OF NOEL AND ADRIAN
Sons Of Noel And Adrian are back on the road and will be releasing a brand new collection of songs this year - their second long player, Knots. The album will be released on 21 May on various formats across different labels; Broken Sound will put out the CD, Willkommen the digital, and on One Inch Badge it shall be released on vinyl.
The band's sophomore album sees them breaking far away from the acoustic roots of their debut album. Sons of Noel And Adrian's immersion in folk music was always more informed by guitarists like Dave Pajo, David Grubbs and Jeff Parker than by traditionalists. These influences, rooted in the city of Chicago’s pre-millennial post-rock, jazz and avant-pop scenes, are explored on Knots resulting in an album much closer to the band's live sound.
The duelling fingerpicked classical guitars are still there, but they're put through cranked up, needle-in-the-red valve amps. There's still a bit of banjo, but it's played with an e-bow and a slide so it sounds like a haunted Hammond organ. And there's plenty of actual Hammond, giving the track "Come Run Fun Stella Baby Mother of the World" a kind of fairground darkness borrowed from Liars or Captain Beefheart.
Elsewhere the fragile strings of "Black Side of the River" evoke the still sadness of humanity epitomised by Arvo Pärt augmented by the weighty piano chords of Earth; "Big Bad Bold" sounds like These New Puritans started an earthquake in a burning symphony hall; "Cathy Come Home" demonstrates the band's love of drone, unison and extended guitar techniques and ends up sounding somewhere between Tortoise and the scores of Danny Elfman; and aching closer "Heroine" sounds like Robert Wyatt sped up a track from Twin Peaks for Will Oldham to sing over.
At times soft and
orchestral, at times crass and loud, Knots is always infused with beauty
and tenderness: soulful, taunt, honed and with a new found love of kosmiche
Rejecting notions of a fixed line-up, Sons of Noel and Adrian is more of a sprawling musical whirlpool centred around a few key members than a traditional band - a bit like Broken Social Scene, with whom two members of Sons toured with last year as their horn section. The band members make up most of the renowned Willkommen Collective that spawned The Leisure Society, and the various members lend their talents freely to everyone from Damo Suzuki to Laura Marling, with one Son, a full time contributor to her band and as many as four playing with her on certain shows including last year's Glastonbury Festival Pyramid Stage performance.
Such selfless creative interdependence is at the heart of the Willkommen Collective and Sons of Noel and Adrian. The results of their musical co-operative have yielded an album that transcends their debut and positions them as a very unique and thrilling proposition indeed: Knots see SONAA charting new, unexplored aural terrain as immersive an experience on stage as it on record.
“Each inspirational, frequently
brooding composition speaks in intricate tongues of simpler times, evocative
instrumental breakdowns speaking the words the lips cannot. An intensely
vivid journey into a discordantly beautiful world, Sons Of Noel And Adrian
have liberated themselves from the constraints of society’s sonic
status quo, and in doing so, have created something truly inspirational.”
Sons of Noel and Adrian
CD Album - £9