It's happening again! After the sold out screenprinted 10" Christmas In Howarth EP we released for Darren Hayman the Christmas before last, we've another release from him out on Fika Recordings, this time a full length LP! The album has evolved dramatically from our first discussions with Darren about Bugbears and has materialised into one of the most ambitious projects we've undertaken so far. So let's run you through all the important details you need to know!
Bugbears ...is an album of songs from the English Civil Wars and seventeenth century to accompany The Violence. Here's Darren's explanation of Bugbears:
I recently made an album called ‘The Violence’. It concerns itself with the East Anglian witch trials during the English Civil Wars. During my research I started to come across folk songs of the seventeenth century and Stuart era. Two such songs appear on that album: ‘When the King Enjoys His Own Again’ and ‘A Coffin for King Charles, A Crown for Cromwell and a Pit for the People’. I didn’t seek to achieve forensic detail when finding these songs, but was keen to have a sense of the flavour of the music of the era. As a side project to the album, I started to record and adapt some of the songs, and now they are collected here. Consider this an accompanying volume to The Violence, a scene setter, a spin off. Although I did a fair amount of research, these are not meant to be definitive or historical readings of the songs. I have revised, edited and even rewritten in places.
The Short Parliament Joining Darren on Bugbears are Bill Botting, Dan Mayfield, Dave Watkins, David Tattersall and Johny Lamb.
Formats We'll be presenting Bugbears on 180gr heavyweight 12" vinyl (including a download code) and within a beautiful CD gatefold package. Both formats come with a 16 page booklet of illustrations, lyrics and Darren's notes, interpretations and commentary.
Illustrations Duncan Barrett is the genius behind the sleeve artwork and the booklet design. His artwork has graced numerous Fika releases in the past and hopefully many more to come! The booklet itself features an illustration for each of the 13 songs on Bugbears, from 13 different artists. Among those involved were Pam Berry, Robert Rotifer, Dan Willson and Ant Harding.
The Blog Over the next two months in the run up to the release on the 15th of July, Darren and I will be hosting a blog. Expect to find previews of the songs, videos, interviews from historians and musicians, features of the illustrators and plenty more.
Pre-order The album is available to pre-order from the Fika Recording shop now, shipping in early July.