This collaboration between long-time friends Rob St. John and Mark Hamilton from Woodpigeon has been a long time in the making. The collaboration is actually three-legged, in that the cover artwork makes extensive use of paintings by another friend – Edinburgh artist Jake Bee.
Rob St. John
Rob St. John’s songs, Young Sun and Folly were recorded in Edinburgh over a couple of days in September 2014 on nylon guitar, 1960s tube organ, harmonium and analogue synth, with vocals (from high to low) from long-term collaborators Tom Western, Mark Andrew Hamilton and Ian Humberstone. Though different in tone, the songs share common themes: landscape, home, family.
This is Rob’s first set of solo songs since the Charcoal Black and the Bonny Grey 7″ (2013), and follows his Weald LP (2011) and a string of collaborative projects with Water of Life and Folklore Tapes amongst others. Folly was written whilst Rob stayed with his partner in Christopher Grieve’s (or Hugh Macdiarmid as he’s better known) old croft house on the Shetland island of Whalsay: the thick, deep time of On a Raised Beach perhaps spilling into the song’s lyrics.
The songs of Woodpigeon’s mini-song-suite Trouble Comes were recorded quick and dirty on a snowy, cold as heck winter night in Montreal’s infamous Hotel2Tango and put to 24-track tape and mixed then-and-there by Howard Bilerman (The Arcade Fire, Vic Chesnutt, Godspeed You! Black Emperor).
When You Look For Trouble, Trouble Comes features a vintage stylophone (not one of those new Urban Outfitter reduxes) through what may well be the world’s oldest amp. Catriona Sturton plays harmonica on Bread-Crumbs through an ancient adapted telephone handset that crackles magically. The songs are inspired primarily by snow, surely the slowest form of Armageddon – while The Arcade Fire built tunnels from home to home, the protagonists of Trouble Comes hope and pray for rescue from the rooftops.
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