Notes on a Smiling Leaf by E.L. Heath

We asked all our artists to produce some words on their current thoughts and musical projects in November 2017. Here are the results from E.L. Heath, discussing feelings and themes around his upcoming release ‘Smiling Leaf’. To be released on CD & digital formats on Friday 25th May.

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Today is one of those curious days, one which never fully woke – the hills enveloped in mist. It is not the norm here, I am often afforded wide views of the flood plain and hills marking the edges of the valley. Welsh cwms often provide such scope whilst each remains unique to the other, this is a rural scene punctuated by industry and traversed only by a handful of roads and a multitude of lanes. If you wish to travel to a neighbouring valley you have two choices – over or around.

On this viewless day, I am concerning myself with a handful of old songs for release, many based on themes I find myself now concerned with in everyday life. The more my work required travel to the bustling metropolis with identikit stations and meetings in glass-walled conference rooms, the greater my desire not just to explore and engage with the countryside around my home, but also to learn greater self-sufficiency and a less wasteful way of living. Our mass consumer culture was a trigger for this, something I found oppressive and disorientating. Music slipped from focus at the time such endeavours took their toll. Preparing the soil in a bed, harvesting a crop or gathering wood for the fire took the place of songwriting. When seeking balance, one is never equal to the other and routines shift.

I found myself listening to these songs with trepidation – their themes were wrapped in a more bucolic view of the life I was living, when they were ideals rather than cold reality. Initial attempts felt clumsy as if what was there was there for a reason. Any addition to or edit of felt like trespass, even if what was there was not, to my ears, good enough. But musically and lyrically my mindset had not changed over the years – in many ways, I had reinforced my interests in local mythology, traditions and the harsh escapism of life far from twinkling towns. The weather, as ever, plays much on my moods these days – Machen wrote about what was underneath Welsh fields as if a violent storm could tear the modern fabric away and expose the old ways buried underneath. My house is often battered by gales. On my walks in the woods above, I regularly find a newly fallen tree blocking my path. This is an angry world, social media exposes our division and spite. Old ways are lost to the allure of new technology which in turn are thrown away, obsolete only a few years later. When attempting to write this I found my two-year-old device was unable to operate the most recent version of a word processing application.

When revisiting old themes and old songs it is haunting to see how ideas not yet fully formed can be so affecting years on. Many of them are concerned with old ways, the land, the woods and what was there before. Whilst we can never truly evade what the present throws at us, we can appreciate and attempt to understand why such things exist around us, beneath our feet and above our heads when far from seas of concrete and glass.

E.L. Heath // Tai – A Mix of Neighbouring Influences (Tŷ First Anniversary)

As Eric Loveland Heath explains :

…The 28th of October 2014, a year to the day since Wayside and Woodland released my album, ‘Tŷ’. Some 3 years in the making from first chord to final mix, this record not only completely changed the way I thought about writing and recording music, but marked a sea change in the language with which I was going to write it.

To mark this, the first anniversary of its release, I have compiled an extensive mix of music which directly inspired me around this time, some are old friends, others are long held memories from childhood. Each has its place; an old 7″ pouched from a Welsh car boot sale could set the tone as easily as a melodic phrase from a more recent recording. All created a new musical avenue to pursue. Some of the Welsh language songs inspired the album more musically, as many of the England language songs inspired the album vocally. For influences can only influence.

I hope you enjoy listening, it is only right to let sound take over once again.

Diolch yn fawr,

Eric

More news next week on two forthcoming W&W releases.

My Autumn Empire // Blue Coat single and video // Out Now

Blue Coat, the first single from the new My Autumn Empire album The Visitation is now available to purchase from the Wayside & Woodland Bandcamp page. For your money you get four beautiful remixes from Seamajesty, E L Heath, Charles Vaughan and Field Harmonics, each putting their own unique spin on the original song. As if that wasn’t enough, you also get a copy of the video for Blue Coat, directed by Benjamin Holton and Mark Cartwright.

It will also be available digitally from iTunes, Amazon etc. within the coming week.

The music video for the single premieres over on God Is In The TV today, alongside an interview with Benjamin.

E.L. Heath – Tŷ album // OUT NOW

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Today marks the offical release date of E.L. Heath’s ‘Tŷ’ album.

It can be purchased on CD (in gatefold card sleeve, with booklet) via the following links.

WAYSIDE AND WOODLAND ONLINE SHOP

NORMAN RECORDS

or digitally via

WAYSIDE AND WOODLAND BANDCAMP STORE

You can also stream and purchase the album using the link below.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=2947921633 size=medium bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5]

Heres the full album info :

Tŷ is the fourth album on Wayside and Woodland from Shropshire based multi-instrumentalist, Eric Heath. Born in Athens, Georgia, he was brought up in London and moved to Shropshire at the age of 6.

The album is Welsh-language pop music bursting with space, texture and the joy of collaboration, incorporating a winding collection of themes, topics and styles. The absurd humour of Ivor Cutler and the laconic delivery of Kevin Ayres are strong inspirations, along with a growing interest in classic supernatural fiction.

