Ralfe Band

RALFE BAND
Swords
VÖ: 13.04.2007
Label: Talitres
Vertrieb: Rough Trade

Moon will rise, moon will fall
Moon will rise and fall but no-one sees me crawl
Along your darkened hall
In your room amidst the gloom
I can see geraniums are all in bloom
While you sleep in the afternoon

So begins Albatross Waltz, the debut single that introduced the wonderful, surreal world of Ralfe Band. Their twisted folk ruminations conjure up a dreamlike land that Terry Gilliam would be proud of.

“It´s difficult to know what they´ve been listening to” said John Peel playing Ralfe Band on his show in 2004, but if you imagine the gifted offspring of The Beta Band (circa The Three Eps), The Kinks, Will Oldham and Yann Tiersen the picture should be coming into focus. “I´m inspired by a real mismash of stuff” explains Oly Ralfe, “Dylan”¦Tom Waits”¦early Beck”¦eastern European folk, film music”¦Captain Beefheart, Eric Satie, “¦painting”¦”

Such as scattered explanation goes partway to describing the marvellous confusion of the Ralfe Band sound. Their intruiguing tangle of folk-tinged music absords Eastern European and American influences whilst retaining a unique character that is undeniably English. Debut album Swords takes you on a jumble sale journey through ever changing moods, atmospheric instrumentals and songs. It gives us tales of curious lands, vivid characters and strange predicaments, from dying kings and broken swords to murderous accountants and thieving wives.

Oly´s fervent imagination has given us the kind of vivid characters and stories in the tradition of Edward Gorey, Cervantes and Rudyard Kipling. “Strange souls in strange places” provides much of the narrative, with nature, in a myriad of forms, playing a key role. “The songs for me are often sad and comic at the same time, like life” Oly explains, a sentiment he successfully conveys as he underpins the humour in his songs with an honesty and gentle melancholy, ensuring that the sublime is never far from ridiculous. The instrumentals, a highlight of the band´s live shows, are also about creating an atmosphere, one it´s easy to lose yourself in as the music builds to a dizzying crescendo.

From Women Of Japn´s lifting waltz time melody, through the shuffling beats of Broken Teeth Song to the eerie free association of Bruno Mindhorn, Ralfe Band utilise guitar, piano, accordion, viola, mandolin, percussion and anything else he hand. Songs are peppered with coughs, cowbells and barking dogs, giving a wonderfully experimental feel to their music.

“We like the homemade approach to recording,” explains recording partner and mutlit-instrumentalist Andrew Mitchell. “Imagination in melody and production is important to us”¦we´re into using odd sounds, playing antiquated instruments”¦throwing in an odd bleep or tick”¦that kind of thing.”

“I´ve been writing songs for years, but the bulk of the album was produced when Mitchell got back from teaching English in Japan” explains Oly. “I visited him out there and tried unsuccessfully to learn traditional paper folding. We found we shared similar musical influences and a plan was hatched to work together on his return”. Back in South London the pair pooled their collective material and found they had the basis for an album. With the help of Oly´s flatmate John Greswell on viola and mandolin, Oly and Mitchell set about recording in Oly´s home studio, playing most of instruments themselves and co-producing the album with John´s help.

This homespun ethic extends to the bands videos and artwork too, with Oly directing the video for the single Fifteen Hundred Years ““ a black and white silent movie featuring three of the band ““ and providing all the illustrations for the artwork. Visualizing the band´s music plays an important role in “creating a complete world from what we do”, explains Oly.

And so, get ready to luxuriate in the quaint lunacy of Ralfe Band as they transport you to an alternate musical dimension.

Skint. Under exclusive licence to Talitres

” a whiskey-soured folk trip, from east to west”¦Ralfe´s moon-eyed beauty is simply the work of one vivid imagination.”
MOJO ****
” Ralfe Band have delivered one of the most arresting debuts of year”.
Music Week
“chaotic and quirlky”¦a law-unto-itself blend”¦Works for me.”
The Independent On Sunday ****
“Ralfe Band are a brilliant new band who play psychopathic folk-waltz music”¦epic and peculiar and catchy as hell”.
J. Barrat (The Mighty Boosh) in Metro

www.ralfeband.com www.talitres.com www.roughtrade.de

Bitte schickt mir die Belegexemplare zu…Danke!

MELODYCAT, Denise Mayer, Schieferstr.16, 65388 Bärstadt, 0174/1774147, denise@melodycat.de

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