Album cover for Mother-of-Pearl Moon by And Also The Trees

Lurking in the darkness and yet, just noticeable due to the glowing light reflected from a full moon, is the latest album from And Also The Trees. Worcestershire’s post-punk- folk-devils have forged a 15th studio album by studiously – and they are studious – ignoring the sun-lit uplands of modern musical taste…

Throughout the phases of AATT the two Jones brothers Simon (vocals & lyrics) and Justin (guitar) have remained constant; being joined latterly by Paul Hill (drums), Colin Ozanne (clarinet) and Grant Gordon (bass guitar). However, this current constellation has not relied on astronomy to determine their future.

Mother-of-Pearl Moon is a gloriously self-aware and unashamed experimentation of musical, cinematic and literary influences.

Mother-of-Pearl Moon by And Also The Trees

The tentative notation opening to The Whaler welcomes in a sombre monologue of a ship-wreck due to a storm- savaged sea. The near-phlegmatic voice of Simon Jones employs sea-sprayed language and imagery – “as the storm unwinds pushing ever forwards” – to capture the scene. The musical result is a brooding calmness after the storm.

The dreamscape This Path Through The Meadow is a meandering ballad. The spaghetti-western-esque intro leads us through a romantic, yet “poison-laced” walk. Passing by “butterflies and ants” and “trembling leaves” but all the while you can’t help but keep looking over your shoulder.

AATT are at their most content when playing with light and dark. Resultantly, the album shimmers and glistens in the darkness.

In the novel “invisible Cities,” by Italo Calvino is the only place you will find Valdrada. From a literary conversation comes an exploration of literary imaginings. Warm guitar notes and subtle drum strokes accompany our visit. Images we encounter along the way – “with alleyways full of echoes” – recreate a landscape full of threats and opportunities.

And Also The Trees – Valdrada

Lugubrious and impatient, Visions of a Stray is a cinematic sketch of an inner monologue. The visions are personal and descriptive, the listener is both voyeuristic and yet, distanced, from the internal train of thought.

Mother-of-Pearl is believed to be a protective stone; a stress relieving stone which brings a soothing reassurance to individuals. AATT are willing to corrupt perception to achieve their artistic point. Mother-of- Pearl is also slang for cocaine.

The instrumentation of No Mountains, No Horizons is disconcerting and alarming. The possibilities of this voice-less soundscape are plentiful. Feel your heartrate at 2.50 and then imagine a scene unfolding at the cinema with this track howling from the speakers? The instrumental track Ypsilon by contrastis hymnal and the uplifting clarinet infused track is as reassuring as the moon’s glow in a star-studded sky.

Imagine a dinner party studded with such luminaries as Nick Cave, Orson Welles, Edgar Allan Poe, Leonard Cohen, Ennio Morriconie and Tom Waits if you will. Can you imagine the artistic outcome of such a constellation? In truth, this album is the result of two brothers by the name of Jones. Who, whilst lay on their backs in the middle of a meadow, over 40 years ago, looking up at the moon dared to imagine a musical future for themselves. Of course, this is a rather literary reverie.

By: Swilgate Scuttler

Find out more

Share this: