The second release from Earth Recordings is the one and only album from the virtually unknown Australian singer HOWARD EYNON, now to be reissued 40 years after it’s original release. So What If Im Standing In Apricot Jam (intentionally no apostrophe) is a bizarre and wonderful acid folk treasure in the vein of wild-eyed geniuses such as Syd Barret, Kevin Ayers, Neil Innes or Nick Drake, although perhaps even more beautiful and mysterious. It’s certainly more unusual, with its colloquial lyrics, acerbic wit and Howard’s Anglo-Australian accented singing voice.
Howard Eynon was born in the small market town of St Ives, Cambridgshire and then moved to Chichester. When he was eleven, his family moved to rural Tasmania. Settling on a dairy farm in the small town of Deloraine, Howard grew up milking cows, driving tractors, riding horses and blowing up tree stumps with gelignite and would often spend days on end in the bush without seeing another living soul.
At 17 he left the farm on his motorcycle and made his way to Melbourne to pursue a career in acting. He worked mostly in theatre and joined various theatrical repertory companies. He found himself in all kinds of small parts for local Aussie dramas such as The Sullivans. Later, he made notable small appearances in both the original Mad Max (1979) and as one of the horse riders in The Man from Snowy River (1982).
Throughout this time he continued to play music. In 1971 he had won the Grand Final of Australian New Faces and became a much-loved solo artist in Tasmania, playing many shows and toured with great artists such as Hunter S Thompson. Whilst a member of the Tasmania Theatre Company, he was asked to write and record a guitar piece for a play, which lead him to Spectangle in Hobart, Tasmania where he met Nick Armstrong, who invited him to record a full-length album.
Recording took three months and Howard was joined by a host of amazing local players and utilising Violin, Mellotron, Flute, Synths, French Horns, Double Bass, Piano and more to capture a dozen quirky and addictive tracks that would become one of Australia’s most interesting albums of the 1970’s. It was originally released in 1974 by Basket/Candle Records but has been out of print ever since. The record ranks amongst the rarest and most sought after acid folk private pressings.
Not much was known of his whereabouts or activities beyond the early 1980s.
So What If Im Standing In Apricot Jam is a bold and madcap record on a par with Paul McCartney’s Ram. The evocative lyrics take in everything from political commentary, to anti-authoritarian jabs, to bright homely humour and deep descriptive stories.
This daffy folksy psychedelic ramble full of tall tales, delightfully quirky melodies, hilarious lyrics and marvellous wordplay, risqué irreverence and beguiling lapses into musical frippery, has not only stood the test of time, but completely and utterly blown it away.
Released via Earth Recordings 17/18 November 2014