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In 2020 the prestigious Welsh-based label SWND continue to establish themselves with diversity. Following on from the creative juggernauts of dunkie, and The Cosmic Array, they now bring another act of sublime subversive music onto the radar- The Jesus Fairies. This elusive act floated into the wilderness some two decades ago, only to re-evaluate themselves and finally release the powerful work that was always promised.
On April 11th, The Jesus Fairies defy expectations with their debut Two Chairs, One Day. A novella album which runs as a continuous work, twisting and turning in an atmospheric surrounding. Both heavily melodic and experimental with shades of Zappa at his most free thinking. The thirty-four minutes glide by on a haze of boundary defiance. Honestly it is one of those albums that cries out for investigation.
Before the albums release, I spoke to The Jesus Fairies front of house, Starman, asking for some detail on this mysterious outfit-
“If you want to know about the characters and bands we’ve associated with over the years, then that’s an A to Z of the famous and infamous. But fame is so utterly ridiculous and superficial. We tend to not talk of such things. We are a group of travellers. Para-dimensional entities walking the Earth. It’s a bit like Kwai Chang Caine in Kung Fu. Personally, it’s an almost mystical experience for me to watch that TV show. I don’t know about the other guys. You’d have to ask them.”
Following on from his insightful view of the band as a whole, one question stuck out, Wales. What is happening in the welsh music scene that we are getting such a wide visceral depth coming from the country?
“I think the towns of Wales can be equated to Liverpool in the late 1950s. Like Liverpool was (and maybe still is), they are dumps. Poor, working class shit holes. And thanks to severe economic punishment by Tory and Neoliberal governments – probably because they wouldn’t vote Tory and Tory-esque if it meant their lives – these Welsh towns look likely to remain dumps for a long time. But the interesting thing about human, and Welsh, nature is that when it is oppressed it often expresses itself in a creative and revolutionary way. That’s what happened in Liverpool; that’s what’s happening in Wales. I mean, it’s not comfortable living in shit, but things tend to like to grow out of shit. Ask any gardener.”
As for the work itself, and the conceptual nature of Two Chairs, One Day, I asked what is at the very heart of it, and what audiences can expect to hear?
“Two Chairs, One Day is about the conflict of worldviews. And how just being in the world is a kind of dance with death. Being alive is a contradictory and conflictual thing. In the album we have expressed this via the 1922 debate between Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson. But it’s just like any exchange of ideas really; how anyone can come into contact with someone else. It’s what happens every day when you meet another human being. Your world is utterly separate to my world; and yet we co-exist in the same world. How can this be? How can two worlds exist in the same room? So, Two Chairs, One Day is a facing of the facts: that we wake up into an oppositional world.”
He then finished with the most telling statement, which although off-the-wall actually sums up the listening experience. And placing it further into that literary category-
“The album is not about the album, it’s about the person who listens to it.”
In truth, Two Chairs, One Day is the old-school method of album which the listener may find a reflection of themselves within. Although this may seem unorthodox, or even sound mad, but it is an interesting pattern of thought. So in retrospect, Two Chairs, One Day is not a bad listen, being complex does not lessen the enjoyment, it just fires the imagination more.
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