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Admiral Fallow – The Paper Trench (video)

Although the single “Beetle in the Box” was released earlier in the year, with an animated lyric video to support it, the video released today for “The Paper Trench” marks the first proper music video to come out of Admiral Fallow’s soon to be released sophomore effort, Tree Bursts in Snow, the much-anticipated (by me at least) follow-up to their debut, Boots Met My Face:

On the first couple of listens, this already seems to me the best thing Admiral Fallow’s done so far – it has everything I liked about my favorite songs of Boots with some extra focus and clarity. There’s the lyrical density and strangeness (which the video of course accentuates), the foot-stomping moments that at times have an anthemic feel (though less so here than in tracks off Boots), combined with passages of sweetness and introspection.

“The Paper Trench” also shows Admiral Fallow inhabiting the same cultural space as in their earlier album, a Scotland more of housing estates than wind-swept moors and icy lochs.  In the video, an Ent-like creature, almost straight out of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, wakes up in the garbage strewn wasteland alongside one of those estates and the proceeds on a sort of tour of this strange new world, no longer Middle Earth in the regions of the Shire, but the United Kingdom and the suburbs of Glasgow.  Even leaving the realm of estates and suburban high streets and heading into downtown the Ent creature still doesn’t find anything to which to connect.  Stopping in a park to rest, weary from the strangeness and lifelessness of it all, a young lad sitting with his sweetheart carves a heart on him.  Finally, the Ent ends up in that other Scotland, looking down on one of those lochs, and it is clearly a kind of homecoming.

The video regularly cuts away from the Ent’s journey to scenes of the band playing in a wood-paneled interior, warmly lit by some old-fashioned floor lamps and sunlight from high windows.  To my mind, to almost looks like they are warming up for a village cèilidh in the rec room of some church or town hall, which I think connects up with the kinds of values and perspectives we’ve seen in the rest of Admiral Fallow’s music: they like to party, and for many of us there are few better parties than a cèilidh, but they also have a sweetness and simplicity, a folksiness and an interest in a more human scale of things – of music, of Scotland, of relationships.  Their’s is a music of storytelling, even in those more anthemic songs. And I always want to hear more.

Here’s the earlier video for “Beetle in the Box”:

For more…

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Admiral Fallow’s new album, Tree Bursts in Snow

Admiral Fallow’s 2nd album Tree Bursts in Snow, their much anticipated follow up to Boots Met My Face, will be released worldwide on Nettwork on May 21, 2012.

The album features 10 new tracks, including “Beetle In The Box,” “Guest Of The Government” and the new single, “The Paper Trench.” It was produced by Paul Savage at Chem 19 and mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, NYC and has stunning artwork by artist Kezia Ruth Merrick.

The first single off the album, “Beetle in the Box,” has been available for a while, but it has just started receiving significant airplay. And it rewards repeated listening.  It’s very much in  the vein of the more contemplative, lyrically intense chamber pop of their first album in songs like “Dead Against Smoking” and “Subbuteo”:

An MP3 of the track is currently available free on

(And you can also pick up an MP3 copy of their first album if you haven’t got it already.)

“Guest of the Government” is more raucous and high-energy, more in the mode of “Squealing Pigs” off the first album. Here it is live from their sold out gig at ABC in Glasgow in late January:

You can also here three tracks over at DayTrotter, including “Beetle.”  These are intimate acoustic recordings and absolutely brilliant.

If like me you can’t wait to wrap your ears around the new album,  you can PRE-ORDER a copy from the band’s web site store now and get some extra special goodies thrown in with it when it is released.

For more..

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We love… Admiral Fallow

My big discovery from this year’s SXSW was Scottish band Admiral Fallow. Here they are with their first official video, for the song “Squealing Pigs” off their self-titled debut album:

It’s a great song, and one of the standouts on the album, but not my favorite. Just at the moment, I’m kind of stuck on the opening track “Dead Against Smoking” – literally, as I’m listening to it on repeat rather than letting the whole album play out. (You can listen, too – here.)  It starts out sweetly, with a clarinet in a minor key, then flutes and a gently strummed acoustic guitar. The sweet sound is mirrored in the opening lyrics: “You sleep like a kid / with one hand stuck fast to the side of your face. / Your backside in the air / mouth half open, but still filled with grace.”

Then the rest of the band comes in, and the song opens out and becomes something else – a man singing to his lover, about their fights and her refusal to quit smoking, and this strange, haunting chorus: “You’re like gasoline. / You’re like the willow tree. / You’re like a split-screen. / But you’re the green in me.” [full lyrics below the fold]

It’s a strange, lovely song, from a strange and lovely album. There’s not a bad track on it, I think. After that relatively subdued opening, it definitely kicks it up a notch with the song from the video, “Squealing Pigs” – but their folksiness, whimsey and intelligence stay in evidence all the way through.

Admiral Fallow seems to be on tour in the UK just now, based on the Twitter posts.  Hopefully we’ll see them back in the States soon.

For more on this great new band…

Jam of the Day | Admiral Fallow – Squealing Pigs
Admiral Fallow is a beeping awesome new band from the UK that is causing quite a stir in the land of the Scots. The band is fueled by young, foot-stomping and faintly maniacal singer/songwriter, Louis Abbott, who attributes his influences to the likes of Tom Waits, Elbow, Low and Mr. Springsteen himself.
(via Speakers in Code.)

Edinburgh Festival Gigs: Admiral Fallow @ Sneaky Pete’s 2010/08/11.
These guys are up-n-coming indie rock from Glasgow. Whimsical and fun, thoughtful and emotional, but not dreary and wrist-slitty like so much of this genre can be.
(via scotunes.)

And of course check out the band’s site as well.

Read the rest of this entry »

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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

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