Creative Kernow, based at Krowji, is the umbrella organisation for the following nine projects. Together we support the production, promotion and distribution of work by creative practitioners in Cornwall because we believe in creativity's transformative power and want more people to benefit from it.

Chris Cleverley – album release – WE SAT BACK AND WATCHED IT UNFOLD

Date posted: September 2, 2019

Label – Opiate Records (OPI001)
Release date – October 11th 2019

Alt-folk songwriter and fingerstyle guitarist, Chris Cleverley releases 2nd studio album to worldwide audiences on Friday 11th October, contributing to activity surrounding World Mental Health Day 2019.

This body of new work addresses a selection of 21st Century society’s most pertinent, challenging concerns through Cleverley’s incomparable brand of contemporary folk music. Diverse lyrical themes from deteriorating anxious minds through to literary heroines blend with an experimental guitar fingerstyle, akin to Nic Jones & John Martyn, presenting a bittersweet yet uplifting listen.

The departure from debut ‘Apparitions’ (The Telegraph ‘Top 70 Folk Albums, 2015’) is evident in the bold, progressive song structures and influence of North American songwriters Jeff Buckley, Elliott Smith, Anais Mitchell and The Barr Brothers. With BBC Folk Award winning Producer and friend Sam Kelly at the helm, arrangements showcase an all-star cast of UK folk luminaries including Hannah Martin (Edgelarks) and Evan Carson (The Willows), as well as Cleverley’s bandmates from The Sunday Times-endorsed ‘Company of Players’ project.

Twelve original songs centre around a pervasive sense of anxiety afflicting our modern age. Whilst shining an honest light on visceral subjects, Cleverley maintains a balanced, compassionate and hopeful approach, revealing a brave new voice in the ongoing conversation around Mental Health Awareness. Whether offering candid insights into symptoms (A Voice For Those Who Don’t Have One), exploring environmental triggers such as damaging gender constructs (Happy And Proud) and ‘quick-fix’ solutions (I Can’t Take It), or discussing loss of NHS services vital for tackling these illnesses (We Sat Back and Watched it Unfold), a strong sense of frenzy is juxtaposed curiously with the album’s soaring melodic delivery and measured philosophy. And so the timing of the release was crucial to its message:

“It was important for me to release around #WMHD2019. While the album isn’t ‘about’ mental health exclusively, it is certainly the product of a thousand related conversations and testimonies. There’s a lot of lives in these songs and anxiety and panic underpin much of their imagery. It is an album to offer understanding and solidarity to these voices.”

“Haunting” The Sunday Times

“Sheer Stylishness” fRoots

“Meaningful and enjoyable” Maverick ★★★★