“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest has released his twentieth album in 7 years as Ivan The Tolerable. It’s called “Rations” and it’s on Bristol’s Stolen Body Records, which after a great run on labels like Third Uncle, Art Is Hard, Endless, Forward Fast, Ack! Ack! Ack! and more seems like an ideal home for the band and its heavy psych storm, now the main vehicle for Oli Heffernan after the dissolution of Year of Birds.

Alongside Tom Carter (Charalambides), Kevin Nickles (Ecstatic Vision/Writhing Squares) plus members of King Champion Sounds (with whom Heffernan plays bass and organ), this is an intergalactic ride as haunting as Mogwai’s “Les Revenants” score, as dense as The Heads and yet as intricate as anything by Oren Ambarchi. But unlike space, this has plenty of atmosphere. Welcome to VS, Oli Heffernan!

Mixed by VS friend Ajay Saggar, “Rations” was “recorded on three planets during 2018” but which cosmic composition does Oli Heffernan recommend? Without further ado, it’s over to Oli with a “song for ewe”…

“Sadly, the first I’d ever heard of Joanna Brouk was the week she died in 2017. I’d been reading about Terry Riley and her name came up as a former student of his, so I googled her to see if she had made any recordings I could listen to and I found she had passed away about a week before which was a massive shame, but then I got hold of some of her old cassettes via dubious internet means (they were all WAY out of print and impossible to buy but I still feel a little guilt…) and this was the first of her songs I ever heard, and it’s still my favourite.

It’s absolutely perfect – sitting somewhere between drone, classical, minimalism and ambient – it kind of just washes over you but not in a crappy new-age way, and it’s definitely not wallpaper music – it’s really restrained but incredibly powerful. I listened to nothing else for about a week and never tire of hearing it – the more you listen, the more new stuff pops out at you.

Numero Group released an excellent compilation of her stuff last year called ‘Hearing Music’ which I bought immediately, to ease the aforementioned download guilt. Go buy the compilation and thank me later.”


You can get “Rations” by Ivan The Tolerable & The Elastic Band below…(right now…)