A Year In The Country is a set of year long journeys through and searching for an expression of an underlying unsettledness to the English bucolic countryside dream; an exploration of an otherly pastoralism, a wandering amongst subculture that draws from the undergrowth of the land, the patterns beneath the plough, pylons and amongst the edgelands…”

I suppose in a way it is one of the first times that I've tried to create work that hasn't been defined by or drawn from my life in and culture of cities.

In many ways it's my attempt to see if I can create subcultural work that connected with a more pastoral sensibility and to try and create work/a visual aesthetic which explores that.

It has included perusings and writings on a number of related subjects and also as part of the project I have released a number of albums under the name A Year In The Country, alongside records by United Bible Studies, Howlround, Hand of Stabs, Grey Frequency, She Rocola, Racker&Orphan and Michael Tanner.

Along the way I have also released a number of themed compilations, for example The Quietened Village which is "a study of and reflection on the lost, disappeared and once were homes and hamlets that have wandered off the maps or that have become shells of their former lives and times…"

These themed albums have included work by David Colohan, The Straw Bear Band, Richard Moult, The Soulless Party, Polypores, Time Attendant, Sproatly Smith, Cosmic Neighbourhood, Keith Seatman, Listening Center, The Hare And The The Moon, Panabrite, The Rowan Amber Mill etc.

They have wandered far and wide and have been played on / written about in the likes of The Wire, Shindig!, Electronic Sound, Mojo, fRoots, The Active Listener, A Closer Listen, Terrascope, Was Ist Das?, Stuart Maconie's Freakzone and Gideon Coe on BBC Radio 6.

On this page is a small selection of Artifacts, imagery, records etc from the project.


On A Year In The Country record releases:

"A year in the country quietly go about their business releasing beautifully packaged music that is influenced by folk, electronica, drone as well as by landscape, time and place. These... compilations each have themes running through them, tying the music together and seemingly telling a story as they unfold." Terrascope

"…one imagines such editions being buried in time capsules or cemented in stone walls for future generations to mull over: sedimentary layers of history..." A Closer Listen

"...a beautifully packaged collection of Midwich Cuckoo ghost-folk - a haunting edgelands lament for piano, cor anglais and rustling pages..." Mojo

“…conjures roofless walls holding spirits not populations, skeletal spires pointing accusative fingers skywards, submerged shadows reflecting in water, crumbled remains wreathing a cliff’s base…” Folk Words

“The album evokes a beautifully atmospheric pastoral reverie, and a ghostly sense of loss…” Ghost Box Records

 

And here are a few of the Artifacts I have released along the way:

 

You can see more about the project at the links below:

The main website: ayearinthecountry.co.uk

 

Artifacts Shop: ayearinthecountry.co.uk/shop

Bandcamp Ether Victrola: ayearinthecountry.bandcamp.com

The social ether: facebook.com/ayearinthecountrychannel2

Ornithological calls: twitter.com/yearinthcountry

Ether victrola mark II: soundcloud.com/ayearinthecountry

 

 

As some kind of PS, below are just a few of the cultural nook, crannies, pastures, trails and influences that I have wandered through along the way...

... the ferrous researches of Folklore Tapes, acid/psych folk by way of Gather In The Mushrooms and Seasons They Change, journeyed through the lines of stories of Britain's visionary music through the pages of Rob Young's Electric Eden book, the risograph fineries of The Twilight Language of Nigel Kneale, the celluloid and cathode ray flickerings of The Stone Tape, In The Dark Half, The Wickerman, Kill List, The Wall, A Field In England, Phase IV and General Orders No.9...

Rob Young Electric Eden The Twilight Language of Nigel Kneale - Strange Attractor Broadcast and The Focus Group Investigate Witchcults of the Radio Age
John Benjamin Stone Hand of Stabs Field Trip-England, Jean Richie
Edward Chell Leyland Kirby-The Future's Not What It Was Phase IV
Robin The Fog / Howlround - Ghosts of Bush Willows Songs - Finders Keepers Records She Rocola - Burn The Witch

...considered investigations of the witch cults of the radio age via Broadcast and The Focus Group, walked through the gently lysergic fields of Psychedelic Folkloristic, carried out studies of hauntological yearnings for futures not quite reached via Ghost Box Records, Leyland Kirby, Ghosts of Bush, Belbury Poly, Mark Fisher and The Advisory Circle, discovered light catching from other eras by John Benjamin Stone...

...listened to lullabies for the land by Ms Sharron Kraus and electronica summoned from the roots and soil by Hand of Stabs, taken field trips through end of lost era recordings with Jean Richie, travelled into hinterlands and edgelands with Edward Chell, wandered Under The Ivy and into secret gardens courtesy of Ms Kate Bush, spent hazy night times in Gardens Where We Feel Secure by Virginia Astley...