Arianne Churchman & Benedict Drew - May 2xLP


Label: Love's Devotee

Edition of 350.

May is a double-LP collection of recordings made between 2020–2023 by Arianne Churchman & Benedict Drew (AC&BD), whose ongoing series channels, inhabits and transmogrifies the vast corpus of traditional English folksong celebrating the most fertile of months. An auditory tapestry, May employs at its base a flank of analog synthesizers, field recordings and Churchman’s layered vocals, each combining to form a beautifully dizzy sonic collage that often spirals out across long durations into hypnotic rhythms and jubilant melodies. Both multi-disciplinary artists with roots in the English countryside and a fascination with folklore, AC&BD tap into the multifarious manifestations of folk music across eras throughout the British isles, pushing it towards a new, noisy din with their experimental approach. This might represent a further dimension of “British visionary music” as described by Rob Young in his pivotal Electric Eden book. Perhaps an Electronic Eden? Opening track “The Cuckoo” begins with an atmosphere reminiscent of the more pastoral moments of Broadcast before devolving into a trance-like wall of noise, binaural beats and whispered incantations. “The Green Bushes” sets Churchman’s multi-tracked vocal harmonies atop a pulsing, single-chord foundation. May’s varied reference points include Anne Briggs, The Copper Family, Cyril Poacher, Steeleye Span and Shirley Collins, to name just a few.

Originally released digitally by Drew’s Thanet Tape Centre label, new Pennsylvania label Love’s Devotee presents the first vinyl release of AC&BD’s May, with tracks reedited and reconfigured by the artists especially for this compilation.

Mastered for vinyl by Giuseppe Ielasi—whose credits include releases by Alvin Curran, Catherine Christer Hennix and Charlemagne Palestine— May brings AC&BD’s music out of the digital realm and into a physical release truly worthy of deep reverberation throughout your abode.