SNOW GHOSTS: new EP
Today Snow Ghosts return with their fourth album, ‘The Fell’, due for release on February 24th through Houndstooth.
‘The Fell’ sees the trio of Hannah Cartwright (Augustus Ghost, Masakichi), Ross Tones (Throwing Snow) and Oli Knowles (The Keep, Sex Swing) return with a collection of old folk songs that were never written – an album that conjures images of animals and ancient tales experienced within a future landscape. Ancestral marks imprint the endless terrain of ‘The Fell’ and their songlines still sing.
Today they share the album’s first single and accompanying visual, entitled “Curse“ – a violent storm of wrath; a song that explores the folklore of shapeshifting women and highlights historic misogyny that still exists.
Vocalist Hannah Cartwright comments: “Curse reflects the folkloric trope of witch to hare metamorphosis. It is the furious revenge of the hunted hare, exacted upon her tormentor.”
“Curse” on YouTube: https://youtu.be/lFEhbD_H8a0
Other ‘The Fell’ links: https://hth.lnk.to/thefell
A seed of an idea was planted in 2015 during a conversation between vocalist Hannah Cartwright and fellow founder Ross Tones about his home in Weardale. The trio, completed by Oli Knowles, have had three releases since that time, giving the album time to slowly grow its roots deep into their creative subconscious.
“The concept of The Fell as a living thing was there from the beginning” explains Ross. “That imagery provided the overarching environment” Hannah continues, “which then left us encompassed by human, floral, faunal, mythological, folkloric and magical elements to explore as and when we approached each piece. It was a chance to completely immerse ourselves in another world, its history and perception through other inhabitants.”
‘The Fell’ is also a liminal or ‘thin’ place. Bog land preserves organic remains, like time capsules, a quality that made it a special place to prehistoric people. These relics serve as starting points for new stories and songs. Folk tales talk of the metamorphosis of animals into people and back again which talks to a deep rooted ambiguity of where people begin and the land ends.
“The moorland fell looks beautiful, wild and desolate.” Ross continues. “From certain places you can look in all directions and see no obvious signs of humanity. Yet it’s a completely man made landscape. We used it as a multilayered metaphor, containing stories of the interaction between humans and nature which express themselves in folklore.”
The arrangement too is multilayered in its approach. 2019’s colossal ‘A Quiet Ritual’ contained a score for a full orchestra and the ancient Carnyx. ‘The Fell’s‘ instrumental arsenal consists of esraj, dulcimer, daf and bodhrán drums, violin, guitars, and a variety of synthesisers. Whilst equally vast, immersive and other-worldly, these tools are used to create intimate, personal stories. Sharing a mutual influence of the shadowy elements of folklore and the heavier side of experimental noise, a disparate array of reference points and this extensive collection of instruments combines to form Snow Ghosts’ bewitching and often intoxicating sound.
On ‘The Fell’, they return for a captivating new album where ancient folk motifs intermingle with dark electronics, violins and primordial imagery to create an album of vast contrasts – heavy, yet flowing; electronic yet organic; modern yet steeped in nature and history.
‘The Fell’ will be released on February 24th via Houndstooth. Pre-order/pre-save links here.
‘The Fell’ track list:
4. Curse – Visualiser