Here’s a fascinating new project for fans of Talk Talk and Mark Hollis. Seven musicians who were involved in the Talk Talk albums Spirit of Eden, Laughing Stock and Hollis’ solo LP have come together as Held By Trees, led by producer/composer David Joseph. They approached the recording in a similar way as they did under Hollis – emphasising spontaneous improvisation and keeping the best moments for the mix, Held By Trees attempts to both pay tribute to Hollis who died in 2019, and create something fresh in his legacy.
You can definitely hear the looseness, the space and the languid sonic wanderings of the work they did with Hollis. It doesn’t quite have the intangible and otherworldly mystery (that combo of unsettling and comforting moods) that he created in his music but in terms of jazzy post-rock they have wholly succeeded in dialling into the same rarified air, based on the evidence of this track.
Held By Trees are:
David Joseph – Guitar & Piano
Martin Ditcham – Drums & Percussion
Andreas Panayi – Flute & Clarinet
Robbie McIntosh – Dobro
Ben Taylor – Double Bass
Chris Mears – Bowed Guitar
Laurence Pendrous – Harmonium
Held By Trees have released a couple of singles so far in 2021, with an additional ambient version of this track. Word is that a full album is due later this year. I’ve also just noticed that David Knopfler (Dire Straits) has, in the last few days, contributed some guitar parts to the project.