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'Red Earth and Pouring Rain' was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales with the band's long term producer Ian Grimble, in sessions following a six week European and UK tour that had culminated in an ecstatically received sold-out show at The Roundhouse last October. Inspired by - among other things - the paintings of Edward Hopper, the novels of Raymond Carver and film director Robert Altman's Short Cuts - 'Red Earth and Pouring Rain' is both erudite and intensely personal, defying trends and easy labelling. Musically, it also sees a startling progression. Because while the band's folk roots are still evident, they now come cloaked in the lush alchemy of '70's and '80's FM rock: Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and in particular, the nocturnal ambience of Bruce Springsteen's 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town'. More contemporary influence, meanwhile, comes from artists including The National and Sufjan Stevens. Brutally honest, brilliantly realised and spiritually uplifting, 'Red Earth and Pouring Rain' is a masterful album from a band confident enough leave their past in the rear view mirror.
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