Following on from the ambitious 2020 album ‘The Quiet Earth’ by Brighton-based The Academy of Sun, Britain’s Heaven’s Lathe label has released two new songs from this ‘queer, gnostic, orchestral post-punk’ duo and they have never sounded so glorious.
Curated by writer, broadcaster and DJ Graham Duff and made by Bladud Flies!, Heaven’s Lathe is dedicated to bringing out the highest quality 7″ singles, releasing one each month, limited to a 100 copies, which comes on lathe-cut vinyl with engraved centres. As well as containing thrilling music, these are beautiful artefacts in their own right.
The Academy of Sun’s music is centred on the rich vocals and nuanced song-writing of Nick Hudson, whose work has been described by no lesser authority than Julian Cope as “Bill Nelson singing Scott’s ‘Angels Of Ashes’… highly fucking beautiful in a gazing together into Biba mirrors with smeared lippy kind of manner.”
A-side ‘It Is Finished When It’s Destroyed’ is a work in two movements. With squalls of feedback and a twisting bass line, the song opens with a sense of bruised optimism. The second section sees Hudson’s keening vocal riding over a battery of floor toms and fizzing synths. Mixed by acclaimed US producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Danny Elfman, Earth, Mandy OST), this song bristles with detail and is truly cinematic in its sweep.
Flip side ‘Ghost Foxes’ is built around a constantly shuffling drum pattern and sharp slivers of staccato guitar. This is The Academy of Sun as questing rock band, with a sound suggestive of early Bad Seeds. Here, as in all their best work, the group strike a perfect balance between the cerebral and the primal.
“The first The Academy Of Sun track I’ve written since finishing writing ‘The Quiet Earth’ in 2018, this is an aquaplaning freight train of psychedelia and snarl – with the second part endlessly modulating over a skittery, syncopated drum pattern and Mariana Trench-plumbing synths. Whether it is lyrically directed at the heinous cabal of xenophobic disaster capitalists currently holed up in UK parliament remains to be seen (it is),” says Nick Hudson.
“‘Ghost Foxes’ was written for ‘The Quiet Earth’, but never felt “right” until we were asked to create this release. A satire on esotericism, boasting yet another Herzog quote and some mesmerizing guitar tones from our plank-wielder, Guy Brice, ‘Ghost Foxes’ was always riotous to play live, and will be again.”
Formed ten years ago in Brighton, UK, The Academy of Sun is a psychedelic post-punk quartet of Nick Hudson (piano, synths, Hammond organ, harmonium, vocals, percussion, synths) and Kianna Blue (bass, synths), Guy Brice (guitars) and Ash Babb (drums).
Nick Hudson’s musical juggernaut has been active since 2012, always transcending expectations. The Academy of Sun has collaborated with Massive Attack’s Shara Nelson, Matthew Seligman (Bowie, Tori Amos, Morrissey), Wayne Hussey (The Mission), Canadian queercore icon GB Jones, members of NYC’s Kayo Dot and David Tibet (Current 93). TAOS has also performed / toured with Mogwai, Toby Driver and Keith Abrams (Kayo Dot) and Timba Harris (Mr Bungle, Amanda Palmer).
The new 7″ is available on lathe-cut vinyl via Bandcamp. This black hand-numbered high quality stereo vinyl features an engraved Heaven’s Lathe logo, 230gsm sleeve, black inner sleeve and PVC protective sleeve. Packaged with a white polylined paper inner sleeve and a ‘lathe cut’ care card, it also includes the digital download. As standalone digital release is planned later this year.
Written by Nick Hudson, arranged by The Academy Of Sun:
Nick Hudson, Guy Brice, Kianna Blue, Ash Babb
Vocals & synths recorded by Nick Hudson at The Lament Configuration.
Bass recorded by Kianna Blue at Alfie Towers.
A side guitars/drums recorded by Joseph Thorpe at Brighton Electric.
B side drums recorded by Paul Pascoe at Church Road Studios, Hove.
A side mixed by Randall Dunn at Circular Ruin Studios NYC.
B side mixed by Paul Pascoe at Church Road Studios Hove.
Mastered by Randall Dunn at Circular Ruin Studios NYC.
Artwork & layout by Ash Babb, Cover painting by Nick Hudson.
All lathe cutting and engineering is by Michael Lawrence.
Design by Lauren Winton (Bladud Flies!)
Photos by Carisa Bianca Mellado
“The Academy Of Sun are some of the most exciting musicians currently operating in the UK…. fantastically dedicated, prolific and talented… currently at the height of his creativity” – Stuart Braithwaite, Mogwai
“Nick Hudson…channeling Coil, goes the full Scott Walker” – MOJO Magazine
”A song-suite of liberation, violence and ambition that is rich in promise and dizzying in its potential” – The Quietus
“One of the more intriguing bands out of Brighton… clever, beautiful, ambitious and expansive. Brilliance from the first to final second” – Louder Than War