Wednesday, June 24, 2009

United Bible Studies CD Out Now!

Time to catch up with a lot of news, starting with this release.

It's been a while since we've had something new to offer our fine customer base, so we're glad it's a very special release, close to our hearts, and hopefully, very soon, yours. This won't be in the shops for a month or so yet, but for mailing list and web customers, it's available right now.

Artist: United Bible Studies
Title: The Jonah
Cat No: CAM084CD, 10 tracks, 49:49 mins approx

About the band:

Originally formed in Ireland as a duo with an unhealthy desire to emulate the Incredible String Band, UBS quickly evolved into a collective and laid the groundwork for the Deserted Village label and associated activities. Since their formation in winter 2001 they have played and recorded sporadically-never settling on one recording method, or on one line-up. Previous CD "The Shore that Fears the Sea" showed a love of the unadorned beauty of Shirley Collins, Anne Briggs and Vashti Bunyan, Current 93 and Coil.

Live shows throughout Ireland and Britain and most recently the USA (Including Terrastock '08) have seen them wildly improvise with up to twelve members, or play straight trad as a trio. Standard rock instrumentation is bolstered with theremins, fretless banjos, accordions, bugles... whatever comes to hand... Their philosophy is that all paths are equal, all approaches relevant. Members have sometimes met on stage for the first time.

Though inspired by Irish folk, UBS have always seen themselves in a global context. They've had a slew of releases on microlabels across the planet and have invited many like-minded artists to tour Ireland with them including Avarus, Fursaxa, Corsano/Flaherty, Black Forest/Black Sea, Circle, Sunburned Hand of the Man and Josephine Foster. "The Jonah" is their third formal studio album, after "Stations of the Sun, Transits of the Moon", and "Shore…", and the first to garner international release.

About the release:

Camera Obscura is proud to be able to present to the world the follow-up to the band's masterful "The Shore That Fears the Sea" (Deserted Village 2006), and it's a cornucopia of sonic delights, traversing the spectrum from delicate folk to sprawling progressive rock.

The album title is a reference to the James Herbert novel where a "Jonah" is a cursed person who brings bad luck everywhere, and is also the title of the 16 minute avant/progressive folk suite that forms the record's centerpiece. Richard Youngs' progressive rock project Ilk provided the impetus for the band to make a "Prog Album" (which was the working title) so they started with the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink opus "The Jonah". It was the first track recorded for this album during a two week burst of industry and creativity when the band locked themselves away in Mullingar. David's imagery for the first section was partially inspired by the Vin Diesel film Pitch Black and it takes flight in all kinds of different dream directions from there. Running the gamut from delicate acoustic guitar to Sunn 0))) style doom metal and back again, it's an extraordinary feat of the imagination.

Around this central track, a range of shorter tracks orbit, typically acoustic or folk-rock in nature with occasional experimental flourishes, they are characterized by glorious melodies and arrangements and a peerless array of guests. Current 93's Richard Moult provides synth and very David Tibet like vocals to opener "The Swallowing", and help out with the space folk piece "A for Andromeda". Ex Mellow Candle singer Allison O'Donnell provides vocals for several tracks, including the climactic conclusion to a Dave Colohan and Sharron Kraus duet version of the traditional "Lowlands of Holland". Sharron's stamp is elsewhere as well, playing tin whistle on "Veilsong" and her unique parlor guitar was borrowed to bring instrumental "Mirror in Clerkwell" to fruition.

With a sound like expiring infant suns weeping for worlds they'll never warm, "The Jonah" should appeal to lovers of the likes of Espers, Black Forest/Black Sea, Sharron Kraus, and Nick Castro, as well as darker matter like Current 93 and Sol Invictus.

Check out some sounds:

Go to and select "Sounds" from the menu. Or visit:

Price US$15.00/AU$22.00 including shipping.

Method of payment accepted outside Australia:
Go to: to purchase on-line via Paypal. There is a link on the home page, as well as on catalog and release info pages.

If having trouble ordering via Paypal through the site, send us your Paypal address, and we can send a invoice direct to you.

Method of payment accepted within Australia:
Paypal (use the US$ or AU$ options), Direct Debit, Bank Deposit (use the AU$ cost of $22.00).

For direct debit, bank details are:
Bank Name: Westpac Banking Corporation
Account Name: Camera Obscura Records
BSB Number: 033018
Account Number: 133347


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