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This Is Your Blood All Over Me, the title of Welkin's 3rd record--a double-album epic opus steeped in the wilderness--evokes provocative images and importantly hints at the experiential process Geoff Birch uses to write Welkin songs. Retreating to the backwoods of British Columbia and getting away from the city has certainly given Birch a richer connection with the wonders of the natural elements and you can really feel it grow out at you through the music. In the aptly named song Pride From The City Pried From My Heart, the trapdoor is flung wide open and you are let in on this mystical rite:
"So I went out one night
Guitar in my hand
Feeling a song welling up in me
And I laid it down at the feet of the stars
In mountain arms I sang it loud
In the eagleís cathedral
The bats in the belfry
The bear's baritone
The blue grouse beats on the kettle drum
So I headed for home free and alive"
Produced by Jonathan Anderson and Geoff Birch, This Is Your Blood All Over Me was recorded and mixed in just 12 days. As a result of this intense focus, the album contains sonically brilliant broad brush strokes and has no shortage of bold shoot-from-the-hip moments. The collision of hundreds of days of artistic refinement in the wilderness with less than two weeks of studio time is part of this 83-minute recordís magic and charm.
On This Is Your Blood All Over Me, Geoff Birch (vocals, electric/accoustic guitars, glockenspiel, sounds+treatments) is joined by Jeff Powell (bass), Darren Birch (drums & percussion), Sam Masterton (lap slide), Jonathan Anderson (banjo, lap steel, organ, keys, bowed glockenspiel, percussion, omnichord & sounds), and Brett Ziegler (piano, Wurlitzer, Rhodes).
Formed in Vancouver in 2001, Welkin's music--which roams from psychedelic folk through alt-country to art rock--has received many accolades for boldly exploring artistic wilderness. The band's discography includes the critically acclaimed 2002 full length record No Ordinary Elephant. Recorded to analogue tape, this debut album captured a warmth and depth that set Welkin apart from well-trodden trails and onto their own path. In 2004, their follow-up 3-Song EP also received excellent reviews. In 2005 Welkin signed a distribution deal with Universal Music and toured Canada in support of the release of their sophomore record Strangers & Exiles which was hailed by critics as an art rock triumph. With 2010ís double-album This Is Your Blood All Over Me, Welkin released a beast that roamed the musical landscape turning heads and garnering praise for braving the hinterlands of songwriting and sonic spaces.
In addition to performing at traditional venues, Welkin has an ongoing pursuit called The Dark Night Sky. This is an outdoor ceremonious experience in various wilderness settings featuring the ethereal music of Welkin followed by The Dark Night Sky. An artistic endeavour done guerrilla style in meadows, mountains and other sacred places everywhere. This is an offshoot of Birch's persevering & contemplative practice of composing songs in Nature. For the last 25 years, he daily seeks & finds esthetic locations to enter into the transcendent realm.
Welkin is the brainchild of singer, songwriter, producer, and musician Geoff Birch. He occasionally performs solo but most often with his band--which is rounded out by longtime collaborator Luke Collie on drums & percussion. For the last several years, Birch and Collie have been working on a massive body of new songs while attuning to the nightscapes of full moons and other stellar events in their mountain music sanctuary of British Columbia, Canada.
For best listening results use headphones and secure yourself a beautiful view OR lug your speakers into your backyard and aim them at the 'welkin'.
Let the music do the rest.