An Anglo-Danish duo are touring to celebrate the release of a long-awaited EP from their back catalogue.
The Blood Choir, comprising Robin Maddicott and Joe Mountain, whose music is described as post-rock, are issuing what is known as their Dartmoor recordings on March 1, via their independent imprint Village Recordings.
Once an object of fable among Blood Choir fans, the four tracks were initially recorded between 200 and 2009, before the band’s acclaimed 2012 debut album, No Windows to the Old World.
The time-capsule recordings have been remixed in the studio with the assistance of Jon Walker, with further mastering by Matt Colton at Alchemy Mastering.
They were initially only passed to close friends by the band themselves.
Guitarist Joe said: “Dartmoor is something we've always been really proud of, especially considering the circumstances under which it was made.
“We were using very limited home recording equipment at the time and only had one microphone between us.
“More importantly we think the songs are really strong… It's kind of the missing link between our first/second albums and our upcoming third album This Bag, which we're currently working on.”
The collection opens with the title track Dartmoor, a break-up song written by a bruised Maddicott upon returning to his parents' house following a bitter split.
While the track may not hold particularly warm memories at its heart, it marked the end of a lengthy period of writer’s block for the songwriter.
Publicity for the EP says: “With its delicate guitar and vocals recorded live in Mountain’s front room, the track recalls the wistful, fairy-tale folk of Led Zeppelin at their most stripped back and vulnerable; or perhaps Nick Drake, whom incidentally the duo cover later on in the release with a hypnotic, reverb-drenched rendition of Drake’s classic, Black Eyed Dog.”
Robin said: “I think we’d just been listening to a lot of Metallica and one of us started messing around in a Nick Drake tuning
"There was no great masterplan to reinterpret the song or anything, though it did end up being quite different from the original.
“To me it’s no great surprise that Nick Drake’s music can work as heavy rock. It doesn’t get much heavier than Black Eyed Dog lyrically.
“It’s been a staple in our live set for years and I’m pleased that it’s finally getting a proper release.”
Script Girl was the first song that the duo wrote together. Perfected after five sleepless nights in a tiny cottage near Dartmoor, the track effectively marks the very beginning of the band.
Closing track Lay with Me Awhile was performed on a battered “piece of sh*t” acoustic guitar, with a missing string, in a cryptic ‘in-between’ tuning and in one take.
“I’m not even sure I could replicate it now. It was a one take thing,” said Robin.
The Blood Choir appear at West Street Live on Monday, February 25.
The Dartmoor EP is available via Village Recordings and is also available for streaming and downloads on all official streaming services.