Old Earth

 Well well, for a band I knew nothing about this morning, this is really good. The one press quote I was sent read as follows: “Post-punk mixed with really old folk music” and I am not entirely certain about the post-punk part, but the droney, experimental stuff here leans very heavily on old folk music for sure. Rather than post-punk, however, this is a heavy, droney kind of folk music, of the kind fans of The Honorable Worm, Rob St. John, Hiva Oa and, more famously, Earth and Low are likely to enjoy.

There’s an awful lot to listen to on the band’s Bandcamp page, but as it’s not listed on the main page, it’s not immediately obvious that it’s there.  Click through to either of the releases which are featured, and in the right hand column of the page you’ll see a column called Discography.  Click on ‘More Releases’ at the bottom of that and you’ll see something like a dozen things to explore.  I haven’t got through all of it yet, but what I have heard is absolutely brilliant.

Currently, for example, I am two-thirds of the way through the eighteen-minute epic downer that is A Low Place at The Old Place. Slow and rich, with thick drones and minimal strums of a grumbly guitar, it rumbles along until about ten minutes in, when suddenly the relative shock of picked strings and articulated vocals breaks the smothering mood for two minutes, before settling back down to its previously indulgent, sluggish pace.  Three minutes from the end a pop song threatens again, but the whole track works like shapes in the surf, flitting into existence, threatening to take shape, and then disappearing into turbulence again.  And for eighteen minutes, far from being boring, it is an absolutely compelling listen.

If you want a more conventional three-minute pop song, however, I suggest you start with the one they are using to promote the new album: Less Words. It is actually an excerpt from the larger work I mentioned above, but cuts nicely into something smaller and more obviously digestible.

It’s been a while since I heard something that was in my inbox and thought ‘fuck me, this needs to go on the blog right now’, but that’s very much what Old Earth had me thinking this morning.  And if you’ll excuse me, I am off to explore their rather extensive back catalogue…

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