Climbing Trees : Troubling Times30.04.2021 : Staylittle Music
“A really special band” - Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1
As Climbing Trees restlessly toured their last studio album Borders (2016) anyone watching might have thought they were witnessing a band about to gain the sort of momentum a round of Double Gloucester instantly achieves at the start of the annual Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Race.
Instead, following the further release in 2018 of an acoustic EP formed around the B-sides of singles hewn from Borders, the band took a break, as front man Matthew Frederick explains,
“We decided to take a year off in 2018 to spend a little time on our various solo and side projects.”
“Before we knew it, two years had passed, then three, and a whole lot has happened in the world in that time. We didn’t want to come back until we had something to say, and, more importantly, a good song to say it with.”
The side-projects included the majestic cinematic drift of Mahogany Fire Surround ("a medieval campfire dialogue between Radiohead, Ludovico Ennaudi and some mist") and the wonder of Frederick’s own solo album, Fragments.
A new single, Troubling Times, sees all three core band members (Frederick, Colenso Jones and Martin Webb) finally back in the studio together.
As promised, the full glory of a new song suitably heralds their return.
Atmospheric, layered, underpinned by the same hypnotic energy you’d find watching a slowly turning wind sculpture, Troubling Times is a further step forward in the band’s sonic sophistication.
As Frederick sings ‘We are still free in our dreams’, the single provides the soaring soundtrack for a celestial flight of imagination, conscious or not - defiantly stating in three minutes and three seconds why Climbing Trees have been missed over three long years; long may they roll.