Sunday, 13 February 2011

We Aeronauts Take Flight

"Larger than life orchestral, hymnal masterpieces." - The Fly
"Dazzling" - Clickmusic
"Joyful" - Drowned In Sound
"A genuinely exciting find" - CMU Music Daily
"Fun, positive, uplifting... they leave the audience with smiles outside and inside." - Simon Raymonde, Bella Union

Oxford 8-piece folk arkestra We Aeronauts are pleased to announce their debut release on Brainlove, "The Chalon Valley EP", to come out on a beautifully artworked ltd. edition gatefold CD this April 4th.

The story of this EP began when the eight old friends piled all their instruments into a car and took off into the French countryside for a holiday together. Inspired by their blissful surroundings and the once-in-a-lifetime moment they found themselves in, they started writing songs about the area - from the endless bike-rides they took around the Chalon Valley, to the days spent in the sun down at the nearby lake, to the foothills of the Alps on the horizon.

The EP came together slowly over the two years since then, as the band's endlessly itchy feet dispersed them as far afield as Serbia, Spain, India, Mongolia and Canada; but recording sessions and rehearsals happened when the Aeronauts landed in the same place. The final piece of the puzzle was the addition of a choir to "Alpe d'Huez", recorded in Oxford's spectacular Christchurch Cathedral.

There have been other victories along the way: the band won the Green Man Poll in 2009 with over 90,000 votes cast, and a panel stage judged by industry luminaries including Simon Raymonde of Bella Union. As their prize, the band opened the festival's main stage, introduced by Huw Stephens of BBC Radio 1. The band played three times at the Iceland Airwaves festival in 2010, and brought down the roof with a headline performance at London's legendary Shunt Vaults. We Aeronauts are also the first band ever to be asked back to Oxford's BBC Introducing for a second live session after winning the "Best Track of the Year by a Local Artist" award.

This EP is where the story is up to just now: but as everyone who's engaged with this most special of bands knows, the past is prologue, and their story is just beginning.

15 The Social, London, Huw Stephens Introducing w/ Young Buffalo
24 Cellar, Oxford w/ Cat Matador

01 Purple Turtle, Reading w/ Cat Matador
04 Labour Club, Northampton w/ Cat Matador
19 Mr Wolf's, Bristol w/ Cat Matador
22 Dublin Castle, London w/ Cat Matador
25 Cellar, Oxford *EP Release Party*
26 Central, Nottingham w/ Cat Matador

22 Bullingdon Arms, Oxford w/ A Hawk and a Hacksaw

Monday, 7 February 2011

Bastardgeist - Cabbageheads

Iceland Airwaves Festival, October 2010. We set out towards the lava plains from central Reykjavik to film a session, in the soaking rain. A friend had emailed us the bus route to take. There was an old American couple at the bus stop, going the other way. They seemed so relaxed and happy, absorbing everything around them - that unique, inexplicable feeling of peace that falls over you in Iceland. We were on the bus for an hour, watching the buildings come and go and the landscape distorting through the watery windows. Ours was the final stop, just past a row of low bungalows at a half-finished commercial park, piles of bricks and lean-to sheds sticking out of the mossy black lava. A small child on a bike weaved in and out of the spots of colour - this was his back yard. We walked for a couple of minutes, into the part of the map that is blank, and set up the camera. Joel and Ruth's voices sounded beautiful and vivid, with the rain getting heavier and crackling onto the ground around us. Afterwards, we saw the hourly return bus pull up on the gravel road, and ran towards it, waving wildly, like three soaked mad people running out of the wilderness towards civilisation.