the cruellest months is a loose collaboration between me, Bruce Lawson, and other musicians and friends. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a lot, listen to and make music in many places. (This photo was taken when I was having sitar lessons in Udaipur, India). I’ve written many songs during my time living and travelling in Thailand, India, Turkiye, Indonesia, Nepal and Cambodia, and I love to combine inspiration and sounds from diverse traditions to make something new.
Tony is a member of the art-pop trio Silverlake and an old schoolfriend of Bruce’s. He is the knob-twiddling rhythm section/ prog rock consultant, laying down most of the bass and drum patterns in the cruellest months. He does all the engineering and producing, cunningly quietening most of Bruce’s nastier guitar solos. But his most important contribution is suggesting instruments and parts that Bruce wouldn’t have ever thought of, and which make the songs better: il miglior fabbro.
Bruce and Tony in their old band, The Lucies, many years ago.
Female vocals are by Rose Sélavy and Shruti. Drums on Sweet Sadie Sings by Joe Montague from the Isolated Drums series at All You Need Is Drums. Honey-tongued Shakespeare reading on Aquamarine by Richard Crowest, whom you should hire for voiceover work or acting. Asphalt or Cinnamon contains a sample of “Save My Soul” by Wimple Winch. Akka Maha Devi contains a sample of Sanam Marvi singing “Hairaan Hua” by Sufi poet Sachal Sarmast. Enheduanna contains an extract of Janette Yacoub reading Enheduanna's poem “Nin-Me-Šá-Ra” by (used with kind permission of the Enheduanna Society).
You can listen to the full albums, but here are a few songs from each to show the range of stuff.
You can listen to these beauties on Bandcamp. Or even buy them!
Calling For The Moon
Debut album of songs written while living in Thailand, India, Turkey. Released August 2022, 10 tracks.
High Priestess’ Songs
An album of songs about women who have inspired me. Cover design by my daughter, Alex Lawson (which she tattooed on me). Released May 2023, 12 tracks.