• a lily Id-Dar Tal-Missier (LP, £15.95)

    Tal-Missier (Maltese for “The House of the Father”) is the new solo album from yndi halda founding member James Vella. We first met James in 2015, at the Independent Label Market in London as David Moran from Housewives / Dairy Classics and I walked around perusing records, James was working for FatCat Records at the time and we exchanged numbers after visiting their stall. We were already fans of his band yndi halda so were were surprised and honoured when he eventually approached us to listen to a body of new recordings he had produced.James wrote and performed all the instrumentation on Id-Dar Tal-Missier, recording largely at home on his own setup, creating finished pieces layer by layer. Though the main body of composition is based on guitar and voice, Vella's list of instruments performed also includes banjo, cello, organ, xylophone, an ancient Chinese harp named guzheng, and drum kit, amounting to subtle and intelligent arrangements and beautiful textures. A few contributions from Vella's friends also grace the record: Mercury Nominee C Duncan lends a lush choral vocal arrangement to Banana Moth and (yndi halda co-founder) Daniel Neal performs violin across several pieces. Often inspired by non-musical forms, Vella writes that Id-Dar Tal-Missier was instead created under the influence of sensory experiences. He lists filmmakers, Werner Herzog and Apichatpong Weerasuthakul; the TV show Stranger Things; his dog Sully; the ("painstaking") process of writing his first novel; books by Cormac McCarthy, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, John Cheever and Carson McCullers; visits to India, South America and the Middle East. Of course there is some music that inspired this record, but Vella confesses this list would probably be disappointing for anyone looking for any “influences” on the record. The artwork for Id-Dar Tal-Missier is based on photographs by James's father Mark, who since his retirement from medicine has entered the world of nature photography. These photos were taken in Myanmar in early 2018; they reference the openness and immediacy of everything……And of course it’s a gentle reference to the Father of the record’s title too.1. Banana Moth 2. Paint Me With Your Blood Again 3. I Heard The Well Rope Sing 4. A Swimming Shoal 5. Mbira Heart 6. It's Getting Late, You Know

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