The new Erland and the Carnival album titled Nightingale sees a shift from their last album which was steeped in acid folk beats and influences from Pentangle to Fairport. They are still digging through the folk heap but their digging is a lot deeper and their re-inventions have a new architecture…what is he building in there?
Erland and the Carnival were formed around Orcadian singer/songwriter Erland Cooper and former Verve member, Simon Tong and drummer David Nock. Their name was taken from Jackson C Frank’s song My Name is Carnival, a nod to their folk influences that they have ingested and re-moulded. Whether they are re-inventing 18th century songs or not, the results are fresh and inventive.
Nightingale is a move away from their cleaner debut sound. Maybe the recording on board an old ship moored at the Embankment on the Thames leant the album its historic grime and grit.
“You could hear sounds in the hull when we were mixing the record,” says drummer David Nock, “You’d get home and play it again and realise that something was missing, so we had to set up contact mics all around the ship to capture its unique sounds.”
The jump from one album to the other will leave some wallowing in the quayside mud, their ears unable to make the adjustment. Me? I’m all for leaving them wallowing and setting sail for the sea. I like this album and Erland and The Carnival are no one trick pony.
Electronica twists its way through their foundations with dark undertones. The cover of the album is not some teenager jumping in joy off their bed as someone said to me recently…it’s a documentary photo of the Enfield poltergeist at work in the late ‘70s, it depicts young Janet Hodgson being thrown across her bedroom by the much-debated dark spirit.
“I remember seeing the shot in a book when I was a kid and it always stuck with me,” says guitarist Simon Tong, ex of The Verve and The Good, The Bad & The Queen, now a guitar-for-hire in Gorillaz. “It influenced the music because we’re trying to create a soundtrack to an imaginary horror film about the supernatural.”
As on the past release there is some older source material only this one goes back a lot further.
This one, we wanted to take something even older and make it even newer.”
That’s how one of the oldest poems in written form – Dream Of The Rood – became the source material and the name for a track. WeAllDie looks even further back for inspiration – to the Egyptian Book Of The Dead.
“It’s the handshake on the way to the strange psychedelia within,” concludeds David. “After that, it’s like being at a Halloween party: you’ll get acid dropped in your drink and wake up naked on a beach in Orkney 17 hours later.”