*2023 repress* ‘Cotswold Stone’ presents a meditation on the passing of time and the persistence of memory and is in part a reflective work of familial dedication and reverence. The narrative is one that takes the listener on a journey through the rolling hillsides of England. The record is given extra dimensions and texture through the deployment of woodwind instruments at various points which add a real sense of pastoral energy to the work. Picking out highlights is always a tricky task when a record is so conceptually strong and consistently rewarding but let's have a go. ‘In The Marsh’ beautifully juxtaposes reverbed and spectral piano with bright synth arpeggios and distant woodblock percussion, whilst its glorious counterpoint ‘On The Heath’ is as inquisitive and enigmatic as the first hare of spring. ‘The Green Leaves of Shilden Hall’ are verdant and lush, propelled by some lovely flute and clarinet accompaniment adding an ivy-covered gentility to proceedings. ‘In The Grove’ with its spectral saxophone evokes images of solemn hillside sunsets and spiritual reflections on past lives. Badby ’80 deploys slabs of heavy electrical sound stretching out into the middle distance, while ‘Under Wychwood’ is driven by a rugged bass riff that speeds along country lanes and dazzles with full headlights before skidding to a halt and depositing the listener at our journey’s end of ‘On The Wold’.
“I think the music I make is steeped in memory, melancholy and location. I try to make each album sound different to the last, though melody, drone and uncomplicated rhythms are touch points I can’t seem to let go of,” says Handley. "This is a very personal album and is an attempt to preserve the memories of a happy childhood where along with siblings and cousins, I spent a lot of time in the Oxfordshire town of Burford in the mists of time. Burford is where my maternal grandparents spent much of their married life and is also where my mum and her sister grew up, got married and had their children baptised.
CiS are delighted to be able to re-present this album in a new edition of 300 copies utilising the same colourway as the original LP, but pressed up on a rather beautiful cornetto variant. This new edition features several new inserts designed by Mat and the ever wonderful Nick Taylor.