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And Also The Trees - Mother-Of-Pearl Moon | Review

And Also The Trees - Mother Of Pearl Moon

February 2023

AATT / Cargo

“Brothers of the Trees” is exactly what the name suggests, the Jones brothers of And Also The Trees, singer and lyricist Simon, and guitarist and composer Justin.

*words by Giorgos Georgiou

The specific, separate performances of the two brothers aimed to perform new, stripped down, modified versions of their classic songs.

A secret club near Lake Geneva, the Leipzig theater, the basement of an old bookstore in Geneva, one of Germany's first cinemas in Hamburg, the baroque Grandmont Hotel in Dijon, France, a Jesuit church with Dada performances, the oldest cabaret in Brussels next to the birthplace of Jacques Brel, and a village in South West France swept by the Mistral wind, all these were pages of a different musical calendar and imprints of their live performances.

Ordinarily, people like the Jones brothers, who have the acumen and insight into obsolete universes, would not disdain the fruits and possibilities of such an experiment. Justin was the first to see scope and perspective in the restructuring they tried. He allowed some time to give him the distance he was asking for and returned to this field in 2020, during the pandemic. For more than a month, he made sure to wake up before dawn and with the calendar of those live performances as a compass, he recorded a new, improvised piece of music every day. Simon's spontaneous reactions to recordings of Justin's improvisations often brought words, from some unknown god of unexpected inspiration. In this way the adventure of Brothers of the Trees laid the carpet for the band's next record. The ideas were enriched primarily by Colin Ozanne's clarinet and piano, with Paul Hill's percussion enveloping the microcosms of the songs with depth and corresponding tensions and anxieties.

Once again the travelers from Inkberrow are intent on transporting the listener into their own detailed snapshots. Starting from the English countryside, the compass of the album turns in different directions, as it is clear that it is also transported to different times. Rustic charm has always led AATT to short cinematic music scenes that had the strong aura of bygone eras. Inevitably the music, especially in its exclusively instrumental parts, has a strong impression of a film score that changes in the 60's and 70's.

After its anxious wait, the brief introduction has thrust us into the ugly fate of a whaler washed ashore and pillaged by an unrelenting storm, leaving its former glory solely to the imagination. The urban setting of a peaceful town sits by its river and brings the footsteps of the river man looking out over the water as the next song leaves us in a puzzling wait. The exotic gardens of the far East will receive the traveler in the title song, and in the delicate images of spring and falling night, lustful suspicions creep under the pearly moon.

A world of flora and fauna that struggles alongside man is revealed in the album's first video single, "This Path Through the Meadow", with a clear allusion to the entanglement of human nature. “Valdrada” is possibly one of the invisible cities described in Italo Calvino's novel of the same name, a city reflected in water. There is action and her mirror image, and in her world oblivion is eternally forbidden. The instrumental "No Mountains, No Horizon" is one of their most captivating, descriptive and moving instrumentals of the last several years. Waiting moments cut 'Visions of a Stray' in half and transport it musically unexpectedly elsewhere, while a panoramic love scene gently envelops a couple at night in 'Field after Field'. The exuberant organic bridge of "Ypsilon" pushes us into the strident pace of "Away From Me", a challenge to wandering, an invocation to images, a supplication across all possible distances.

With the songs of the dawn as semiotically they can be characterized, the Jones brothers and their fellow travelers insist on the neglected detail, on the world that runs quietly and at the same time on the obvious and common to all. Their music still questions with poetic courtesy the hierarchy of significant images and sounds, revealing a different view of moments, people, lives. 45 years and 16 albums later, a spirit that has not been defeated but continues to travel through space and time is a significant victory in itself. After all, the match was unequal from the start.









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