Album release: Wenlock Hill by Merrymouth
Release date: 5 May 2014
Listen on: Merrymouth official website
Wenlock Hill is the new release from Merrymouth, the three piece folk-orientated band formed by Ocean Colour Scene’s frontman Simon Fowler along with long time OCS band member Dan Sealey and acclaimed keyboard player Adam Barry. Wenlock Hill is the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut, Merrymouth, and will be released through Navigator Records on May 5 2014.
The 11-track album sees a diverse range of songs with inspiration coming in many different forms. The title track was inspired by the series of poems A Shropshire Lad by AE Houseman, though “I’m not sure Wenlock Hill actually exists!” remarked Adam.
The melodious first single, Without You, is a love song about being apart and the loneliness of a long-distance relationship. He Was A Friend Of Mine is a tender, melancholic song about the murder of John Lennon. “Dan introduced us to Roger McGuinn’s version concerning the death of JFK and we wanted to relate that loss to our generation. So, we sat down and wrote the song to reflect Lennon’s death,” recalled Simon.
There is a remarkable ‘folked-up’ version of The Stone Roses’ I Am The Resurrection. “It was really interesting to strip this tune down to a piano, strings and three part harmony,” Adam described. “We have always felt that although Ian Brown is never associated with folk, there is an influence in his vocal and melodies. Since songs are kept alive by different singers interpreting them, we wanted to add our own touches to this tune.” For a similar reason, their inspired reworking of The Stranglers’ track Duchess was because “it too had a great melody and could almost be a Ray Davies song,” he added.
Guest appearances include the legendary Chas Hodges on Salt Breeze, and award winning violinist John McCusker assisted on several further tracks, both artists having been of great influence on Merrymouth. Also guesting were Catherine Harper (cello), Andy Derrick (trombone), Hugh Thomas (clarinet), Anthony Jones (muted trumpet) and Nick Lyndon (double bass).
The album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire and was produced by Dan Sealey and Adam Barry.
Merrymouth will embark on a UK tour to support the release of Wenlock Hill - see the band’s website for latest dates.