The Quietened Journey is an exploration of abandoned and former railways, railway stations and roads, a reflection on them as locations filled with the history, ghosts and spectres of once busy vibrant times – the journeys taken via them, the stories of the lives of those who travelled, built and worked on them Nature is slowly reclaiming, or has already reclaimed, much of this infrastructure, with these testaments to industry and “the age of the train” being often left to quietly crumble and decay.
The Quietened Journey is both a celebration and a lament for these now faded links across the land, of the grand dreams and determination which created them and their layered histories that – as these asphalt ribbons, steel lines and stone built roads once prominently were – are threaded throughout the twentieth century and even back to Roman times.
The blog, record label and publishing house A Year In The Country rounds off another busy year with its third themed compilation of 2019; featuring ‘Thrown Open Wide’ – quite possibly the heaviest and most abrasive Howlround track of this year or any other. I had originally planned something much more sombre and reflective for my contribution, a tribute to ‘The Dandy’, a long-closed railway line near my home town that I’ve walked down hundreds of times, usually in the company of various family members and at least two or three dogs. It’s a beautiful spot and still relatively tranquil, despite the bypass that tears through the middle of it, so I had intended to create a more reflective, bucolic piece – something that would sit comfortably alongside the twinkling enthusiasm of childhood hero Bob Symes and the sombre, sepia-tinted 80s docu-series The Train Now Departing. However, as is so often the way with my tape machines, I got the exact opposite: ‘combustion, wreckage, rust, rage, anguish’. I thought it best not to argue. Also features music and by Pulselovers, Sproatly Smith, The Séance, Widow’s Weeds, The Heartwood Institute, Keith Seatman, Grey Frequency and more. Limited CD and download now available, order your copy here.