It's that time of year again, when we offer you all up a festive freebie, and this time we've taken the opportunity to make a video. Well, borrow a video, anyway!
Back in September (2014), the five of us went up to Snowdonia for a writing session at a house called Hafod Y Gwynt, where Rich goes once a year for a holiday with his mates in the Avon Hang Gliding & Paragliding Club. He wrote a little descending riff and came up with some chords for a chorus and then buggered off to fly up Snowdon, whilst the others carried on working. The riff stayed with him while he flew and so the "top level" theme of the song became about flying (although, as usual, there's a lot more going on in there than that).
This is essentially a demo version of the track, engineered by guitarist, Si Rogers, and mixed and mastered by Rich. The final version will appear on the forthcoming album, Contours.
The video used is courtesy of Rich's friend, Wayne Seeley and features various other of his mates thermalling with Wayne. Rich isn't among them, as he bombed out at about 20km that day.
Also Eden are delighted to announce that the vinyl edition of the new album, [REDACTED] is now shipping, along with a complimentary download code.
As soon as the band had engaged Glasgow artist, Neil McChrystal to produce five pieces of original work to illustrate the album, it was clear that a vinyl package was going to be a must. Step forward Chris Topham from Plane Groovy, who has a great record of assisting bands in making available vinyl versions of their releases.
Chris Topham: "I'm delighted to welcome Also Eden to the growing stable of artists on the label; [REDACTED] is an album that really has room to breathe on vinyl - and coming with a hi-res digital download you really do get the very best of both digital and analogue worlds. This should be right at the top of everyone's Christmas list!"
The 16" square paintings were specially photographed at high resolution and the vinyl master produced separately to the CD version, direct from Logic at 96KHz / 24-bit and with less compression, to maximise the benefits of the format which, as in 2012, is set to see a 100% year-on-year increase in sales this year.
Artist Neil McChrystal says: "The [REDACTED] paintings are intended to be as immersive as the music and we designed the vinyl package with that in mind. Having my artwork on a gatefold sleeve has long been an ambition of mine, and I'm very proud that it's with this album and this artwork that it has happened."
Neil has blogged about the artwork here
Frontman Rich Harding says, "Collaborating with Neil was a pleasure and I'm also lucky enough to have seen the original paintings in the flesh, so to speak. It's great to see the story in the artwork while I spin the album on my Project Debut III."
Chris and the band met up on Saturday, so signed copies are now also available.
Click on the photos for full-size versions.
There have been several times when the future of Also Eden has hung in the balance: the departure of Huw Lloyd-Jones, replacement Rich Harding's near-death experience and the line-up changes that occurred during the increasingly self-referential making of [REDACTED]. The band will always be indebted to Howard Sinclair for dusting off his keyboard skills and contributing hugely to the completion of that album and the mini-tours that followed, but it is time for H to return to his singer-songwriter roots and, most importantly, the forthcoming HAS-Retuned album, "The Light Broke In", recording of which is on track for a September release.
We'd like to extend a warm Also Eden welcome in the keyboard maestro slot to a man whose work we've admired at close quarters on many occasions, Andy Rigler. Andy and drummer Lee Nicholas have been working with [REDACTED] producer, Andy Davies, to add layers of hitherto unheard sophistication to our live sound, alongside the energy for which we feel we have rightly gained a reputation.
Andy Rigler says, "Sessions so far suggest we're going to blow people's socks off!"
Dave Foster, guitarist with Mr. So & So, says, "It's great news that Andy is now playing for Also Eden as well as ourselves. Andy is a genuinely nice guy and a great musician and I've no doubt at all that he'll fit in seamlessly. Good luck chaps!"
Also Eden and Dutch outfit, Silhouette, are pleased to announce that they will be playing a short tour of five gigs together in May, one in The Netherlands and four in the UK, including a first ever visit, for either band, to Scotland.
The two groups most recently played together in 2012 in Zaandam, with Maschine also featuring, and first shared a stage in 2009 at Star Sound in Utrecht, where the first of this year's gigs will also take place, on Friday, May 8th, while Also Eden travel to Heidelberg to play the inaugural Prog The Castle festival the next day.
The following week, Silhouette travel to the UK for four double-headers, beginning on Thursday, May 14th at The Railway in Winchester, then taking in The Railway in Bromley Cross, Bolton the following night, The Flying Duck in Glasgow on Saturday 16th, and winding up on Sunday 17th at The Thunderbolt, a short hop from vocalist Rich Harding's former pad in Totterdown, Bristol.
With a nod to Also Eden's recently released video demo of Altitude and Silhouette's single, Wings To Fly, from the highly acclaimed Beyond The Seventh Wave, the run of gigs has been christened the "Wings Unfurled Mini-Tour".
We would also like to announce that these dates will be the final outings for drummer, Lee Nicholas, who has been with the band since 2012, providing the rhythmic underpinnings for Think Of The Children! and [REDACTED]. Lee's near-flawless work and awful jokes will be much missed by the rest of us.
As some of you will know, a couple of weeks back, Felicity from Get Your Rock Out came down to interview Si, Lee, Andy and me at Andy's studio, The Map Room in Risca, where we've been putting [REDACTED] together. Here's the result: GetYourRockOut Interview