Taken from Alex Rex‘s (Alex Neilson, Trembling Bells) forthcoming album Vermillion, “Song For Dora” is a skewed voodoo blues that combines Captain Beefheart style hoedown with Gregorian chant. Alex tells us “It was written during a time of reading a lot of Ovid and taking a lot of MDMA.”
The video by Tom Chick features tar barrel burning, an annual tradition that’s celebrated here in the South West in Ottery St Mary, East Devon. The accompanying press release features some fine words from friend and fellow artist Alasdair Roberts, who we recently interviewed.
Alex Rex: it takes a certain temerity for an artist to adopt such a regal appellation! Of course, it’s not without its precedents, but one must have a great deal of self-belief to pull it off – and that’s what Vermillion manages, at last, to do. The artist himself tells me that a reading of Ovid’s Metamorphoses informed some of the record’s lyrical content. Perhaps it’s obvious to state a belief that artists often turn to that great work when preoccupied with notions of transformation, change and growth – that certainly seems to be the case here, ancient precedents evoked for the development of the artist’s psychic and emotional condition in the production of a similarly shape-shifting piece of work. The final product, though mercurial, is a coherent distillation of the artist’s various influences, preoccupations and concerns – a nine-song window into a complex and inquisitive musical mind. Alasdair Roberts
Vermillion is out the 28th April on Tin Angel Records
The LP version of Vermillion comes with a bonus disc of poems by Amy Cutler set to music by Alastair Galbraith.