Songs of Green Pheasant – S/T

My first impression when hearing this album: was this really made recently? Because the sound of Songs of Green Pheasant is really nostalgic. The music lies between traditional folk and acoustic pop. Especially the smooth harmonic male vocals remind me of the likes of Simon & Garfunkel and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

This debut album, which has a nice graphic cover, was home-recorded in rural isolation somewhere in Northern England. Indeed the big city rush seems to be far removed from these tranquil, timeless songs. When Fat Cat received the demo of this album, it appararently took them a few years to get in touch with its creator, Duncan Sumpner. He recorded the songs in his kitchen on a 4-track cassette recorder, using mainly electric and acoustic guitars, all kinds of percussion and various sound sources, to accompany his multi-layered vocals. Despite this lo-fi working process, it is clear that Sumpner is a talented singer-songwriter.

The ten songs are rather tranquil and steadily move forwards. The most surprising piece is ‘Nightfall (For Boris P.)’, which has a dynamic ending with an uptempo rhythm and heavily distorted guitars. This is also my favourite song on the album. It depends strongly on my mood wether I like listening to Songs of Green Pheasant. Sometimes it all sounds too sweet for me and I long for something rougher and more direct. At other times the dreamy music carries me away to a pleasant and stressless rustic environment.

artist: Songs of Green Pheasant
label: FatCat Records
details: 10 tracks, 37 min, 2005 [FATCD40]