After first learning about the existence of Manchester-based funk-world-rock fusion collective Caulbearers just last year, we are delighted that they are back so soon with their newest offering – the upbeat grooving single ‘Twisted Cord’, along with its B-side ‘Synching (Bubbling Spring Remix)’. I think our readers will concur with us when we extend a personal message to the band – “Welcome back, friends – this music certainly has a home here”.
Mixed by Seadna Mcphail (Badly Drawn Boy, Jah Wobble, Everything Everything, I Am Kloot, Happy Mondays) and mastered by Jim Spencer (New Order, Johnny Marr, Charlatans, Factory Floor), this follows the slower, more spacious and meditative sound of their 2021 single ‘Burst Through The Borders’ with B-side ‘Solid Supposed’.
With pulsating guitar hooks and distorted drum breaks, the song explores different tonalities usually associated with Flamenco, Arabic music and Indian ragas, enhanced by renowned violinist Olivia Moore (Jason Singh, Stuart McCallum, Suns of Arqa), whose own work fuses jazz with Indian classical music. This track also features such acclaimed Manchester musicians as pianist John Ellis (The Cinematic Orchestra, Stone Roses’ John Squire, Corinne Bailey Rae, Tom Jones, Lily Allen) and bassist Alex Berry (The Earlies, King Creosote, Daniel Johnston, Thea Gilmore, Micah P Hinson).
Fronted by Damien Mahoney, core members included guitarist Anton Hunter(Beats and Pieces Big Band, Article XI), cellist Stefan Skrimshire and drummer Phil Bennett. Somerset-based ethereal folk artist Ruth Blake also contributes vocals in her ongoing collaboration with the band.
The lyrics for ‘Twisted Cord’ explore how intense events in our lives can act like initiations by shaking up, radically changing and enriching our perspectives. Sometimes we need to break down or be broken apart, in order to come back together stronger and with greater understanding. The healing of our wounds over time can transform into wisdom, bringing more colour, depth and detail to the tapestry of our lives.
The song also celebrates the concept of Animism – the belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence – a foundational thread for the varied belief systems of many indigenous peoples, who deeply understand the importance of ritual, ceremony, initiation and connection to nature that the majority of us in the west have forgotten.
‘The songs are rarely stories specifically, but more like moods, deep emotional states or parallel worlds that we enter into, where scenarios, perspectives and protagonists can shift and morph with a dream-like quality,” says Damien Mahoney.
Working with a different artist for each single, ‘Twisted Cord’ showcases original artwork by Ben Taylor, a painter and sculptor who often combines natural materials and up-cycled gems to create incredible, large-scale pieces of work. These reflect Ben’s reverence for nature, plants & magic, depicting some of the profound experiences of ancient spiritual traditions he has been initiated into.
Written, recorded, produced & edited by Damien Mahoney at Padded Cell Studio (except piano & keys recorded by John Ellis at Limefield Studio)
Mixed by Seadna Mcphail at Airtight Studios
Mastered by Jim Spencer at Eve Mastering
Single cover artwork by Ben Taylor
While you are here, we also recommend you explore the stunning earlier-released single ‘Over Comes a Cloud’