Bursting with ideas, zig-zagging between musical reference points from The Beatles to Suicide, this is an ambitious –and brilliant – debut, the place where Barbershop meets post-rock via folk, oompah, psychedelia and pop.
The album was recorded in a serious of adventurous sessions over the space of nine months with producer Dave Wrench (a member of Julian Cope’s Black Sheep, producer for Euros Childs and engineer for Bat for Lashes, James Yorkston, British Sea Power and Hot Chip) on board to reign in the chaos. Some tracks were recorded at parties, others in a deserted eco village named Cae Mabon ( “a Smurf-esque fantasy-land Eco-paradise commune type thing,”), others in a chapel and many in Bethesda,Wales. Interspersing tracks are interludes taken from field recordings of nature or zoo animals or party guests, and a choir of trainee dentists cap off the madness.
There’s more than music influencing this melee – the band cite directors Michel Gondry and Tim Burton, children’s classic Where The Wild Things Are and cheeky wartime comic George Formby as inspirations. The album’s nautical theme begins with its title: Falkenburg was a ship bombed in WWII, and also the name of a German sailor who died at sea. As the story goes, he returns to the shore every 100 years to search for a virgin to marry. Other themes, we are reliably informed, include mental illness, food, misfit couples and love.
Comprising Meilyr Jones (vocals and bass), Dylan Hughes (keyboards, synths, guitar and vocal) Alun Gaffey (guitar and vocals) and Gwion Llewelyn (drums and vocals), Race Horses met in the sleepy Welsh town of Aberystwyth – a perfect place for psychedelic pondering.
Race Horses’ debut album “Goodbye Falkenburg” is released in Ireland on April 16th.