Vic Mars delved into his thoroughly English past for this release, pulling in vintage British Railway posters, the composer Gustav Holst and, 1970's children's television programs. The aesthetic is so deeply imbued that he’s even the classic Faber & Faber typeface… So, The Land And The Garden is kind of like English hauntology but without the spooky aspect: in fact, these pieces are rather lovely. 300 copies on Clay Pipe.
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- The Land and The Garden by Vic Mars
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Land and gardens. Can you get any more pastoral than that combination? Possibly with the addition of a disgruntled farmer and flagons of ale, and suddenly we’ve landed in The Shire. I like to think that Frodo and Sam would have approved of this study in the sound of their homeland, what with its flutes and Vaughan Williams worship, had they taken those music critic jobs instead of saving the world.
Vic Mars is not Frodo or Sam, but a long-range wanderer nonetheless, the native Brit having spent a while living in Japan before returning to London and the folky folk sounds of the Auld United Kyngdome. He’s perfectly captured the sounds of folk from the 70s and before, featuring heavy use of simple major melodics on acoustic guitars, flutes, cellos, wood knocks and wheezing organs, all thrown onto cassette then onto the vinyl. Much analog, much hiss. It’s the sound of pleasantries and a simple life with pies and cider all homemade by your mum’s aunt’s gran who lives by the water wheel and whose left eye hasn’t been the same since that manure accident. It’s like surveying the rolling fields on a spring morning while trying to ignore the sheep that are trying to nibble on your flip-flops. You get the picture, farms and shit.
Remember Watership Down? It really reminds me of that soundtrack, but only all the nice bits where rabbits aren’t getting mutilated and the ground isn’t turning into blood. The Shire, but if Mordor never existed.
Brb, my mind’s off back to Devon.
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