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Featuring THE BICYCLE as you’ve never heard it before…
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A modern concept record, SPIN offers up a collection of catchy, indie-folk songs with one thing at their centre, both as instrumentation and inspiration: the bicycle.
SPIN takes the listener on a journey through the last 150 years tracing the bikes evolution and underlining it’s significance as a catalyst of social change. From 19th century women’s emancipation to 21st century consumer culture; from social history to contemporary social comment, parry uncovers little-known female characters from history, locating the personal, contemporary resonance inside each story.
The musical arrangements are built around the bicycle-as-instrument: a vintage 1972 CCM Galaxie bicycle, hooked up to contact microphones, a loop station and effect pedals. Played by percussionist Brad Hart, the bike becomes an evocative and unique contemporary instrument: at times recalling the junkyard soundscapes of Tom Waits, there are moments on the record where you can’t be sure exactly what you are hearing. The natural spring reverb of the vinyl bike seat creates the bass drum tuned spokes play melodies; fenders, pedals, chain and frame all make wildly different sounds when played with hands, brushes or sticks, not to mention the other-worldly effect of a violin bow on the spokes. Sound artist Anna Friz completes the SPIN trio with her array of electronics and instruments, playing everything from the amplified buzz of flashing bicycle lights, to the imbira, accordion, melodica and harmonica.
On some songs, like the catchy She Rides, and anthemic “Progress”, the bike functions as a driving rhythm section, pushing guitars and voices forward. The bicycle also creates sinewy, hypnotic rhythms, heard on the trip-hop influenced “World of Spin” as well as the record’s centerpiece: the 12-minute, radio-play styled “Ballad of Annie Londonderry”. On this song, vintage microphones and turn of the century jingles collide with modern rhythm and melody to create a unique sonic hybrid over which parry spins an unforgettable tale of perseverance and adventure, capturing the essence of this unusual record.