“A deeply atmospheric cut, echoes the soft darkness of Daughter.” – DIY
Following spellbinding performances at Cambridge Folk Festival and Secret Garden Party last summer Kerry Devine announces the release of her debut album ‘Away From Mountains’ on 11 May via Trapped Animal.
‘Away From Mountains’ is profoundly inspired by the Fenland landscape and the stillness and history that inhabit the ancient and wild fens in the East of England. As Devine expands: “When you’re there and you’re still you can hear so many different sounds, so many different layers, so I wanted to create something that sounded like that, that had the depth and the richness but also very sparse. This place comforts me, I wanted to create a kind of sound womb that the listener could come into and be comforted too.”
Recorded live in the stillness of night in an empty Northamptonshire church the album exudes a haunting quality. Inspired by artists such as John Martyn, Devine’s ethereal vocal – which has raised comparisons to Beth Orton – is used as an instrument, interweaved with simmering strings and acoustic guitar. A self-proclaimed audiophile ‘Away From Mountains’ also includes samples of nature and sounds of human existence such as trains pulling up and old barrels being played as drums.
Lyrically nature is also omnipresent throughout ‘Away From Mountains’, often used as subtle metaphors for Devine’s own inner conflicts married with themes of nostalgia, death and rebirth and the passage of time. Lines in the Landscape, for example, chronicles how the Fenland fields once belonged to the sea, but since banishment by drainage there’s a foreboding sense of pull-push between land and water. In parallel, the song deals with unrequited love, of falling for someone who isn’t falling for you and the sense of being stuck in an emotional no-man’s land just like the water. Closed Roads deals with the death of a friendship and also the aging and dementia of Devine’s Grandfather with reflections on the cycle of life.
Over the last 18 months, Devine has been honing her sound whilst playing live with performances at Fête De La Music Festival in Rennes, France and UK festivals such as aforementioned Secret Garden Party and Cambridge Folk Festival. She has also performed various shows across Ireland and the UK including a performance at Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room as support to Nadine Shah and Eliza and the Bear. She has garnered early support from Amazing Radio (“An amazing talent far beyond her years. A haunting melodic sound.”), BBC Radio Cambridge and BBC Radio 2, with Mark Radcliffe including Devine’s music in his Folk Playlist 2017.
Following the successful release of album teasers Work You (as premiered on DIY) and Vehicle which was released as a double-a side single with Maija Sofia, both out in January this year, Devine’s long-player ‘Away From Mountains’ will be released on 11 May (12” vinyl/CD/digital) via Trapped Animal. The album was recorded in Fotheringhay Church in Oundle Northamptonshire by Jes Kerr, who also mixed the record, and mastered at Metropolis, with the exception of Work You which was produced by Benny Turner and Closed Roads which was recorded by Benny Turner at Chime Studios in Peterborough.