Old Earth is someone I first came across a good few years ago now. Todd has released with fellow Edinburgh independent label Mini50 Records, recorded a Toad Session in our old house, and generally become integrated with the Edinburgh music community in that really nice way that sometimes happens in a day and age where staying in decent contact with people a long way away has never been easier.
Old Earth is a pretty prolific project, as you can tell from the Bandcamp page, and evolves fairly slowly. Micah P. Hinson does something similar: he doesn’t seem to change all that much, but I never get tired of hearing the new material.
There is a gradual evolution, though. Early Old Earth stuff was more droney and atmospheric, and whilst this new album is full of atmosphere and character, it’s less dense and slow-paced, veering more towards a constant rhythm of guitar which links every song together into one single half-hour track. The way Todd assembles everything together into one single piece of music like this some of the similarities between songs, particularly in the texture of them, start to really work for the record.
Almost exactly halfway through this all builds to a really nice big thrummy crescendo, before coming right down and settling into some of the quieter, plainer and more lovely music Old Earth have done. There are variations in pace and arrangement which we’ve not heard from Todd before, and although the changes aren’t massive, it just gives this the sense of an album which is gradually pushing the band in a different direction.
In some ways Old Earth feels like a twin spirit to our own Adam Stafford – a messianic preacher with a guitar transforming himself into a howling banshee of pop.