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28.08.16 Stroud (uk) - Stroud Fringe Festival


Petrels returns in May with thunderous new album, Flailing Tomb, to be released via Denovali Records. Taking the exhilaratingly huge sonic expanse that Petrels has become known for and pushing it further still, Flailing Tomb draws on a breathtaking sonic palette of influences and instrumentation to craft perhaps the strongest Petrels release to date.

Flailing Tomb's underlying theme is a many-layered obsession with – and joyous celebration of – the defiance in persisting with lost causes. Building on the mythological foundations of previous albums – Haeligewielle, Onkalo and Mima – Flailing Tomb takes an underlying current that ran beneath each of these and pushes it to the fore. Flailing Tomb draws inspiration from sources as wide-ranging as Ursula K. Le Guin's speculative fiction, Indian-Celtic connections, self-mummification, Jude The Apostle (patron saint of lost causes), and Jean-Luc Godard's seminal sci-fi masterpiece, Alphaville (much of the second-half of the album is adapted from music originally written as an alternate score to the film), weaving all this and more into six intricately-layered parts - at once forthright and ambiguous.

With a much broader range of instrumentation and contributors than previous Petrels albums – from the melodic cacophony of album opener We Are Falling Into the Heart Of The Sun, to the euphoric choral backdrop of Orpheus with a lead vocal from NEVER SOL and the epic motorik finale of L. Caution – Flailing Tomb is both an expansion on and refinement of the Petrels sound and an album that confirms the arrival of a singular artist.

Petrels is the solo project of London-based musician and illustrator, Oliver Barrett. Since releasing his debut Haeligewielle in 2011, Petrels has toured across Europe and shared a stage with the likes of Tim Hecker, FIRE!, Nate Young (Wolf Eyes), Trouble Books, Demdike Stare, Nadja, and Hans-Joachim Roedelius (Cluster). Having also collaborated with and provided remixes for artists as varied as Duane Pitre, Brassica, Talvihorros and Max Cooper, Petrels' output is proving to be thrillingly eclectic and unpredictable.