Monday, January 28, 2008
It comes as no surprise to find that Epic45 grew up - and still reside - in a small rural village in the heartland of the English Midlands. Based around the nucleus of 25 year old school friends Ben Holton and Rob Glover, Epic45 have had a varied and fluid line-up since their debut in 1999, releasing a series of highly acclaimed EPs and albums for labels such as Bearos, Awkward Silence and Where Are My Records. The band have also received radio airplay from the late John Peel, Steve Lamacq and Verity Sharp over the past few years. Inspired by their surroundings, blissfull childhood summers and mysterious / inspiring walks the duo have been making music for more than a decade. Their latest album May Your Heart be the Map’ sees Epic45 concentrating on a more bucolic sound, mixing cyclical acoustic guitars, chiming reverbs and field recordings. Using a blend of analogue tape and digital editing/processing, they create a sense of hazy half-remembered childhood memories yet still reflect the harsher realities of modern life. The album was originally inspired by 1970s British TV series ‘Survivors’, a fictional account of a plague that wipes out most of the worlds population. The idea of a near-deserted world in which people have to rebuild their lives amid the ruins of the previous civilisation seemed strangely appealing. However, other themes crept in slowly, the 'empty world' began to represent our lives now and inevitably the duo started looking back to childhood and simpler, happier times. The title is simply a rallying call to like minded people, an expression of hope in an uncertain world. As with previous releases, May Your Heart Be The Map features a collaboration with Antony Harding of July Skies/Avrocar. This time, Harding contributes fragile vocals to the track ‘We Left Our Homes For Winter’. Whilst very unique in style and approach, the music and ethos of this album may recall the youthfulness of Leeds band Hood, the experimentalism of that great lost pop band from the 1990’s Disco Inferno, and is likely to delight fans of the experimental label Type and their artists Helios, Xela and Goldmund. But no doubt admirers of other classic British bands such as New Order, The Durutti Column, Felt and The House of Love will also find much to immerse themselves in and start working their way through Epic45’s enigmatic back catalogue.