“An album bigger and more ambitious than their debut, but just as lovely and melodic.” The Guardian
Stornoway’s second album, Tales From Terra Firma, is an album of stories – birth, death, marriage, coming of age: The Big Stuff. Out 8 March 2013 via 4AD/Remote Control, the songs were mostly
written in a camper van in land-locked Oxford but on listening, the yearning for adventure and the freedom of the coast and wild places is palpable.
As is true of classic songwriting partnerships, lyricist Brian Briggsʼeloquence coupled with his crystalline voice unite with Jon Ouinʼs stunning arrangements and alchemise to form a musical mirror. Tales From Terra
Firma reflects powerful life experiences, the great outdoors and the passing of time, which is a major theme of the album. And with that, Stornoway have self-produced a record that marks a new sophistication in
compositional and, in particular, lyrical qualities, while still retaining the charm of their debut that so many fell in love with.
And so to the songs themselves. Brian suggests: “The title of the album conjures up for me, the romantic notion of an adventurer, exploring new lands and reporting on his experiences. Discovering what it is to be human
and an enthusiasm for adventure, which I feel is true of me.” This notion was seized upon by drummer Rob Steadman who worked in conjunction with artist Kirini Kopcke to bring an action-adventure sensibility to the
albumʼs artwork. Inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Hergé and Ukiyo-e and using the ligne claire style, the aim was, as in the songs, to contrast the drama and adventure of the high seas with something very rooted in the real world.
Bass player and other band multi-instrumentalist Oli Steadman transformed into the bandʼs “super geeky esoteric experimentalist” as well as tutor to Brian in the finer points of learning Logic. Oli and Robʼs parentsʼ garage in
Oxford became band HQ: Stornostudios. It was here that they together brought Tales From Terra Firma into being. Whilst the band strengthened their grip on experimenting, arranging, song writing and the accompanying
artwork; the majority of the tracks are simple, melodic pop songs that are warm and inviting and quintessentially Stornoway.
Stornoway are : Brian Briggs, Jon Ouin, Oli Steadman and Rob Steadman.
Stornoway – Tales From Terra Firma is out 8 March 2013 via 4AD / Remote Control