Sparked by an interest in the craft of solo performance, Islet member Mark Daman Thomas’s latest project Farm Hand takes his musical explorations into a more solitary terrain, drawing inspiration from his homeland in the sparsely populated hills of Mid-Wales. Freewheeling and full of deep, cyclical melodies, Farm Hand’s debut LP International Dreams, due Friday 3rd November 2017 on Shape Records, was recorded in a barn studio on the working family farm of Pontvane, Radnorshire, with producer Rob Jones (Sweet Baboo, Slow Club). It is a reflection on the realities of rural life, built on car boot beats, field recordings, loops and second-hand organs.

Most of the recording was done in spring, which coincided with lambing. I was going out to the shed every couple of hours to check on the sheep and help birth lambs when necessary, ” explains Mark, warning, “I wouldn’t recommend it. It might sound romantic but it was somewhat distracting. The two things don’t marry up too well.”

The latest Farm Hand video ‘Solution’ above, finds him in a more twilight and ponderous mood being filmed on the road between Glascwm and Colva in Powys. Explaining the origins of the mysterious ‘Precision/Solution’ chant, Mark Daman Thomas says: “The song is a hybrid of my two inner monologues. I often repeat the phrase ‘precision, precision, be precise’ to myself to remind myself to be more precise in my decision-making. I also repeat the word ‘solution’ to prompt myself to find solutions to problems, instead of just ignoring them.

International Dreams tracklisting:
International Dreams
Happy Landings
Nettle Soup
New Kitchens
Moving Hills
Fall Into Flight
Search Engines
I Hope She Knows

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