#1 Contrary to popular belief there is no mandolin on the new album 🙂
Rise Above Records will release Galley Beggar’s new album, Heathen Hymns, on April 28th.
“We’ve always been compared to folk rock bands, but we haven’t always fitted into the genre exactly,” says Galley Beggar vocalist Maria O’Donnell. “We’ve gone to folk festivals, but because we’re electric we don’t fit in there. People like to put us in boxes, and I suppose folk rock is the closest thing. We’re quite happy being different!”
To reduce Galley Beggar’s allure down to a simple matter of folk rock revivalism would be foolish. With a sound that incorporates all manner of unexpected elements while always celebrating the mischievous spirit of folk music across the centuries, these Kentish chameleons have been steadily earning a formidable reputation since forming back in 2009. Over the course of three acclaimed albums – Reformation House (2010), Galley Beggar (2012) and Silence & Tears (2014), the band’s first for Rise Above Records – Galley Beggar have pulled off the neat trick of simultaneously honouring and upgrading the psychedelic folk rock template, both reveling in the simple magic of acoustic instrumentation and joyfully harnessing the lysergic power of the electric too. And now they are poised to release their fourth and finest album, Heathen Hymns. A dizzying blend of the traditional and the untried, it’s a record full of absorbing musical stories that showcase a newfound lust for experimentation.
For all its many detours down psychedelic rabbit warrens and shadowy, fog-shrouded footpaths, Heathen Hymns is still an album with melody and humanity at its core. Fresh originals like the hypnotic “Four Birds” and the woozy raga rock of “Moon & Tide” wield an insidious charisma, but it’s the way Galley Beggar’s collective ingenuity collides with the sacrosanct likes of traditional standards “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme” [here featuring a guest vocal from Celia Drummond of UK acid folk legends Trees] and “The Girl I Left Behind Me” that confirms this album as both an unequivocal triumph for creativity and a platinum-plated treasure trove for aficionados everywhere.
Although already firmly established in folk rock circles, Galley Beggar’s greatest achievement to date is arguably their ongoing assimilation into the world of heavy music. Aided by their association with Rise Above, the band are picking up fans from both the metal and the prog worlds, their reliably idiosyncratic flair ensuring that all but the most cynical punters will eventually be drawn towards the GB web.
“We do take a lot of inspiration from heavier bands, so it’s great that the rock and metal audience are starting to embrace us,” says Maria. “However, all of us have a varied taste and grew up listening to loads of different things, so we just take a little bit from everything along the way”.
2016 was a relatively quiet year for Galley Beggar but as Heathen Hymns begins to cast its spell on the psychedelic (and not so psychedelic) hordes, it seems that Maria and her comrades are ready, willing and eager to hit the road and share these new bursts of dazzling sonic light with the masses.
(Good to see that these companies that provide streaming for free and making a pretty penny out of musicians aren’t going unchallenged)
After careful consideration, and following five years of unsuccessful negotiations, we now find ourselves in a situation where we have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings against the online music service SoundCloud.
When a writer or publisher becomes a member of the Performing Right Society, they assign certain rights to their works over for us to administer, so it’s our job to ensure we collect and distribute royalties due to them. SoundCloud actively promotes and shares music. Launched in 2008, the service now has more than 175m unique listeners per month. Unfortunately, the organisation continues to deny it needs a PRS for Musiclicence for its existing service available in the UK and Europe, meaning it is not remunerating our members when their music is streamed by the SoundCloud platform.
Our aim is always to license services when they use our members’ music. It has been a difficult decision to begin legal action against SoundCloud but one we firmly believe is in the best, long-term interests of our membership. This is because it is important we establish the principle that a licence is required when services make available music to users. We have asked SoundCloud numerous times to recognise their responsibilities to take a licence to stop the infringement of our members’ copyrights but so far our requests have not been met. Therefore we now have no choice but to pursue the issue through the courts.
We understand SoundCloud has taken down some of our members’ works from their service. With our letter of claim, we sent SoundCloud a list of 4,500 musical works which are being made available on the service, as a sample of our repertoire being used, so that they understood the scale of our members’ repertoire and its use on the service. We asked them to take a licence to cover the use of all our members’ repertoire or otherwise stop infringing.
SoundCloud decided to respond to our claim by informing us that it had removed 250 posts. Unfortunately, we have no visibility or clarity on SoundCloud’s approach to removing works, so it is not currently clear why these particular posts have been selected by them given the wider issue of infringement that is occurring. Ultimately, it is SoundCloud’s decision as to whether it starts paying for the ongoing use of our members’ music or stops using these works entirely.
If the streaming market is to reach its true potential and offer a fair return for our members, organisations such as SoundCloud must pay for their use of our members’ music. We launched our Streamfair campaign in June to raise awareness of this issue and highlight how music creators need to be properly remunerated from streaming.We believe that all digital services should obtain a licence which grants them permission to use our members’ music and repertoire, in this case the works of songwriters, publishers and composers.
The streaming market cannot fairly develop unless this happens. We have always been pro-licensing and pro-actively work with organisations in order to propose an appropriate licensing solution for the use of our members’ works.
We remain hopeful that this matter can be resolved without the need for extended litigation. Members will appreciate that this is now a legal matter and our ability to communicate around it is therefore limited by the legal process. However, we will try to share information and updates whenever we can.
We’ll be heading into the studio to record our third album.
After months of preparation, we’re finally ready to put it to tape!
We’ve recorded the first draft of our 3rd studio album – watch this space!
We have been booked to play on the main stage at Rochester Sweeps Festival during the May bank holiday weekend – more details to follow!