DEEPLY rooted in a leftfield English folk music tradition, composer and singer for North Sea Radio Orchestra and Arch Garrison (whose excellent last album, The Bitter Lay, we reviewed here), Craig Fortnam is finally to step out solo with an album, Ark, due for release mid-July.
In announcing that today, he’s revealed the video for the title track, which is out now as a download-only single. Watch below as different iterations of Craig blur and wend us through a tune imbued with the clear, unsullied melodies of shires folk.
Craig says that the ‘Ark’ in question is actually the conflation of two words: ‘ark’ and ‘art’, the latter hiding inside the former. It’s about how for Craig creating tunes acts as a kind of liferaft (or ark) keeping his head above turbulent waters.
“I will go and build myself an art, Two-by-two I’ll paint the people in,” he sings.
All at sea. Anguished. Adrift; Ark sees Craig in a darker place than the verdant chalk downs of the most recent Arch Garrison record, out on the eastern coast. In the last few years he’s lost his brother, mother and dear friend Tim Smith, singer of Cardiacs. Some of the pieces and themes on the album were written as requiems of a sort. We’re told it’s his most personal and intensely realised record to date.
Craig Fortnam’s Ark will be released digitally, on CD and on limited aquamarine vinyl by Onomatopoeia Records on July 16th; it’s available to pre-order at Bandcamp now.