April 9, 2024

Every day seems to bring a new surprise and I now have the new album by And Also The Trees in my hand to prove this point as I was rather intrigued by the name of both the band and the album. With both being so evocative especially as the album cover is seemingly straight out of the No-man/Talk Talk camp which meant that I eagerly placed the CD in the player and awaited the magic to wash over me and, oh boy, was I not disappointed. A quick search opened my eyes as I must admit that I had never heard the name previously but these boys out of Inkberrow in Worcestershire are everything I love about those heady, non-conformist days of the late ’70s and early ’80s days when new wave was developing, expanding and experimenting with new sounds and directions.

The band formed in 1979 with Mother-of-pearl-Moon being their 16th album to date. I’m obviously a little annoyed that I have only just caught up with them but, as the saying goes, “better late than never” and I sense a new adventure is about to start!

And Also The Trees began life when two sets of brothers in Simon Huw Jones (vocals) and Justin Jones (guitar) paired with Graham Havas (bass) and Nick Havas (drums) and it seems that they immediately built up a close relationship with The Cure so they were very much on the cusp of the burgeoning gothic/new romantic movement and if you have a fondness for bands like The Cure and Japan then And Also The Trees very much need to be included in your playlists. There have been several changes over the years and only the two Jones boys remain from those early days with Colin Ozanne coming in on keyboards and clarinet with drums courtesy of Paul Hill. The bassist in the band is Grant Gordon but strangely he does not appear to be credited on the album although he has been in the fold since 2015 so not exactly sure what the score is there or maybe it is just an oversight on the liner notes.

The music is relaxed and poetically melancholic with Simon Huw Jones having a thrilling half sung, half spoken delivery that sends a shiver down your spine to the accompaniment of a soundtrack that calls to mind the expansiveness of The Dream Academy and the stark beauty of Sigur Rós and you can’t help but feel that if Keats, Shelley, Byron and Coleridge were alive today then this is exactly what they would be doing.

If you like your music to expand your boundaries and take you on a journey of never-ending delight into the darker areas of your soul then Mother-of pearl Moon is something that you simply must have. Enjoy your voyage of discovery.

Mother-of-pearl Moon

  1. Intro (2:06)
  2. The Whaler (3:32)
  3. Town Square (3:33)
  4. Mother-of-pearl Moon (3:21)
  5. This Path Through the Meadow (4:43)
  6. Valdrada (2:54)
  7. No Mountains, No Horizon (5:30)
  8. Visions of a Stray (4:27)
  9. Field After Field (4:05)
  10. Ypsilon (3:12)
  11. Away from Me (4:34)