The increasingly mundane mass entertainment culture convinced Heath to bin his TV, eschew the cities and instead concentrate on his Welsh language studies. The music and poetry of this historic language helped Heath to research the history behind much of the borderlands he calls home; the simmering politics ingrained deep in the memories of friends over the border, the drowned valleys and the crushing of an area rich with mythology and strong in identity.

Heath delved deep into these stories, and with Tŷ he satirises his discontent with the world around him. He shares a kinship with the kaleidoscopic, politically fired pop music released through the fiercely Welsh Ankst and Sain labels and draws on the pioneering space symphonies of Joe Meek, fusing them with the low season tranquillity of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.

Tŷ also features substantial contributions from members of epic45 as well as Lukas Cresswell-Rost (The Pattern Theory), Joe Cave (Babytwin) and Elaine Reynolds (Fieldhead/The Boats).

1.Seren
2.Yr Sioe Afanc
3.Bwgan
4.Pan Mae’r Cathod yn Rheoli’r Mor
5.Bendigedig
6.Pos
7.Stwr y Mae
8.Y Pum
9.Peilionau

News of the next W&W release will be announced in a few days. The ‘Haunted Woodland’ series isnt finished yet…..

‘Yr Sioe Afanc’ // Single and Video…

As promised, here is the excellent one take video for the first single, ‘Yr Sioe Afanc’,  from the latest E.L. Heath album, ‘Tŷ’.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFOdaMMkDSY&w=640&h=480]

The single can be purchased from our Bandcamp store, along with exclusive b-side, ‘Bwyta y Haul’.

Starring:

Helen Foot
Richard Foot
Hailey Robinson
Eric Loveland Heath
Victoria Clinton
Jason Wiley

Directed, Filmed and Edited by: Arron Fowler
Concept by: Eric Loveland Heath
Produced by: R & A Collaborations
Hair and Make-up by: Victoria Clinton & Helen Foot
Additional clothing and props provided by: The Creative Studio & Helen Foot Design.

E.L. Heath – Tŷ Album and Collectors Set Pre-order…

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The W&W team are delighted to announce that pre-orders are now being taken for Tŷ, the forthcoming album from Eric Heath, out on Wayside and Woodland on October 28th.

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You can pre-order the standard CD version for £8, directly from our shop by clicking here.*

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Also, in keeping with all of our other recent releases, we are offering an exclusive ‘collectors set’ version for £15 – which includes the following :

– CD
– E.L. Heath sticker
– W&W sticker, badge and postcard
– Download code of ‘Yr Sioe Afanc’ single
– 4 x photographic prints taken by Eric Heath (selection unique to each set)
– Signed lyric sheet

These can be pre-ordered from here. 

STRICTLY LIMITED TO 20 COPIES – ONE PER CUSTOMER*

The album release will also be preceded by a digital single, ‘Yr Sioe Afanc’, which will be accompanied by a video shot with Shopshire-based visual wizards,  R&A Collaborations. More details on that next week.

Eric has also relaunched his new website, Plenty Wenlock, which gathers together his previous work and will also showcase the stunning artwork produced by his partner, Victoria Clinton, who produced the paintings used on the artwork to accompany the album.

Local author, Pauline Fisk, has also interviewed Eric for the release of Tŷ at My Tonight from Shrewsbury.

*All pre-orders will be shipped on October 28th.

W&W // New Shop Now Online

We’re very pleased to announce that the dedicated Wayside & Woodland Recordings online shop is now open. It’s the place to buy W&W CD and vinyl releases, including epic45, My Autumn Empire, Field Harmonics, EL Heath and more.

The list of items now for sale features epic45 vinyl rereleases and the Fragments #3 10″ EP rarity, the brand new Field Harmonics album Walls, My Autumn Empire’s The Village Compass and MAEII bundled together at a bargain price, plus a host of other W&W goodies.

The shop is set up via the popular Limited Run service, which is being used by an increasingly large number of indie labels and artists to sell their work direct to fans. You can pay with confidence and convenience by credit card or Paypal, with shipping available anywhere in the world. Just click the link below to browse and buy.

Link

Wayside & Woodland Recordings online shop

W&W // Spring 2013 Label Sampler

Brand new for spring 2013, an 8-track sampler from Wayside and Woodland is now available for streaming and free download. The compilation features exclusive tracks from My Autumn Empire, July Skies and other W&W favourites. Just click on the artwork below to go to our Bandcamp store.


W&W Spring 2013
Free download compilation | April 2013

Tracklist

1. epic45 – Defeat 02:22
2. Field Harmonics – Walls 05:25
3. My Autumn Empire – All In My Head 03:35
4. Charles Vaughan – One Shadow 03:52
5. E.L. Heath – Dandelion Clocks 02:20
6. Component#4 – Before She Left (Uneasy Lover) 03:17
7. Surfacing – Hypocalypse (Frankenhausen version) 03:27
8. July Skies – British Summer Time 04:44