked us sideways... a proper young, exciting and hugely talented band, soaked deep in the magical waters of Welsh pop and psychedelia. They are going to get bigger and bigger and bigger you know… this is going to be special.
We were blown away early this year by this beautiful and evocative music. Group Listening is a new project by Stephen Black and Paul Jones, and they will be performing selected ambient works arranged for clarinet and piano. It recalls the likes of Brian Eno, Arthur Russell, Euros Childs and Robert Wyatt. Having met at music college, Stephen and Paul went separate ways creatively. Stephen delved into pop, recording albums and touring extensively under the guise of Sweet Baboo. Paul leaned into the piano, pursuing a career as a jazz pianist and experimental musician. He played with Keith Tippett, formed the Jones O’Connor group, performed with noise improv bands and composed orchestral and chamber music. Reconnecting years later, the pair discovered that their music tastes, bizarrely, met in the middle. Like Virginia Astley or Simon Jeffes, Group Listening tread the overlap between classical and experimental music.
Charles Watson is a London based songwriter/producer/writer and member of indie duo Slow Club and garage-rock super group The Surfing Magazines. A former writing student of Central St Martins and The Faber Academy, Watson uses his own fiction writing as a springboard for his lyrics, a method he has used for his previous records. A man with a quite beautiful delivery, Charles is in town flying the flag for Moshi Moshi as part of their weekend celebrations.
Raf has to date been one of our favorite fifty percents. As co-anchor with James Endeacott on the Soho Radio ‘Morning Glory’ show he is wickedly funny, and as DJ and one half of the dance-pop outfit The 2 Bears (alongside Hot Chip's Joe Goddard) he is both party maker and breaker. However, his debut LP as Raf Rundell back in March on 1965 Records - a bold but mellow collection of pop swooners - might well be our favourite shade of Raf. On Friday evening he is hanging up the headphones and kicking out the jams… and who knew he had such a great voice!
Lost Under Heaven - or LUH - are Manchester-based duo Ebony Hoorn and Ellery James Roberts. Wu Lyf fans will recognise Roberts’s distinctive gargle and the songs’ epic tilt, but LUH have broken out of the guitar band template and deliver a spiritually unique take on pop. Following 2016's excellent ‘Spiritual Songs for Lovers to Sing’ LP, the band will be previewing new material in a stripped-back show at Sea Change.
Contemporary pianist James Heather is one of the new school set of ‘post classical’ artists flourishing in the wake of the long, steady but recently accelerated success of figureheads like Max Richter, Ben Lukas Boyson and Jóhann Johannsson, and the wider public’s overdue but now burgeoning relationship with this varied genre. His debut album ‘Stories From Far Away On Piano’ was released this year on the Ninja Tune sister label Ahead Of Our Time and is a work of elegance and quite beautiful gestures.
Apostille is a man who's torn through enough sound-systems to know the difference between gesture and meaning. Alongside running his own DIY record label, Glasgow native Michael Kasparis has spent the last few years making forays into the realm of hardcore punk with his groups Anxiety and The Lowest Form. Throughout all this, his solo electronic venture Apostille has continued to evolve with each twist and turn of the world. What started off as a quest to whip up a mood and force it into a song has steadily become more of a mission in communication. Sunny, addictive and hugely gratifying music with plenty of murky darkness. Right up our street.
Hilang Child is the moniker of Ed Riman, a half-Welsh, half-Indonesian musician and songwriter from London. With a few exquisite tracks appearing quietly over the last year or so, Riman is set to take centre-stage with a debut album pitched into a dreamy hinterland between the multi-layered hymnals of Bon Iver and a warm, atmospheric intimacy that’s very much his own. Hilang Child also recently collaborated with Lost Horizons, and will be joining their live ensemble at Sea Change.
Pembrokeshire-born, London-based Bryde aka Sarah Howells, is a woman and an electric guitar playing fierce and fragile songs. Swaying from vulnerable to uncompromising within one verse and chorus, Bryde's music is honest and furiously authentic. Fascinated with human psychology and inner workings of relationships, Bryde's songs still hold close a defiant and life-affirming quality. The critical response has been emphatic, and we’re all delighted that she is joining us to play these songs live.
Signing his record deal on William Blake's grave, it's fair to say Saint Leonard's Horses is an enigma. Over the last few years (Kieran) Leonard and band have played with Beck, Bob Dylan, Father John Misty and Ryan Adams amongst others, honing their skills to audiences huge and intimate. He recorded his ‘Good Luck Everybody’ album within Stanley Kubrick's estate, a perfect statement to the grandness he wanted to capture in his storytelling. Leonard himself has plenty of experiences to relay to everybody, as he invites them into his world whether at cinematic live shows or through the aural jigsaw of his recorded output.