Sunday 15 October 2023

ALBUM NEWS: Johnny Flynn & Robert Macfarlane - 'The Moon Also Rises'

For a bunch of reasons, I've been pretty bad at blogging lately. My head is in a bit of a weird place at the moment and being back to full time at work is exhausting - it's hard to find the time around everything, to be honest. I think that I've also perhaps felt a little distant from music/the blog in general lately... I haven't been to many gigs since lockdown, and writing about artists I'd seen live when I was living in Oxford was how the blog really started to take off in the first place. 

Recently, however, I've had a whirlwind couple of weeks of gigs in London: first up, three Stornoway album release shows for their record Dig The Mountain! which came out last week, and just hit #7 in the album sales chart. Incredible! They played beautiful sets at Banquet Records and Rough Trade East and the launch event at WWT London Wetland Centre was such a special afternoon. Next, my forever favourites The Hoosiers playing one of the best shows I've seen them play at London's KOKO (enough said). And earlier this week, Christof van der Ven headlining in London for the first time in a few years and me getting to rub shoulders with blog favourites Bear's Den and The Staves. I'm eyeing up some more gigs soon... music is pretty great, huh? 

I'm feeling a teeny bit inspired by it all, so I'm making a tentative return to trying to ramble about music - and where better to start than the return of one of my absolute favourite musical pairings, Johnny Flynn and Robert Macfarlane. Separately, they're one of my favourite musicians and one of my favourite writers, and together they make art that I adore. Lost In The Cedar Wood is a favourite album and the accompanying performance was stunning, and I loved getting the chance to chat to Rob about it earlier this year at Cambridge Folk Festival, where he told me exactly what I wanted to hear, that they'd been working on more music, and it was imminent...

A few weeks ago, the pair officially announced that they'd made a new record. Hallelujah! The Moon Also Rises is releasing via the beautiful label Transgressive on 10th November, and it features the first single Uncanny Valley: 

In his announcement of the record, Rob wrote: 

It’s about darkness and light, winter & spring, burial and revelation, stories, weather and seasons, ghosts and paths and love and rivers, and other bits and bobs and pots and pans.

We sort of just kept on writing songs after finishing Lost In The Cedar Wood; some of them we found by walking tracks & rainy woods & streams together, & some by noodling in notebooks, & some in poems & stories, & almost all by laughing a lot.

Working & making with Johnny is just one of the great joys of my life. He’s a quiet, gentle, generous genius with a huge gift for making collaborative, creative connections between people. He’s also very funny. 

Charlie Andrew is on producing duties, and the album features much of Johnny's Sussex Wit band as well as the Sheldrakes, Cosmo and Merlin. You basically couldn't imagine a lovelier and more wholesome bunch of creatives to make music together, and the results are unsurprisingly gorgeous. Second single No Matter The Weight is out now. Almost frustratingly brilliant. 

Pre-order/pre-save the new record here.

Follow Johnny Flynn - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Robert MacfarlaneTwitter | Instagram.

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