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The Hardy Tree
Common Grounds
Clay Pipe Music
Catalogue Number
Release Date
July 22, 2022

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Clay Pipe Music founder Frances Castle returns with her first album as The Hardy Tree since 2016. Written and recorded partly during the lockdown of 2020, Common Grounds captures the stillness of that era with a sense of wonder rather than gloom, as Frances uncovered hidden mysterious whilst walking through her neighbourhood streets. ‘A Garden Square In The Snow’ opens with crows cawing, the shuffling of snow, and a creaky iron gate, before evolving into analogue melodies with baroque inflections of crystalline harpsichord and airy mellotron, painting idyllic scenes of solitude.

“Like many others with nowhere else to go, I walked the streets of my neighbourhood for exercise and well-being. I rambled like I might in the country side; stopping every now and then to take in the view, or notice something I’d missed before. I began to see the ghosts of the people who had lived here in the past, and notice the things that they had left behind; shapes of ancient tram tracks creeping under the tarmac, an old gas street lamp in an alleyway, a tiny metal sign indicating a culverted river. I spent my evenings writing and recording the music on this LP, and then the following day would listen to the rough mixes as I walked, the music began to soundtrack the walks, and the walks began influencing the type of music I was creating.”

Digital Tracklist

The Hardy Tree

Clay Pipe Music

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Alternative / Indie / Post-rock

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Album of the Week

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