On 17th May Cambridge quintet Tall Tree 6 Ft Man are to release ‘Boundaries’, their debut long player on Label Fandango. Revolving around the core of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Czerwik, their sublime piano-led indie rock hints at the epic, expansive sounds of fellow Cambridge men Pink Floyd, the pop sensibility of ELO and the emotional power and sophistication of Radiohead. The album will be preceded by the release of the first single to be lifted from it, the reflective ‘40 Bags’, which is available digitally from 8 March. XS Noize is pleased to premiere the track today – listen below.
12 years in the making, the 8 songs on ‘Boundaries’ were painstakingly written and crafted by Jonathan and centre primarily around his almost Roger Hodgson-esque voice and piano, but it is the interpretation of these songs by his band that elevates them and make for an utterly compelling and hauntingly beautiful album.
Signing a publishing deal with Chrysalis and releasing their eponymously titled 6 track mini album (from which the song ‘Tears and Laughter’ was used in the hit TV series Bones) through Pointy in 2005, the band also composed the score for the film Ten Minutes, which won the Paramount Pictures Award for Best Soundtrack for a short film at The Austin Film Festival. More recently Jonathan has been producing other artists, including Alex Highton’s acclaimed ‘Welcome To Happiness’ album, however, it is not until now that Tall Tree 6 Ft Man have released any new music.
“Having spent so many years trying to live up to the musicianship of my all time idol Prince, I dedicated all my time trying to make perfection and not releasing any music! Crazy right… so why it took 12 years to make this record? Mainly because all these songs have been worked and then reworked over and over … and over again, in search for a perfect version!” says Jonathan. Augmented by Jon Clayton (bass), Jen Marco (guitars), Chopper (drums) and with Miss Lee on backing vocals, the irony is that ‘Boundaries’ was recorded live in just a few days, with musicians who had never heard the songs before!
Check out the exclusive XS Noize premiere of ‘40 Bags’ – BELOW:
Having been blown away by Jen, Jon and Chopper’s prog, art-pop band Blusher when he first stumbled across them at Breton Hall Arts College (Kate Bush, League of Gentlemen) in the 90’s, it is no surprise to Jonathan that the recordings clicked straight away, “What they didn’t know is how much of an influence they made on how I heard and imagined music to sound. I knew that one day, even if it was over 20 years later, we’d record an album together.”
Recorded at Jon Clayton’s In Studios in Brixton and hinting at the likes of Neu! and Secret Machines, the resulting album captures the expansiveness of Cambridge’s rural vales while reflecting the shared journey the band have been on over the years. “How glad I am to have pushed so many boundaries, and especially with these guys historically. The result of really hard, bizarre and all so beautiful times”, recalls Jonathan. “Life is only experienced if you discover the extremes. The hard part is being able to pull it all back together when it counts”