Coming to a record player near you... (If you buy it that is, which you will!). We're super proud to present The Taxidermist, the fourth full-length album from Thirty Pounds of Bone - and completing an Armellodie-hat-trick - released on 12" heavy vinyl and super-lite download on Monday 23rd March 2015.
Where Johny Lamb’s first three albums - 2006’s The Homeless Children of Migrant Mothers, 2011’s Method, and 2013’s I Cannot Sing You Here But For Songs of Where - all relate heavily to place and itinerancy, rooting themselves (sometimes unconventionally), in folksong, The Taxidermist marks a partial departure from Johny’s previous works. Retaining all the hallmarks that made those other records so special, The Taxidermist is still unmistakably a Thirty Pounds of Bone record, but this time round the ratios have shifted somewhat.
There are love songs and death songs, as Johny mixes acoustic folk-like songs with distortion smothered Shoegaze, analogue synth, and Salvation Army type brass. It’d be a push to say this is Thirty Pounds of Bone gone pop, but musically there’s a change of focus, and on The Taxidermist we find Johny at his most wistfully romantic.
Lyrically, there’s an underbelly of the not-quite-right here throughout The Taxidermist. Whilst never explicit, the themes, characters and contents of these songs seem to flirt with darkness. Whose eyelids are being filled with clay on ‘The Glass of an Iris’? Why is money being tied to thighs on ‘Ribbon’? There is robbery (‘Pasganger, Or The Wagon’), revenge (‘The Expelled’), and resentment (‘All Your Sons’), blood (‘Two Birds in the Brine’), death (‘Before I’m Done’), and regret (I’ll Go Too). But there is atonement, remorse and tenderness too. This is a sentimental record.
Johny plays everything on these recordings, which were made in a cellar somewhere in West Cornwall. After reading a book about taxidermy, Johny recognised parallels between taxidermy and the process of recording. The fixing in time of performance, or more the manipulation of performance to suggest something extra real, hyper real, more than what can be achieved in the flesh. This record comes from that idea, while at the same time resisting the potential to use modern technology to achieve that ‘beyond reality’ sound common in modern recordings. There is no software instrumentation. There are no edits or drop-ins, the instrumental and vocal parts you hear are complete performances. The rough edges and even small mistakes have not been airbrushed out. These recordings are densely layered, each take being a small part of the whole, never to be rendered by an ensemble.
Pre-order the vinyl HERE and get the first two tracks pinged in your box the noo, including this one, the awesome, 'Ribbon'. Have a listen...