Time In The Trees is the second album from indie folk singer-songwriter Serious Child. Set for release on the Spring Equinox, Friday, 20 March 2020, the record is the result of a year spent in the Sussex woods by vocalist and musician Alan Young.
Serious Child grew up in the Weald forest of West Sussex and this body of work reflects a deep connection to the ancient oak and beech woodland. After years of living in cities, Alan escaped back to the woods, embracing their hidden depths and uncovering deep truths about the natural and modern world.
It’s no surprise then, that Time In The Trees transports listeners to a place separate from the buzz of everyday life, where time flows differently. The ten tracks herald an ancient and ethereal vibe – and yet boast an undeniably modern sound. Many ancient and unusual instruments help create the album’s earthy and acoustic qualities including harmonium, dulcitone, vibes, marxophone, accordion, cello and mellotron.
Produced by Boo Hewerdine and recorded by Chris Pepper at Saltwell Studio in Cambridgeshire, the album, like Serious Child’s 2018 acclaimed debut Empty Nest, is a close collaboration between the trio.
The tracks ‘The Oak’ and ‘Bonsai’ both explore how trees live and grow on different scales to humans. ‘The Oak’ is a co-write with Uist musician Jamie MacRae, whose connection to the stones of the Scottish Isles inspired Alan to write this album, and also features celebrated folk musician John McCusker (violin, whistle). ‘Bonsai’ is inspired by sensei Chiako Yamamoto who has dedicated her whole life to the rituals of caring for trees.
The first single, ‘Brambles’, released in November 2019 delves into the world of acclaimed forensic botanist Dr Mark A. Spencer, whose book Murder Most Florid reveals the haunting secrets hidden in woodlands.
Alan said: “The process of creating Time In The Trees was incredibly exciting. We wanted to use ancient and modern instruments to capture the pace and the mood of the trees and the earth, while acknowledging we all live in the modern world. I wanted to take people to a place where time flows differently, and success isn’t measured by how busy you are.”
Alan (vocals, guitar) is also joined on the album by Boo Hewerdine (harmonium, dulcitone, vibes, guitars, keyboards, backing vocals), Chris Pepper (drums, loops, percussion, keyboards, bass) and Gustaf Ljunggren (woodwind, brass, lap steel, organ), and Tanya Brittain (accordion), all of whom also appeared on Serious Child’s first album. John Parker (double bass, beatbox) and Bethany Porter (cello) also feature.
Serious Child released his debut album ‘Empty Nest’ in 2018 to strong critical reviews, drawing references to Richard Thompson, Chris Difford and Scott Walker.
Time In The Trees is out on the Spring Equinox on Friday, 20 March 2020 and will be available in digital, CD and vinyl formats.
Artist’s website: www.seriouschild.com
‘Brambles’ – official video: