It might not have occurred to you listening to either The Magic Bridge or the more recent Nothing Important, but there’s definitely a medieval quality to the Newcastle, UK-based Richard Dawson’s music — despite the seemingly-modern personal tales that progress on tracks like “The Vile Stuff.” Lyrically, that particular song was conjured out of a childhood trip that involved a shared alcoholic concoction; but musically, it was one recorder part shy of conjuring images of Dawson and co. dancing around a fire in shoddy, 11th century linens. (The fact that Dawson is English doesn’t hurt the whole “Middle Ages” mystique either — if he was born in the United States, we’d probably be happy to lump him in with the same sort of “freak-folk” movement inhabited by the likes of Akron/Family…not that they wouldn’t appreciate the company.)
Instead, let the gulf get wider; Dawson’s newest album Peasant, out June 2 on Weird World/Domino, explicitly contains narratives that center around Bernicia (or Bryneich), a Roman-removed Anglo-Saxon kingdom from the early medieval period of roughly 420 - 780 A.D. (I confirmed some of this on Wikipedia, I swear).
The video for album track “Ogre” is our first taste of what this far off land looks and sounds like, and, as alluded to before, it seems like a natural evolution. It’s worth pointing out that Dawson professes a metal influence on Peasant as well: “I was thinking about heavy metal a lot when I was making this record - there’s a lot of Iron Maiden in here.” But regardless of your preferred textile, you can pre-order the album now on your preferred 21st century format of CD or (limited edition) vinyl and view the clip and complete tracklisting below.