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my autumn empire-the visitation cd (wayside & woodland)

Price: $16.99

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my autumn empire: the visitation

My Autumn Empire is the project of Benjamin Thomas Holton, one half of critically celebrated post-pop pastoralists, epic45. Following albums ‘The Village Compass’ (2010) and ‘II’ (2012) ‘The Visitation’ is arguably the most conceptual album yet and continues a sonic progression which further distils an exquisite electro-acoustic melancholy alongside 70’s tinged dream-pop. Since he began making music, Holton has strived to push the quality of DIY self-production to its limits by crafting original works at home and self releasing through co-founded indie labels such as Make Mine Music and Wayside & Woodland. It’s this independent spirit that continues to drive his work and, except for some drum parts, Holton handles all instrumentation and production. ‘The Visitation’ takes its name from an early 80’s Doctor Who story in which an alien crash lands on Earth and was part of the inspiration for the album, but Holton expands on the concept with humour and draws a comparison to real life events that affected him at the time. Holton says “Part of it is about how we think we know people. We can share a living space for years, assuming we know everything there is to know about the other person only to end up feeling like we don’t know them at all when the relationship fails. The person you have a shared a house with is now effectively an alien. “It’s also homage to the 70s/80s sci-fi I was watching at the time with all the stagey acting, strange atmospheres and Radiophonic synthesizer sounds that come with them, sounds that have definitely had an impact on the music. Also to the outlandish concepts that drove a lot of the ELO albums I was listening to, in particular the 1981 album ‘Time’ about a man who gets stranded in the future and attempts to have a love affair with a robot.” However, with tracks such as ‘Andrew’, ‘Where’s Everybody Gone?’ and ‘It’s Around’ the focus shifts to how we can alienate ourselves from social interaction and engagement in the outside world by immersing ourselves in media and fantasy. “‘Andrew’ refers to the real life case of a guy who, after being made redundant, let his life slip away – literally – in front of the TV. He’d been unemployed for a while and just watched TV constantly. One day his parents found him dead in his armchair, the TV still flickering.” Musically, ‘The Visitation’ hits such diverse reference points as ELO, 10cc, Sparklehorse and The Wedding Present. “I’d been listening to a lot of ELO and got drawn to their work from the 80s in particular, a period when it couldn’t have been less fashionable to be into their music! The strings were largely absent and were replaced by analogue synths but the harmonies and Beatlesy melodies remained. I also think there’s an influence of some of the American ‘indie’ music I enjoyed in the latter half of the 90s, things like Grandaddy, Pavement and Sparklehorse.” “I really like the idea of trying to make classic sounding ‘pop’ on a budget - which is handy as it’s the only option I have” The five piece My Autumn Empire live band will be making a number of rare appearances across the UK and mainland Europe. Gigs confirmed so far include, 7th March, Good Ship, Kilburn, 3rd May, Union Chapel, Islington and 4th July Rockorama Festival, Toulon, France.


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