Imagine a journey of 9 songs recorded by a team of 7 musicians in different counties, countries and locations.
Improvised ethereal pianos echoing around 600 year old Welsh farmhouses and vocals meandering across the craggy stone landscape of rural Ireland.
RISE’s new musical journey weaves together intimate and cinematic stories marrying echoes of the past with the present day.
Support the effort of this independently released album and become a Stranger no more.
RISE’S NEW ALBUM: STRANGERS
Introducing the new ethereal progressive Indie-Folk album from RISE
A letter from RISE about the making of the album.
It’s really exciting to present this album to you. After 18 months of writing, recording and production (much of which was done whilst touring or travelling) it’s almost ready for release. The final piece of the jigsaw is you.
The vision behind this creation was to use mainly improvised songs that were originally played only once and then hone them into multi-faceted, deeply textured, fully produced songs. You’ll hear ambient soundscapes, beats mixed with dark rock guitars, folky art-pop and rousing strings. It has been a liberating experience and is unbleached from the humanness behind the music so you can hear the piano pedals or floorboards creak, a clock tick, a dog bark or even the occasional bows hitting the mic. It’s up close, vivid, yet full of mystery.
The artwork for Strangers was something that came to me whilst walking in the Welsh mountains where the main thread of the album began. I felt an autumnal colour to the songs, the fading light of the past and yet a simultaneous resurgence and rebirth.
Craig Sinclair took this brilliant photo in the village I was born in Sussex and I worked on bringing the colours and layers into it to represent the feeling of the music itself – richly layered and emergent. I hope you enjoy it.
David Gray once wrote a line that has stuck with me – “and when we meet again, we will be strangers”. That, in a nutshell, the idea behind this album.
Did I mention rebirth and resurgence? This album traverses the challenge of the personal ‘abyss’ and the emergence from the bleakness of loss and separation. This gives way to hope, wisdom and the taking of responsibility.
Then there are the influences of the landscapes and buildings the songs were written in and around – each location adds another layer of meaning and context to the stories within each song.
An old Sewing Woman tells the story and lessons of her life by the fire whilst another in Strangers recounts her husband returning from war so changed that he is now unrecognisable. The inevitability and bitter-sweetness of change are apparent. The Earth sings a quiet love song to the Moon, silence is used as a weapon.
Expect strong imagery, metaphor and folk-tale wrapped up within the rawness of the present.
Though the album has been many months in the making, two of the tracks Burnt Offerings and Skysailing are older. The latter almost crept onto my last album ‘An Abandoned Orchid House’ but it wasn’t quite the right fit. It’s now found its rightful home here.
Burnt Offerings was recorded in a manor house in Sussex and the eerie chime of a grandfather clock is heard, almost hidden in the mix. It sets the tone for a piano-led set of songs.
Since the last album, I have started working with a fabulous team of musicians as my live band. Their improvisations and unique styles of creativity have made it the alchemical mix it is. For example, Peter Yates (from the legendary Fields Of The Nephilim) has added not only his guitars but other gorgeous unexpected events like old transistor radio sounds, Ebow and keyboards.