Espers return with new album
Espers are back with a new album and tour. Recorded over the Winter and Spring of 2009, Espers III was intended to be an aural tonic to the layered fullness of the band's second offering. The idea was to record as little as possible in the hope of achieving a stronger, more oxygenated sonic presence. Where II was meant to be almost claustrophobic in its density and darkness, III was envisioned as being a lighter affair; less heavy and more nuanced. The band attempted to create something that would be perhaps cheery at times, though that mark may have been missed. As more time passed in the recording process, a growing dementia within both song and lyrics occurred, such that even the lightest of fare from III seems oddly unwholesome at heart.
As with past releases, III was recorded with the LP in mind. The album is intended to work as a whole and has been organized to best play as two equally weighted sides. Recorded entirely to analogue tape, the album was then also mixed to tape – a factor that became all the more important as an emphasis on underplaying increased. When more space is created in a recording the less sterile that space becomes.
The concept of space flowed through from the recording process into the song writing and lyrics. Without dominating the meaning, each of these songs in some way touch upon "new space," whether by envisioning it, finding it, claiming it, or colonizing it. In fact, the album almost took on the very name, 'Colony', due to a sub-textual thought process that touched upon Herzog's Aguirre, Heart of Darkness, cult groups, deep Amazonian treks, religious nation building, ritualistic drug ceremonies, etc.
Taking drugs to take canoe trips to take drugs on.
This album's shift in cover aesthetic mirrors the band's themes and their desire to reach beyond what might be expected of an Espers album. Gone is the folk art two-dimensionality so skilfully provided by the band's guitarist Brooke Sietinsons. Welcome to the three-dimensionality and metaphoric imagery of the new Espers aesthetic.
Now officially a five piece, Espers III features bass by Greg Weeks, this being the only structural change from previous efforts. Espers II was the last full length album recorded in Greg's Hexham Head studio. Weeks and the studio have moved from city locale to pastoral backdrop, a relocation that will no doubt factor into the sonics of future Espers endeavours.
Catch them on tour:
Nov 08th Rough Trade instore – London
Nov 09th The Farmhouse – Canterbury
Nov 10th Hare & Hounds – Birmingham
Nov 11th Crawdaddy – Dublin
Nov 12th Speakeasy (Radar Club) – Belfast
Nov 13th Stereo – Glasgow
Nov 14th The Electric Circus – Edinburgh
Nov 15th The Cluny – Newcastle
Nov 16th The Brudenell Social Club – Leeds
Nov 17th Academy 3 – Manchester
Nov 19th Fleece – Bristol
Nov 20th ULU – London