All The Merry Year Round is an exploration of an alternative or otherly calendar that considers how traditional folklore and its tales now sit alongside and sometimes intertwine with cultural or media based folklore; stories we discover, treasure, are informed and inspired by but which are found, transmitted and passed down via television, film and technology rather than through local history and the ritual celebrations of the more longstanding folkloric calendar.
However, just as with their forebears there is a ritualistic nature to these modern-day reveries whereby communal or solitary seances are undertaken when stepping into such tales via flickering darkened rooms lit by screens, although their enclosed nature is in contrast to more public traditional folklore rituals.
Accompanying which with the passing of time some televisual and cinematic stories continue or begin to resonate as they gain new layers of meaning and myth; cultural folklore that has come to express and explore an otherly Albion, becoming a flipside to traditional folklore tales and sharing with them a rootwork that is deeply embedded in the land.
In amongst All The Merry Year Round can be found wanderings down such interwoven pathways, travelling alongside straw bear and cathode ray summonings alike.
(Quoted from text which accompanied the album.)
Includes work by United Bible Studies, Circle/Temple (Dom Cooper of The Owl Service/Bare Bones/Rif Mountain), Magpahi, Cosmic Neighbourhood, Field Lines Cartographer, Polypores, A Year In The Country, Sproatly Smith, Pulselovers, The Hare And The Moon & Jo Lepine (The Owl Service), Time Attendant and The Séance (Pete Wiggs of Saint Etienne and James Papademetrie).
“All the Merry Year Round creates an atmosphere for wandering and wondering. The set succeeds through counter intuition, its alternative calendar creating such a ruckus that it causes all calendars to blow away in the wind, leaving us only with the eternal, visceral now.” Richard Allen writing at A Closer Listen.
Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:
- Artifact Report #48/52a: All The Merry Year Round – Released
- Artifact Report #43/52a: All The Merry Year Round – Preview Clips Online
- Artifact Report #47/52a: All The Merry Year Round Reviews and Broadcasts
- Artifact Report #50/52a: All The Merry Year Round – Further Broadcasts and Reviews (Wanderings Amongst the Moss, Golden Apples and Elsewhere)
- Artifact Report #52/52a: From The Marks Upon The Land to All The Merry Year Round… An (Almost) End of Year Gathering