The Fernweh was created by three musicians, Jamie Backhouse, Ned Crowther and Austin Murphy, who had worked together in various bands (The Zutons, Candie Payne, Smokey Angle Shades, 747s, The Stairs, Edgar Jones and The Joneses, Alessi’s <st1:state>Ark</st1:state>
) and wanted to make a record that reflected their shared love of British folk and psychedelia.
The eponymous debut album brings together a collection of songs that are broad-ranging in their scope, colour and mood, examining nostalgia, whimsy, memory and loss through a distinctly British lens, a creative strand that runs through many of the group’s influences: Anne Briggs, Frederick Delius, Basil Kirchin, Oliver Postgate, The Zombies, Barry Hines, Fairport Convention and Joy Division.
Recorded in an old telephone exchange in Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire and various attics in Liverpool, the album seeks to explore the apparently contradictory nature of the beauty and brutality of Britishness (a paradox which is also evident in the powerful photographic album artwork by the band’s friend Robin Dale) with reflections on the Morecambe Bay cockle picker disaster (‘One Hundred Flowers Bloom’) and the internal turmoil of Billy Liar (‘Next Time Around’).
Performed, recorded and produced by the band, the album features many guest appearances from distinguished musical friends: Rozi Plain (This Is The Kit, Rozi Plain), Alessi Laurent-Marke (Alessi’s
<st1:state>Ark</st1:state>), Marianne Parrish (Low Chimes), Mirabelle Gilis (Miossec) and Graham Mushnik (Orchestre du Mont Plaisant).