“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 guests are a duo called The Saxophones whose sonorifically satisfying second album “Eternity Bay” on Full Time Hobby Records (out on 6th March) is beautifully emollient and magnificently meditative. The first record “Songs of the Saxophones” was written on a boat, and now this second one is deeply anchored in a specific place at a time when the couple at the heart of the music have welcomed a second child and embraced a fruitful new way of working. We’re delighted to welcome to Velvet Sheep, Alexi Erenkov & Alison Alderdice whose delicate vocal interplay recalls Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra or Stuart Staples of Tindersticks Carla Torgerson of The Walkabouts when they travelled lightly. My pull to the somnabulent ebb and flow is as strong as the Moon’s gravitational hold on the tides, and so here are The Saxophones.
For erstwhile disillusioned jazz scholar Alexi Erenkov, The Saxophones started out as a half joke of a band name, but there’s no denying it is memorably off-kilter for a band whose psych-folk is way more limber, yet no less lovingly layered than the music of his studies. The solo project for self fulfilment became all-encompassing when Alexi’s wife Alison joined on percussion, and together on the houseboat they shared, they crafted their house style of wistful melancholia and contemplative surf licks as the rain of a Northern Californian winter drummed the windows and rocked their walls. Their world was well and truly rocked, in the best possible way when their first son was born in 2018 upon the release of “Songs of the Saxophones”.
With transitive snatched late night and early morning recording sessions, inner depths were plumbed and new days dawned, with an inevitably broader perspective on life, love and the universe. When the new album presented itself, it was recorded and produced by Cameron Spies (Radiator Hospital) in Portland and mixed by Noah Georgeson (Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom) in California, using the analog 16-track minimalism that lends a brittle portence to material that transports you from cinematic scene to scene like La La Land meets Broken Flowers via Blue Hawaii. As the new album has been delivered, it follows closely another lovingly crafted life event, the birth of their second child, and it’s an honour to be invited into their all-encompassing world of warmth and compassion via a heartfelt album, and be given a glimpse into their mindset and record collection via this their song choice for Velvet Sheep. So, without further ado, this is The Saxophones’ “song for ewe”…
“The Saxophones – Song for Ewe
A few years back, Alison found a compilation of Hawaiian songs that were specifically meant to soundtrack an aquatic aerobics class. One of the artists included on the CD was Buddy Fo; digging into his catalogue quickly led us to this incredible song, “When It’s Time To Go.” This song completely transfixed me on my first listen. It has elements of almost everything I love (exotica, lounge, soul, woodwinds, mysterious lyrics, and beautiful vocals). I just find it perfectly satisfying.
Artist: Buddy Fo and His Group
Song: When It’s Time To Go”
MANY THANKS TO THE SAXOPHONES AND TO SEAN NEWSHAM AT MUTANTE.
The Saxophones “Eternity Bay” is available on Full Time Hobby on 6th March