The title track, a driven, layered and atmospheric song with spectral, intricate guitars – sits alongside two more ambient, immersive tracks and features vintage drum-machines, acoustic drums recorded in a Victorian rectory and an array of acclaimed musicians.
Abrasive Treesis the solo project of Scottish-born guitarist and singer Matthew Rochford. About the release he said:
“These songs are a bit dark, but there’s also a positive energy behind them. In essence they are about the importance of staying compassionate – whatever the circumstances. The title track is actually about witnessing suffering and finding a way to be empowered to do something meaningful in the face of sorrow. There is so much intensity in this world and it can get a bit overwhelming can’t it? I wrote and recorded these three songs amidst loss so there’s heartbreak, but also something hopeful and spiritual that I hope will connect with how others might be feeling right now.
“Creating music is simultaneously a release for me and an offering to those who feel that ‘just coping’ is a good day. I think being a musician you learn the value of being in the moment and expressing what needs to be expressed. During this strange time, it’s especially important to me to stay present in a positive way and this single is part of that.”
Matthew is a former member of Jo-Beth Young’s live and studio bands for RISE and Talitha Rise as well as being in the post-punk bands Council of Giants, The Impossible Moon and a recent Rothko collaborator.
The production features an line-up of collaborators including Jo Beth Young (RISE/Talitha Rise), Steven Hill (Evi Vine), Mark Parsons (Eat Lights Become Lights) and Matthew’s brother, Sebastian (Polar Bear/Pulled By Magnets). The single was mixed and mastered by Mark Beazley (Rothko/The Band Of Holy Joy).
All three tracks are available on limited-edition cassette or CD or download from their bandcamp page on Friday 4th September as well as streaming via all the usual platforms. A video to accompany the release (by visual artist Jess Wooler) will premier on the day prior to release.
Bio: Abrasive Trees is the creative vehicle for the music of Matthew Rochford.
Matthew was born in Aberdeen to Anglo-Indian/Anglo-Irish parents and has been playing guitar since he was a child. He’s a former member of Jo-Beth Young’s live and studio bands for RISE and Talitha Rise as well as being in the post-punk bands Council of Giants and The Impossible Moon. This year he has been recording for Mark Beazley’s Rothko and Jo Beth Young.
The approach is experimental and immersive and the sound could be described as spectral, layered and brooding with intricate, drone-drenched guitars. The overall energy owes as much to post-punk as it does to ambient psychedelia, grunge or post-rock.
Strings, dulcimers, guitars that sound like old synths or sitars, voices in the distance and stories that take you somewhere. Esoteric bass, analogue drum machines and acoustic drums recorded in a Victorian house all help to forge the sound.
As well as writing the music, lyrics and producing, Matthew also sings, plays guitars, dulcimer, Ebow and programmes the analogue drum machine.
The debut single and video is scheduled for release September 2020 via Wise Queen Records with an album following in 2021.
An array of accomplished collaborators have contributed to the project so far, both live and in the studio:
Nadia Abdelaziz – Voice, Dulcimer
Ffion Atkinson (Johnny Powell and The Seasonal Beasts) – Voice
Mark Beazley (Rothko/Band of Holy Joy) – Electric Bass
Laurence Collyer (Diamond Family Archive) – Shruti Box, Steel Guitar
Steven Hill (Evi Vine) – Guitars
Jay Newton (Quiet Quiet Band) – Keys
Mark Parsons (Eat Lights Become Lights) – Electric Bass
Ben Roberts (Evi Vine) – Cello
Seb Rochford (Polar Bear/Pulled By Magnets) – Drums
Peter Yates (Fields of The Nephilim) – Guitars
Jo-Beth Young (Talitha Rise/RISE/Yates & Young) – Voice, Guitars, Percussion, Tibetan Bowl, Recorder
Appearing on this single:
Steven Hill – Guitars
Mark Parsons – Electric Bass
Matthew Rochford – Vocals, Guitars, Drum Machine
Sebastian Rochford – Drums
Jo-Beth Young – Additional Voice
Written and Produced by Matthew Rochford
Mixed and Mastered by Mark Beazley
Released by Wise Queen Records/Shapta