LIMITED EDITON LP VINYL $50
incl digital download
Words and Music by DATSON HUGHES
Producers: Meju (Megan Bernard and Kalju Tonuma)
Mastering Don Bartley (Benchmark)
Recorded at The Greenroom Studio
Mixed at B side studio, Melbourne
© Masterpiece Records 2021
This recording project was supported in part by The Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast and Noosa Councils to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
'Mountain music, they used to call it. Made by people who lived up in the hills, in the backwoods; people who often made their own instruments, and certainly made their own rules and their own fun. Datson+Hughes live in the hinterlands behind the Sunshine Coast in south-east Queensland, where it’s a lot more lush than it ever was in the Appalachians, and they make their own brand of mountain music. It is appropriately lush, a blend of everything and nothing they’ve carried with them from the inner-inner-city post-punk art-rock demi-monde plus a few new things they’ve found up in the hills and use in that same DIY spirit, most principally an age-and-environment-induced stillness that allows for introspection...
Datson+Hughes write songs out of their own harmonic system, beholden only to themselves, reflections on lives well lived, on hurdles and loss and regrets surmounted, that end up in the moment, on the spiritual quest on-going… the climb to the top of the mountain…'
Clinton Walker (author and cultural commentator)
PRAISE FOR FLOWERS AND THE AXE
[Following their EP Whispering Highway], long term creative duo Geoffrey Datson and Annette Hughes have created yet another masterpiece of modern day Psychedelic Folk and story telling.
Geoffrey Datson with his golden voice, reaches into the part of us that longs for that excitement which came when we were young and we spoke a language that only us and our friends understood. The idiom of a tribe who knows a secret to which the rest of the world is completely oblivious. This is what this record does for me and how it makes me feel.
Imagination, beauty, wonder and poetic eloquence are some of the easy words i can use to describe this Psychedelic Modern Folk creation. But this music deserves much more than that.'Flowers and the Axe' is both delicate and aggressive with a lush and angelic blanket of female voices (provided by Annette Hughes and Megan Bernard), along with the humming, drone of many stringed things which make up the bulk of this sonic landscape. But when the Eastern percussion and Bass punches into our chests and fills the speakers, pulling us into its hypnotic rhythms, we are hooked and entranced and there really isn't any point resisting.
Datson has the voice of majesty. Half lilting sweet-hearted poet and half revolutionary and maniacal orator, he pulls us in with loving and eerie tendrils latching at the parts of our minds which long for escape from this mundane world, sending us back to another time. A time of meditative bliss, of flowers and war, of young hearted freedom and the openness and vastness of the world at our feet. A time where music and mind-experimentation and prophetic vision and wonderlust all intersected and gave us feelings we would always want to feel again. Perhaps a time that never actually existed but was one that all lost souls yearned for, at least for a decade or so. Its all captured here so tenderly.
The beautiful sleeve art says it all really. A serenity in chaos. A peaceful surrender to the lostness and hopelessness of all things.
Produced by Kalju Tonuma, with such a loving hand with acute and laser attention to each crafted moment within the record giving it life and a quality the likes many Contemporary Psych Folk records have never achieved.
I cannot recommend this record highly enough for its absolute uniqueness, its commitment to sonic and poetic beauty. For the way it parades the playfulness of the English language as we listen joyfully to road stories and tales of misadventure. The way it teases and caresses our most vivid imaginations and for the way, as a listener, you are changed once you've heard it, in a way that is impossible to describe. Truly wonderful.
At last, the double album project is complete with the release of Now and Forever, the mirror to Flowers and the Axe. 20 years is a long time to cook an oeuvre!