RochaNews: Old Fire

“Songs From the Haunted South” teaser video streaming online
TEXAS – Kscope is delighted to announce the release of the debut album from Old Fire, Songs From the Haunted South, on June 24. The pet project of Texas based programmer John Mark Lapham (of The Earlies and 4AD band The Late Cord fame), Old Fire joins a world-class roster that includes the likes of Steven Wilson, The Pineapple Thief, Anathema, Nordic Giants and The Anchoress.
The 13-track album contains a selection of songs that in one way or another are dedications to people, some dead and some still living. Musically, inspirations range from ambient artists such as Brian Eno and Stars of the Lid to psychedelic rock, traditional country and early 4AD.
Sitting alongside original Old Fire compositions are a selection of intriguing cover versions. Lapham uniquely interprets songs by Psychic TV (“The Orchids”),  Low (“Laser Beam”), Ian William Craig (“A Sight Grip, A Gentle Hold”), Jason Molina (“It’s Easier Now”), Camberwell Now (“Know How”) and Shearwater (“Helix”).
The project also features a myriad of exceptional musicians including DM Stith – piano & guitar, Christopher Barnes (Gem Club) – piano, Warren Defever (His Name Is Alive) – guitar, Thor Harris (Swans) – drums, Christian Madden – Rhodes piano & organ and Semay Wu – cello.
Songs From the Haunted South was produced by John Mark Lapham, mixed by JM Lapham and Mark Kuykendall, and was mastered by Ian Hawgood.
The powerful cover art was designed by U.K.’s Grammy Award winning designer Vaughan Oliver, famed for his work with artists such as Mojave 3, Lush, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, The Breeders, This Mortal Coil, Pixies, Throwing Muses, in addition to artists such as David Sylvian and Bush. The cover shot taken in 1958 features Lapham’s father during bivouac camping basic training in the foothills of the Ozarks, at Fort Chaffee, Ark.
View a teaser for Songs From the Haunted South on Vimeo at:
Pre-order Songs From the Haunted South on CD here:
1. Old Fire 3
2. Along Came a Sadness
3. Helix
4. Know How
5. It’s Easier Now
6. A Stranger in the Family
7. Bloodchild
8. Faust
9. Shadows
10. A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold
11. Laser Beam
12. The Orchids
13. Deadhouse Dream
Taking nearly a decade to make, Songs From the Haunted South has been a labor of love for Lapham. Born from an album concept for a 4AD project with singer Micah P. Hinson (The Late Cord), the album was originally intended to feature different singers and musicians recording songs that were both covers and originals. After parting ways with Hinson, Lapham remained determined to realize his vision for the album and sought voices he considered special or fitted the inspiration.
The first piece of the puzzle fell in to place after meeting the former owner of 4AD, Ivo Watts Russell, who introduced Lapham to singer/songwriter, Tom Rapp – who recorded a string of haunting albums in the late ’60s and ’70s under the name Pearls Before Swine. The vocals Rapp provided formed the basis of the track “Shadows.” In the following years, guest vocals were recorded by Sara Lowes (The Earlies), DM Stith, Christopher Barnes (Gem Club), Rebekka Karijord, and Alex Maas (The Black Angels).
Stay tuned for more information on Old Fire and Songs From the Haunted South, out next month on Kscope.


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