FFO: Nel Unlit | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Teesside music collective Nel Unlit are set to release their concept album ‘Ephemera; or, Tosh and the girl’ on 13th May. The album tells the story of Tosh, a floundering single father and serial hoarder, and explores his co-dependent paternal partnership with his teenage daughter and his fractured relationship with her estranged mother. 

The band have just released the album’s final track, So Basically, as a single, which, in the context of the album, sees Tosh (played by vocalist/songwriter Jon Horner) explaining his hoarding plan to his daughter. The track begins with an intimate vocal accompanied by ominous synth ambience, before bursting to life with pep-rich guitars, tender strings and vocal harmonies that combine to provide a textured backdrop for the main vocal, which flits from being earnestly sung to being warmly spoken. The more the song progresses, the more optimistic it becomes before reaching a climactic choral finale that leaves you satisfied, yet intrigued by what comes before.

Here the Septet try to encapsulate their sound in three songs…

Bon Iver – Perth 
During the tour for our first record, we wanted to give certain songs a bit more oomph. So, our live show now includes two drummers. But writing for the second album, we’ve wanted to utilise way more percussion right from the off. This live version of Perth by Bon Iver has been a big inspiration to the sort of sound we’ve been after. The drums sort of cut across the song, while still giving it loads of drive, and then doubling up at just the right times to sort of swell with the rest of the instrumentation. Absolutely mint.

Anais Mitchell – Why We Build The Wall
Alright, this one’s not a musical influence as such. But bear with us. Why We Build The Wall is taken from Mitchell’s Hadestown, a concept album/folk opera which was eventually turned into an award-winning musical. This was a big influence for our first record, Wake for the Dreaming – a concept album/folk opera which hasn’t been turned into an award-winning musical. We’ve went concept again for the next record, where we’re telling our own story of a hoarder named Tosh, and the relationships he has with friends, loved ones, and his many items of great importance. With loads of different characters and some very special guest vocalists joining us, we had to give a big massive head nod to this album – and this wonderful track in particular.

Wild Beasts – The Club of Fathomless Love
Hayden Thorpe’s falsetto is bafflingly good on this one. And though we have our Harriet’s own beautiful soprano on a new album track that takes its influence from The Club of Fathomless Love – we were also influenced musically. Wild Beasts can be so dramatic, and their early stuff is often really frantic too. We wanted our own song to have that same intensity and drama.

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