The Magnetic North – Prospect of Skemersdale

This trio, consisting of Simon Tong (The Verve/ The Good The Bad The Queen), former Erland & The Carnival member Erland Cooper and orchestrally minded singer-songwriter Hannah Peel present their 2nd album on Full Time Hobby.
On their stunning debut the group explored Cooper’s birthplace in the Orkney Islands and now they turn their attention a little further south to Tong’s Lancastrian home-town Skelmersdale (expect an album about Peel’s Northern Irish origins in a year or 2!).

Skem (as it’s known locally) provides an intriguing subject for exploration as it represents both a run-of-the-mill British ‘new town’, often used as an example of failed social-economic policies of the 1970’s/80’s, which was also home to the UK’s largest centre for Transcendental Meditation, which gave the town an upturn of both fortune and positivity. The group explore these changing fortunes through their trademark ornate chamber-folk sound, with strings and choral vocals weaving together to create a rich, organic tapestry of sound that suggests Sufjan Stevens soundtracking a Ken Loach movie.

Another mesmerising, hauntingly beautiful meditation on the psychogeographic landscape of these isles

magnetic north prospect

 

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