Forward-thinking musical force song is a well-constructed blend of Bill Laswell and Massive Attack with Laura Marling and Mojave 3.
Manchester-based Caulbearers present 'Solid Supposed' featuring Somerset-based vocalist Ruth Blake, with haunting vocals and multi-layered delivery, perfectly resonating with the dream-like, otherworldly theme of the lyrics. The vocals bathed in distortion and delay, accompanied by Caulbearers’ signature horns, strings and live breakbeats.
The stunning B-side to their single 'Burst Through The Borders', a different version of this song was released on the ‘More Lie Deep’ EP (2011), In this rendition, frontman Damien Mahoney's vocals are switched out for Blake's. This is part of an ongoing collaboration between the two artists, Mahoney also having produced her recently-released single 'Brave Ships' single.
Influenced by modern, urban existence and celebrating the sacred in the everyday and the supposedly mundane, the song’s lyrics for 'Burst Through The Borders' were inspired by dreaming of a beautiful revolution occurring in the markets, pubs, boardrooms, hospitals and schools of our towns and cities. The fantastic cover artwork was created by James Roper.
Shot almost entirely on mobile phones during the Covid 19 epidemic and under various states of lockdown restrictions in 2020, the accompanying video depicts eerily empty scenes of Manchester, the Blackburn countryside and the Norfolk coastline. This collaboration between Mahoney and editor/animator James Stirzaker is rooted in a long history of working with the band, including artwork for the ‘Over Comes A Cloud’ single (December 2020). As in the song, the natural world with its mysteries, wisdom and wonder, is the main protagonist.
“I wanted to capture all these locations at such a unique time when everything felt so different, to help tell the story of a song that imagines great transformations of our societies, spaces, cultures and of ourselves," says Damian Mahoney.
“As a species, we have so many difficult challenges to find solutions for, that it can feel overwhelming to know where and how to start. I wanted to write something that had total faith in the possibility of change, in the ability to transcend the complexities of our modern lives with simplicity. The song imagines this energy of love flooding through the world and transforming the institutions and purposes of our societies and our lives. By its nature, it dismantles the barriers that cause hardship for so many and the borders that separate us from each other."
Mixed by Seadna Mcphail (Badly Drawn Boy, Jah Wobble, Everything Everything, I Am Kloot, Happy Mondays) and mastered by Jim Spencer (New Order, Johnny Marr, Charlatans, Factory Floor) at Eve Mastering in Manchester, this track features numerous renowned musicians - drummer Howard Jacobs (808 State, Beth Gibbons, Homelife, Toolshed), guitarist Anton Hunter (Beats and Pieces Big Band, Article XI), cellist Stefan Skrimshire, bassist Nicholas Malin, and acoustic guitar by Andrew Mucha. Acclaimed composer and polyrhythmic pioneer Edward Chilvers also contributes piano.
Caulbearers was formed in 2007 with contributors from around the UK and Europe. A DIY ethic has coursed through the band’s work from releases, design and production to the recording process. This hybrid ensemble blends diverse musical styles, fusing them together live and in the studio, weaving nu jazz and folk with elements of hip-hop, funk, dub, soul and afrobeat.
'Burst Through The Borders' is available across digital platforms, including Spotify and Bandcamp.
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Photos by Jan Schoof. Collages by James Stirzaker