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Indie music label and distributor

The Bitter Lay


Release Date: 18 September 2020

Format: Digital

Label: Believers Roast


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Intromission [1:09]

Like A Diamond Bright [3:31]

Lady Young Ghost [2:05]

The Bitter Lay [5:03]

The More I Know [3:06]

How Will The Green Things Grow? [2:15]

Cowper's Cross [0:26]

Open My Eye [5:26]

The Bell Underground [4:09]

Algae City [4:03]

There's A Well Inside [3:21]


Arch Garrison have sometimes been seen as Craig Fortnam's 'other band', his 'main' group being North Sea Radio Orchestra; the 'alternative chamber group' he started in 2002. NSRO have now released five albums but Craig has always returned to AG as a complimentary, yet refreshingly 'other' to the larger ensemble. Indeed, this is AG's third studio album (following 2010's 'King Of The Down' and 2014's 'I Will Be A Pilgrim'). Fans of Craig's music do not see much distinction between the two; both are melodically and harmonically rich with arrangements, counter melodies and instrumental sections aplenty. Whereas NSRO favours wind, strings, vibes and piano, AG is very much its smaller sibling with guitars, organ/piano, percussion, monosynth; and for this release the addition of melodeon and dulcitone by keyboard player James Larcombe. The melodeon particularly lends 'The Bitter Lay' a clear folk influence but in reality this has always been apparent in Craig's writing and finger-picked guitar stylings.
Pressed for a description of AG, Craig calls it psychedelic folk music. The psychedelic not just apparent in the synths, organs, backward pianos, bells and drones but as Craig says, "...for me it's all about unexpected major chords – something I hear a lot in the English psychedelic tradition – that and the lydian mode – the raised 4th being the most Cosmik of all the intervals! Also with both NSRO and AG, people have always said how 'English' my music sounds. Maybe it does....but whatever. It is really about using a major chord where you would normally use a minor, something that can be traced from Purcell all the way through Vaughan Williams and Britten to early Pink Floyd and latterly Cardiacs."