David A. Jaycock Murder, And The Birds

Triassic Tusk
5th April 2021

Format Info


A pastoral retelling of lost songs with no lyrics and lyrics with no songs (mostly).

A personal journey through the artist’s own personal mythology told through the perfomance of found folk songs, Murder, And The Birds acheives a remarkable feat. In re-casting traditional folk songs from the 19th Century and before, David A. Jaycock channels universal human concerns and emotions. Using multilayered vocals, a spidery guitar technique and tasteful augmenting instrumentation, the artist becomes medium, a mouthpiece for lost voices that still resonate.

In a moment of reflection and homesickness, British psychedelic folk traveller Jaycock set about uncovering traditional folk songs spurred on by an antique song collection Ballads and Songs of Lancashire (1865) by John Haland. Borrowing 5 songs from this book – unaccompanied sets of lyrics without music – Jaycock’s journey then took him to different corners of the UK, from Ayrshire to the Midlands collecting traditional ballads that reminded him of home or resonated with his wavering sense of place. Having grown up in Lancashire but travelled extensively since, the ambiguities of where “home” is for the artist lend him a troubadour’s gift for interpretation, with each composition and arrangement treating each lyric set with the utmost respect and sensitivity.

” Reading through each verse or song I began to edit the gender specific roles where possible. I also played with hero and villain sentiment. Some ballads were just too long and so were ruthlessly chopped. Anything about virgin maids or royal worship was instantly cut. I experimented with the odd chorus too. Original thoughts on vocals were dense with many different singers. Original thoughts on instrumentation were traditional. Both of these ideas changed over the course. String parts written on synths stayed and I finally got some sounds I liked out of my FM synths as well as the usual analogue ones. I double tracked most of the vocals and stereo recorded the guitars and just to add to the duplicity of everything, the whole process took around two years from the initial sketches to finished songs.” – David A Jaycock.

Murder, And The Birds has an ambivalent approach to concepts of “home,” merging songs from Scotland with those from Cornwall into a singular narrative told by Jaycock. It’s a restrained record that revels in the wordplay of the songs and the artist’s eldritch renditions, drifting subtly between folk styles and tonalities like a restless troubadour. The Murdered Maid, for example, is a sonorous dirge with reverbrating pianos and doomy chords, while a track Lizzie Wan recalls the 60s British folk revival with faintly medieval guitar work and layered vocals by way of early Marissa Nadler atmosphere. There’s a strong consistency throughout, a singular vision that folds in disparate tales into a single musical language.

Other Releases by David A. Jaycock