Mox Nox

by Alison Eales

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Limited edition 12" black vinyl, with printed inner sleeve with full lyrics.

    Includes digital pre-order of Mox Nox. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    shipping out on or around March 24, 2023
    edition of 300 
    Purchasable with gift card

      £20 GBP or more 

    You own this  

     

  • Digital Album
    Streaming + Download

    Pre-order of Mox Nox. You get 1 track now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it’s released.
    Purchasable with gift card
    releases March 24, 2023

      £7 GBP  or more

    You own this

     

1.
Rapunzel
2.
Ever Forward
3.
The Broken Song
4.
Shadow Blister
5.
Negligence
6.
Pull on your winter skates It won’t be long before We freeze and disintegrate Columbine, Harlequin Anxious ‘til the thaw, My pantomime heroine This town was my design And it will be my undoing This town was the making of me It’s going to be my ruin Bending, cloud-muffled trees Their roots claw from the ground, Beg me to tend to their injuries This season could do with a lick of paint Now rattle round and round And take me home, little orange train This town was my design And it will be my undoing This town was the making of me It’s going to be my ruin Here’s a wheel that never span Here’s a man who never loved Here’s a dove that never folds Here’s a cold I’ll never feel This town was my design And it will be my undoing This town was the making of me It’s going to be my ruin
7.
Through Hoops
8.
Half-French Kiss
9.
A Natural History of California
10.
Mox Nox
11.
Goodbye
12.
Come Home With Me

about

Alison Eales is a long-standing member of the band Butcher Boy, playing piano, accordion and other keyboards as well as arranging for choir and brass. The band have made three studio albums: Profit in Your Poetry (2007), React or Die (2009) and Helping Hands (2011). All of these albums have been well-received, with React or Die featuring in The Times’ top 100 pop albums of the 2000s. The band have also released two EPs. A compilation album, You Had A Kind Face, was released on Needle Mythology in 2022, along with three new songs, with tracks mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road. Butcher Boy have supported bands including Belle and Sebastian, Scritti Politti and The Wedding Present.

Taking inspiration from sundial mottos, Mox Nox is an album about the passing of time – most specifically, the transition from day to night. Its twelve songs explore experiences of all-nighters, anxiety, travel, frustration, and friendship. The album combines acoustic and electronic instrumentation with samples of environmental sound, resulting in an indie pop record that is by turns playful and melancholy and that is likely to appeal to fans of Saint Etienne, The Magnetic Fields, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sterolab, Jake Thackray and Kirsty MacColl.

With support from Creative Scotland, the album was produced by Paul Savage at Chem 19 studios. Cover artwork was designed by Rhian Nicholas at The Passenger Press in Glasgow, using a mix of traditional printmaking techniques. The design represents a sundial and was inspired by the cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, with its stylised Doomsday Clock.

Opening the album with shimmering wine glasses and dulcimer, Rapunzel is the oldest of the songs. It expresses the frustration of feeling isolated and not fully engaging with life. This theme is continued in the second track: Ever Forward is a lyric about being trapped in a dilapidated seaside town as the seasons change, delivered over a string quartet expertly arranged and recorded by Pete Harvey (Pumpkinfield).

Originally conceived as a song about falling in love for the first time, The Broken Song eventually transpired to be a song about the onset of anxiety. The approach to writing this song was unique on the album – it was left deliberately unfinished to create room for experimentation in the studio. Track four, Shadow Blister, is also unique, as the lyric was the result of a challenge to use as many sundial mottos in one song as possible. Negligence is possibly the most personal song on the album.

Closing Side A, the single Fifty-Five North has parallels with Ever Forward, but while both songs are about struggling with the change of the seasons, this song is rooted firmly in Glasgow and expresses how a place can be both transformative and overwhelming. The song features sounds sampled from the Glasgow Subway, with a rhythm track made from the sounds of the train doors closing, and a melody made from the ping of the turnstiles.

Side B opens with Through Hoops, a song about the tensions inherent in friendships between people who are almost too alike. Upbeat and energetic, the song features flute improvised by Diljeet Kaur Bhachu (Kapil Seshasayee). By contrast, Half-French Kiss is a tiny, atmospheric song built around a chromatic music box and bowed cymbal. A Natural History of California was inspired by a single line of cello played by Maya Burman-Roy (James Grant, Idlewild) and images of San Francisco by night.

Mox Nox, like Shadow Blister, is a lyric built around sundial mottos, including the title itself (‘Night, shortly’). Opening with glockenspiel played by Joanne Murtagh (Remember Remember) it builds one instrument at a time, featuring strings, flute, autoharp, dulcimer and kalimba.

A song about walking away from outgrown friendships, Goodbye features guitar played by Basil Pieroni (Butcher Boy), a musical callback to Rapunzel, and an improvised robot choir. The album closes with Come Home With Me, a lyrical counterpoint to Rapunzel with a manic musical setting.

credits

releases March 24, 2023

This album was produced by Alison Eales, recorded and mixed by Paul Savage, and mastered by Reuben Taylor.

The strings on Ever Forward were arranged and recorded by Pete Harvey at Pumpkinfield and performed by the Pumpkinseeds: Simon Graham (violin), Emma Connell-Smith (viola), Harriet Davidson (cello) and Chris Sergeant (double bass). Strings on other tracks were performed by Maya Burman-Roy (cello) and Cat Robertson (violin). Guitar on The Broken Song, Shadow Blister, A Natural History of California and Goodbye was played by Basil Pieroni. Diljeet Kaur Bhachu played flute on Negligence, Through Hoops, and Mox Nox. Joanne Murtagh played glockenspiel on Rapunzel, Negligence, Fifty-Five North and Mox Nox.

The artwork was by Rhian Nicholas, the photography was by Euan Robertson and the layout was by Tom Ashton.

Sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to this album, and to those who offered support: Geoff, Joan, Steve, Beth, Henry and Eva Eales; Tom Ashton; Tom Attah; Alistair Braidwood; David Burns; James Clark; Katy Cooper; Sophie Dodds; Sam Dymond; Colin Edwards; Fraser Ford; Iain Hamilton; Iain Hepburn; Garry Hoggan; Lauren Hulstedt; John Hunt; Knut Børre Lindbjør; Ken Lynch; Gerry Lyons; Aoife Magee; Findlay MacKinnon; Jyoti Mishra; Laura Molloy; Margaret Paterson; David Pope; Katie Pope; Emma Pollock; Fiona Shepherd; Graeme Smillie; Robert Spark; Alison Stroak; and Jonathan Trew. Kiitos to Martin Cloonan.

Dedicated to Paul Mason.

℗ Alison Eales 2023
© Alison Eales 2023
Under license to Fika Recordings

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