Release Date: 01 April 2016
Format: LP Vinyl
|Trembling Bells Wide Majestic Aire Limited Vinyl LP
Trembling Bells are back with Wide Majestic Aire; a seven-track mini-album, which acts as a companion, piece to The Sovereign Self and cements their reputation as one of Britain’s most exciting and exploratory groups.
“‘Wide Majestic Aire’ is among my favourite songs that I’ve written,” says the band’s founder and leader Alex Neilson of the title track. This romantic ballad, sung by Lavinia Blackwall, sees the compass of the band’s music swing back in the direction of folk after the prog and acid rock of Sovereign Self. It is in some ways archetypally Trembling Bells in its evocation of the landscapes of Yorkshire and Oxford and its invocation of great artists of the past - Larkin, Blake, Lorca and Turner. Such a sweet and melodic song could function as a gateway drug to the rest of the band’s music, which is to be welcomed, as there is much to explore in their rich back catalogue.
A major river in Yorkshire, the Aire passes through Leeds, Neilson’s hometown. “The Aire was a sanctuary for me,” he says. “I grew up on a council estate in Bramley and the river was five minutes away. As a teenager I’d listen to the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and Incredible String Band while walking my dogs along the banks. These were the things that moulded me and sent me on a certain path in life.”
2016 promises to be a busy year. There are plans to release a live album of their shows with Will Oldham, Neilson hopes to put out a solo record, and to record an album of traditional songs sung by Stewart Lee. A short UK tour will climax in mid-April at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Prestatyn, curated by the comedian, during which the Trembling Bells will perform No Roses, the classic 1971 album by Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band. Neilson will also drum on the forthcoming album by Shirley Collins, a folk legend, now aged 80 Trembling Bells are a psych folk phenomenon. The Glasgow based quintet have released five albums since 2008, all to unanimous critical acclaim. Their debut album "Carbeth" received album of the month nominations in Uncut, Observer and Rolling Stone magazines and the group have earned praise from artists as diverse as Paul Weller, Stewart Lee and Joe Boyd.
Trembling Bells are: Lavinia Blackwall (vocals, organ, electric guitar), Mike Hastings (electric, acoustic, 12 string guitar, vocals), Alasdair C Mitchell (Wurlitzer piano), Alex Neilson (drums, vocals), Simon Shaw (bass, vocals), Katy Cooper-(violin), Ross McRae (trombone) and John Wilson (violin) “They are so wild, they are so British, they are so exciting. They merge so many different and exciting forms of music that I love, from traditional English folk, to jazz, to prog, and the meld it together in a way that is not exclusive at all. It's embracing, it's colourful, it's funny, they're full of personalities - I love the whole kit and kaboodle of what they do.” - Stuart Maconie
Wide Majestic Aire / England Was Aghast / Show Me A Hole (And I'll Crawl In It) / Swallows Of Carbeth / I Love Bute / Marble Arch