- Words Louis Rabinowitz
These Brittle Bones has released a thoughtfully urgent new tune, "England".
These Brittle Bones, the musical project of Welsh artist Chris Jones, has carved out a unique place for himself as a thoughtful and meditative student of the world around him – both in terms of the tranquility of the natural world and the tumultuous political climate in which we live.
It’s the latter theme which occupies Jones on the latest offering from These Brittle Bones, “England”. There’s a gentleness to the music – a touch of the ambient which lures the listener into an almost dreamlike state, but an urgency too, as indicated by the slow dramatic build of the music to a more active and cathartic place at the end of the tune. It’s the perfect way to indicate Jones’ ability to stitch together different moods and weave them into something that feels totally cohesive. The song is accompanied by a minimalistic music video featuring an unidentifiable everyman figure viewed from the back as he walks through a variety of English landscapes, fusing the urban and the rural together.
On the song, he says, “I wrote ‘England’ very shortly after the 2019 General Election, in response to an enormous feeling of political failure and a decisive signal for the future of the country. The vision of England outlined in public rhetoric was increasingly at odds with what I was seeing on the streets of London and I wrote the song expressing a sense of dismay at this progressively insular direction of travel. I wanted to write a melody critiquing an image of England as a place of rolling hills with pleasant pastures green, imbued with a sense of nostalgic distance suggestive of the utter ridiculousness of this idea moving into the 2020s. The song’s rolling melody and slow tempo were written with an eye to evoking a sense of yearning for an impossible ideal, creating a sense of pathos for those left behind in the very attempt. The visuals for the song brought out this idea more explicitly. It began with a very simple concept: following a neutral observer as they walk through a pastoral, country scene reminiscent of this mythical England, continuously juxtaposed with the same observer seeing the shortcomings of this idea in an urban environment. This continuous contrast between the two scenes is meant to evoke a sense of the true divisions in this country: the competing visions of politicians and its inhabitants and the stark differences between appearance and reality.”