SL044 Various Artists Holding Hands In The Dark - A Second Language Confluence OUT NOW • ORDER HERE

The withdrawal of the UK from the European Union in 2020 has already gone down as one of the dumbest acts of self-sabotage in history.  The fallout has been not only a cavernous division between the UK and the EU but within the people of the UK themselves.  Fortunately, this burning of bridges has a counter-solution : the building of new bridges.

There is, of course, no question of the UK no longer being part of Europe.  Many of us here consider ourselves as European as we are English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish.  America’s influence on the UK may have been waning for the last 3 decades but many of us have always looked to the Continent for not only aspiration but inspiration.

This compilation is a bridge, though not quite a new one.  The players here come mainly from the UK and France and we have all known of each other previously, listened to each other’s music, collaborated or simply admired from a distance.  But here, in the darkness of these difficult, perplexing, frustrating times, we reach out for each other and defiantly join hands.

Here, French nationals, like the guitarist, Franck Alba and composer, Angèle David-Guillou (both formerly of the Anglo-French group, Piano Magic), long-since stationed in London.  Snowdrops, the French chamber duo of Mathieu Gabry and Christine Ott, stunned us all with their 2020 debut album, ‘Volutes.’ Marc Namblard, no stranger to Second Language, is a field recordist based in northeastern France.  The artist and songwriter, Mark Fry, splits his time between London and Normandy.  Antony Ryan, one half of ISAN and aka Mugwood, is a Brit who has been living and working, longtime, as a mastering engineer in Denmark.  On this side of La Manche, the composer, author and artist, Matthew Shaw, who has worked with, amongst others, folk doyenne, Shirley Collins and The Pop Group.  David Rothon is a multi-instrumentalist with recent highly-acclaimed albums on the excellent Clay Pipe label. The North London-based group, The Leaf Library, make “Drone pop songs about buildings and the weather.”  Amanda Butterworth, as Mücha, makes fine, ethereal electronica and Oliver Cherer (Gilroy Mere/Dollboy) should be familiar to anyone who’s followed the Second Language trail to here.  Hilary Robinson, a London composer, here evokes nostalgia for her one-time adopted home of Finland.

‘Holding Hands In The Dark,’ comes as a 6 panel softpack designed by Maria Makripoulias (M) and includes a bonus disc, ‘Le Bout De Monde,’ a collaboration between Glen Johnson, David Rothon and Marc Namblard.  The first 300 copies also come with 4 specially-designed postage stamps.

Tracklisting : 
1. Matthew Shaw - On Synchronicity 
2. Snowdrops - Secret Place 
3. The Leaf Library - Agnes In The Square 
4. D Rothon - Adieu à L'Écurie 
5. Glen Johnson - Alexandria 
6. Franck Alba - Sketch For Albert 
7. Statues In Fog - Spirits In The Static (Mugwood Mix) 
8. Mücha - Like It Is 
9. Mark Fry - Adiré  
10. Hilary Robinson - Is It Morning Or Evening? 
11. Oliver Cherer - Days On End
12. Angèle David-Guillou - Thira, Thira  

You can order the album directly from Bandcamp here.