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The Catenary Wires are Rob Pursey and Amelia Fletcher. They specialize in emotive indie duets, capturing the spirits of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood, Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, and releasing them into modern Britain. The resulting songs will appeal to fans of Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile or Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan. On Til The Morning, they are joined by Andy Lewis (Paul Weller Group, Spearmint) on cello, mellotron, and percussion and Fay Hallam (Makin’ Time, Prime Movers) on Hammond organ and backing vocals. Matthew King (a classical composer) plays piano. Nick and Claire Sermon play brass. The local Kentish countryside provides ambient noise. The album was recorded during 2018 at the Sunday School, in the middle of nowhere in Kent. It is a big step forward from their first album, Red Red Skies (2015): more complex and more beguiling, with a multi-layered sound that reflects a range of additional instruments, including harmonium, bells and an old trailer. It was produced by Andy Lewis, who has recently produced albums for Judy Dyble and French Boutik.
Matt Haynes, ex-head of Sarah Records, writes: “When a wire is hung from two fixed points, the shape it makes is a catenary. Its beauty lies in its simplicity — so natural, so effortless. And when two people who, after starring in a quartet of legendary pop bands, have themselves become pop legends, decide to leave London’s indie scene to those with fewer candles on their cakes and set up home in a distant green corner of Kent . . . The sound they make is The Catenary Wires, aka Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, formerly of Tender Trap, Marine Research, Heavenly, and proto-riot-grrrl machismo-mocking punk-pop explosion Talulah Gosh . . . Til The Morning isn’t folk music, though, fetishizing the rustic and the past with straw-headed notions of authenticity. The recordings might be home-made in an un-soundproofed room, with each sigh as clear as breath on an icy morning, and the snare an old metal trailer hit with a stick, but they’re computer literate and polished to a warm sheen. And when birdsong fills the gaps, it comes with reverb. It isn’t lo-fi, either, unfocussed and meandering — why would two people who’ve spent their lives crafting three-minute pop gems suddenly do that? The songs are uncluttered because all that’s there is what needs to be there…”