Blacklands – The Wytchwood EP

7 inch vinyl in limited edition screenprinted sleeve
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Blacklands - The Wytchwood - EP

Blacklands the musical project of renowned illustrator Al Murphy & his revolving roster of musicians: James Knowles (guitar, engineering), Ed Shipley (Bass), Jamie Bridson (Drums), Jonny Ogle (Vocals and harmonica) and Tom Syson (guitar). Al has been making music on the side since 2000 whilst carving out an incredibly successful career as an illustrator, finally producing this delightful first official release.

Under their former moniker Murphy Kid & The Bad Luck Band they shared the same bill as Bob Dylan, Athlete, and Tunng. On re-launching as Blacklands last year they played a triumphant come back show with Sons of Noel and Adrian, to be followed by more live shows in the upcoming months with artists including Alessi’s Ark and Birdengine amongst others.

Traditionally Al would self-record in the garden shed of his sister’s house. These new tracks, however, were written in Berlin (where Al went for 3 months and came back a year later) and recorded on the North Yorkshire Moors, in an old farmhouse where Al got to live out his American Werewolf In London fantasies. The collection of tracks recorded there he appropriately titled; ‘Beware The Moon’. Ever the nomad, Al is soon to be packing up and roaming again, this time returning to New York to pedal his wears and sing for his supper.

Al’s favourite desert is Tiramisu.

What People are saying about Blacklands:
“The autumnal hues of the EP are slowly intoxicating, gently enveloping the listener in their texture. Blacklands have many forbearers, most noticeably Tunng, Iron and Wine, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake, yet they avoid being derivative and add to the always evolving, non-linear folk tradition by incorporating different elements and qualities within their work. There is a proliferation of acoustic troubadours currently vying for attention from the record buying public, yet few acts’ handiwork will be as sophisticated and subtle as ‘The Wytchwood EP’.”
Clickmusic – 4/5 stars (full review here)

“very sparse, very folky and very delicate, the sort of thing you’d expect to be made after dark in a Moors farmhouse.”
sweepingthenation (full review here)

“The four songs here were indubitably influenced by the rural isolation of the moors, the rousing folk of the title track begging to be played in front of a crackling fire. The EP really comes into its own on the more tender songs with ‘Listen to Me In Your Heart’ a highlight.”
Proper Songs (full review here)