Thursday 23 June 2022

The Hardy Tree - Common Grounds


 The Hardy Tree - Common Grounds

LP / CD / DL

700 hand numbered vinyl copies.

Vinyl and CD In Shop 

Digital via Bandcamp

Vinyl still available at: Rough Trade.

Hushed synths and Mellotrons soundtrack urban walks through Victorian London suburbs.

Frances Castle is the illustrator/owner behind the Clay Pipe record label and The Hardy Tree is her on- going musical project. Common Grounds was started during the first 2020 lock down - when time moved very slowly and travel away from home became impossible.

The album was recorded at home by Frances using her collection of analogue synths, then mixed to tape with Ed Deegan at Gizzard Studios in East London. Ed plays drums on three of the tracks.

Like many others with nowhere else to go, I walked the streets of my neighbourhood for exercise and well-being. I rambled like I might in the country side; stopping every now and then to take in the view, or notice something I’d missed before. I began to see the ghosts of the people who had lived here in the past, and notice the things that they had left behind; shapes of ancient tram tracks creeping under the tarmac, an old gas street lamp in an alleyway, a tiny metal sign indicating a culverted river. I spent my evenings writing and recording the music on this LP, and then the following day would listen to the rough mixes as I walked, the music began to soundtrack the walks, and the walks began influencing the type of music I was creating.”

Frances Castle 2022

Wordless but exuding a strong transportive presence. There are hints of the ghostliness of Boards of Canada and the tranquilllity of prime Vangelis. Shingdig 4/5* stars

Celebrates the simple joys of the present, even when they are rooted in a faded, half-ridden past. Electronic Sound

We're totally losing ourselves in the magical world of The Hardy Tree. Common Grounds is so good. Monorail, Glasgow

Analogue melodies with baroque inflections of crystalline harpsichord and airy mellotron, painting idyllic scenes of solitude.Bleep, Album of the week.  


 Print available from Normans Records - SOLD OUT

                                             Print available as part of CD + LP bundle - SOLD OUT