Fingerless are consistently proving themselves to be a fascinating bunch: their singles are constantly evolving and changing, and each time they veer in another direction, they prove themselves masterful innovators and extraordinary songwriters. Their new single’ Leaf of Stone’ – which we are very honoured to premiere today – is a psychedelic wig out – a stately track that begins in a psych-folk fugue – all nuanced and layered – and slowly ascends to a heavenly powered finale.
Marc Cheeseman describes the deeply thought out philosophy behind the track:
‘Leaf of Stone’ explores our reliance on, and use of, past ideas and symbols. Why do we all individually style ourselves with particular clothing, referencing a particular era or style, while excluding a range of other clothing options and styles? Why do we only wear this shape of sunglasses, and not this other shape? And, ultimately, what does this achieve? With each decision comes an incremental death of potential actions and draws a line in the mud between what can be done and what cannot. Our future ‘selves’ are built upon an increasingly formulaic and patterned version of our present, and past decisions. Each decision is a reference to a past event, but also becomes itself a reference point for future choices. For every symbolic and stylistic choice represents the death of a set of future actions on the one hand, and an opening up of future possibilities on the other. It is both death and preservation, like a leaf of stone.
The song was captured live without click tracks and minimal over dubs, recorded and mixed by Darek Mudge (Screamfeeder, Tired Lion, Violent Soho) and mastered by Matthew Gray (The Red Paintings, Mental As Anything, The Screaming Jets). This lends an organic fluidity to the sound, and Cheesemen further details the sounds achieved:
Of the few overdubs we did, my favourite was an idea we stole from The Beatles’ tune ‘Blue Jay Way’. When they finished mixing that recording it was copied to a separate tape, hooked up two machines, and placed the two copies of the song on each machine. They played one forwards, fading in, and one backwards, fading out, and recorded that to another tape! We were able to reproduce this whole process digitally which was a bunch of fun and (I think) sounds great.
This creates an aural dynamism in the track, augmented by the band’s undoubted songwriting prowess. The result is a sound touched with a sixties psychedelia, a seventies corduroy comfort and a contemporary production.
‘Leaf and Stone’ will be available through all the usual download/streaming sites on 7 July 2020 but check out, in the first instance, their Bandcamp page here.
I think it’s been nearly a year since we last heard from Fingerless, and their return is welcomed. They are sonic architects of the highest order. COVID willing, they will be launching the single at a free entry affair at the super fun Netherworld Arcade in Fortitude Valley with support from Ipswich shoegaze excursionists Coalfalls (another firm favourite of mine) on July 22nd.
Marc Cheeseman – guitar, vocals
Warwick Epiha – bass, vocals
Johnny Pickvance – drums, vocals
Zara Bennett – keys, vocals
Feature Photograph: Lachlan Douglas