Wednesday 18 September 2013

Pastoral punk: Tracing the melancholic margins of the landscape

Music and landscape have always had a kinetic relationship, as essayed in my post Songs like the grass are evergreen. Perhaps this is a constant well-spring, but there seems to currently be a strong riple of creativity - a particular shout out here to Roman Roads IV-XI by Land Observations and Richard Skelton.

Pastoral punk is not a sub-genre I have come across before, but this is the musical credo of Way Through, as exemplified by their invigorating and highly original forthcoming album Clapper Is Still.

In their own words the band are "informed by the field as much as the flyover, Way Through write songs which phase in and out with guitar, tapes, damaged drums and vocals. Using wrong-footed repetition, rapid interplay and free-looping happenstance the band create a ragged yet intuitive tapestry of sound. Their songs walk the streets of market towns, wait forever at bus stops and lose themselves in edgelands." Contemporary folk in fact.

Each song on the new album is concerned with mythical and marginal pieces of English landscape, and 'the vast array of elegiac components Way Through have discovered locked within the English landscape'. Each track is recorded in the place in question with an accompanying image of said place (examples pictured here).  

As a sampler to the album have a listen to Roughting Linn which is about a hidden slab of prehistoric rock in Northumberland:


  1. Interesting stuff - I hear strong echoes of Neu in Roman Roads.

  2. Yes, echoes of Krautrock but more old straight track than sleek autobahn's.


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