[video of the week] David A Jaycock – The Murderous Huntsman

David. A Jaycock announces new album ‘Murder, and the Birds’, out via Triassic Tusk Records on August 24th 2020.

‘Murder, and the Birds’ is a pastoral retelling of lost songs with no lyrics and lyrics with no songs.

David, an “underground psychedelic freak-ball” and sometime collaborator of Marry Waterson, The Big Eyes Family Players and James Yorkston, was inspired to create this beautiful album of eccentric English folk after finding a book of traditional songs, Ballads and Songs of Lancashire (1865), and falling down the rabbit holes of the old stories written within.

Yorkston loved David’s album and played it to Stephen Marshall of Triassic Tusk Records, Stephen loved it and is putting it out on wax. We kinda hope you will love it too.

James Yorkston – “I’m a fan of David and his music. Musicians and Artists who produce great art with no eye on popular success are to be valued. And David, for me, is one of those – a great English outsider. He’s a quiet lad, steadily producing these weird little records. Listen in, if you will, you may just hear the good stuff.”

David – “I was missing home but I’m never sure where that is? It is probably both the Northwest and the Southwest. I’d come back to Cornwall for the last nine years and so Lancashire loomed red in my thoughts. I didn’t know enough about the place. I had neglected the thought of it. Different light, too cold, Jobbies in Glodwick swimming pool, Victorian nightmares and the Wednesday ‘flea’ market.

“And at the same time, love. Of my adolescent memories and deadly rooftop adventures. Sweet peanuts and fireworks in the snow. ‘We come a cob a coalin’ for bonfire night’ you know, stuff like that.

“I decided to find some old songs or stories from Lancashire to work on. I found an old red book called Ballads and Songs of Lancashire (1865) by John Haland with even older verse than I had hoped for. It contained no music, but the verses interested me enough to carry on. I found five songs in there. I needed more so I looked back to the South West.

“Then, as with most concepts, I started to squeeze square pegs into round holes, and so I began to find songs from other places that were of more interest to me. Songs about death, incest, murder, and the birds.

“And so the Midlands, Ayrshire and Cambridge became detours for Lancashire and the West.
Reading through each verse or song I began to edit the gender specific roles where possible. I also played with hero and villain sentiment. Some ballads were just too long and so were ruthlessly chopped. Anything about virgin maids or royal worship was instantly cut. I experimented with the odd chorus too.

“Original thoughts on vocals were dense with many different singers. Original thoughts on instrumentation were traditional. Both of these ideas changed over the course. String parts written on synths stayed and I finally got some sounds I liked out of my FM synths as well as the usual analogue ones. I double tracked most of the vocals and stereo recorded the guitars and just to add to the duplicity of everything, the whole process took around two years from the initial sketches to finished songs.

This record has helped me come to terms with my ongoing ambiguities with regards to place. And place, I have learned, is not a fixed commodity. It fluctuates with time and memory”. – David A Jaycock



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