Pure magic, great atmosphere: ancestral music straight from the hills in Big Sur. It reminds me also of the best slowcore from the '90/00s, Codeine, Labradford, The For Carnation and so on. Awesome piece of music.
Favorite track: I Became Smoke.
I'd like to think some eternities are worth grasping for, but my hands follow the wind. They tremble with the destructive power of imprisonment in the present. I am a creature of eternity, forced to fornicate with the present wildernesses among me, each carrying sticks and poetry more rugged and rough than my disposition can accommodate. I hear eternities howling over the gaze of a bullied sun.
Favorite track: Dark Teaching.
"The poem that I seek lies outside the fire's light in the eyes that shine beyond my camp." The atmosphere Fletcher Tucker conveys in Cold Spring is immense and impressive, and the solemn introspection conveyed through music and voice carries your mind lucidly through the veil of rugged mountains to a place of forgotten myth.
Favorite track: Descend.
This LP is a limited edition of 550, on 140 gram smoke swirled vinyl (clear and black blended), with heavy-duty “old-style” tip-on jackets, a 12-page deluxe booklet of essays & lyrics, and a black inner sleeve. Vinyl was mastered by the great John Golden.
Includes unlimited streaming of Cold Spring
via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
"Cold Spring" is an artifact of Fletcher Tucker’s deep inhabitation of Big Sur, California. Recorded gradually over the course of four years, songs were gathered on cloud-hidden peaks, wrung out from moss, and received while splitting wood, pushing through brush, and making camp. These recordings serve as trails, leading deep into a mythopoetic backcountry where forgotten mysticism and abandoned ancestral knowledge resurface.
In arranging the soundscapes of "Cold Spring", Tucker took inspiration from Gregorian chants, Shakuhachi (zen flute) compositions, ancient Chinese paintings of mountains and mist, and of course the landscape of Big Sur itself. Analog synthesizers surge like storm-swollen creeks. A 110-year-old pump organ rumbles up from the depths of a ravine. Drones from 12-string electric guitars flicker like torchlight. Distinct aural-textures – buzzing rosined bows, resonant bells, trembling leaf rattles – punctuate the sound-world of "Cold Spring". Ethereal harmonies by Molly Erin Sarlé (of Mountain Man) drift above Tucker’s dark baritone.
In Tucker’s words, “'Cold Spring' is an invitation to draw the blade of your mind across a whetstone of mythos and song. To hone your awareness of the uncanny, sense into the liminal, and awake within a vast atavistic wilderness.”
"Cold Spring" is the first LP released by Fletcher Tucker under his own name. Tucker created five full-length albums and several EP’s under the project name Bird By Snow (the last, "Offering", was released in 2012). Tucker has performed on and produced records by Little Wings, Fountainsun, and Daniel Higgs. He is also the founder of Gnome Life Records.
"Don't have time to spend 7 years in Big Sur [California] staring into the void? Listen to 'Cold Spring'! Fletcher Tucker's deep immersion masterpiece... a powerful and haunting transmission of fire and earth." – Devendra Banhart
"In Cold Spring, Tucker sinks into the redwoods and roots out something ancient and always… [a] truly incredible record.” – Lars Gotrich, NPR
“Tucker evokes Big Sur’s natural grandeur with echo-shrouded vocals, shimmering synthesizers, wildlife field recordings, booming drums… [yet] one suspects that he spent as much time paring back as he spent building up. Each note and line occupies its own space in a big, uncluttered sound field, and each song moves at a pace that reinforces the solemnity of the proceedings.” – The Wire Magazine
"...unreservedly dark at times. Like nature itself, the record can feel spooky, inspiring an awe that comes close to dread...over and over again, the completed record bears [Fletcher Tucker] out, sounding thoroughly haunted, an arboraceous, psychedelic journey that reveals more with each listen." – Jason Woodbury, Aquarium Drunkard
"I was instantly transported. Whatever mojo [Fletcher Tucker] was working there amongst the redwoods really has made it to the wax. It is a haunted, and haunting record with the spirit of place." – Erik Davis, Expanding Mind podcast
"...it feels as though it’s been hewn from the cliffside on a particularly gloomy day... This is elemental, surreptitiously difficult music inspired in part by Gregorian chant, and it suggests a kind of slow-motion medievalism as seen through a deep and damp fog." – Marty Sartini Garner, FLOOD Magazine
Gnome Life Records is a vinyl and cassette label based on the unceded ancestral homelands of the Esselen in present day Big
Sur, California. Established in 2005, Gnome Life produces a wide variety of musical and poetic releases expressing wild and mystical perspectives....more
Mary Lattimore is a longtime favorite of mine. Her harp playing is often tagged as 'ambient' because it's enhanced by subtle delay and looping experimental treatments and is almost always instrumental, but here it finely is garnished with Meg Baird's achingly wondrous voice, and it is a perfect pairing. There is magical fairy dust in this record I'm pretty certain. Enter the Ghost Forest and be prepared to be enchanted. Joe Borreson