antigen records and Righteous Holler Recordings present
Advent by Rev Simpkins & the Phantom Notes
(b/w Hail to the New King of England)
Released on all major digital platforms on Friday 3rd July 2020, available to pre-order now.
Advent is the second single from the forthcoming Rev Simpkins album, Big Sea: his first LP for 11 years. This rowdy single version, slathered with brass, is different to that on the album. B-side, Hail to the New King of England, has been newly written and recorded during the COVID lockdown. An a off-kilter banjo lament in the tradition of Doc Boggs and Roscoe Holcombe, it draws on the Rev’s experiences of the pandemic as a parish priest.
Scheduled for release this autumn, Big Sea is a 32-page illustrated book and album. A collection of 13 exuberant and eccentric songs written during a time of diagnosis, treatment and recovery from illness, it is a life-affirming meditation on hope during dark times. Big Sea explores the peaks and troughs of life and death through off-kilter songs about east coast creeks, shattering storms, mystic pelicans and the Colchester martyrs. Artist Tom Knight’s illustrations and typesetting of the LP’s lyrics add further life to the striking images and sentiments of these songs.
A Suffolk/Essex-based musician, Anglican priest, and self-confessed ‘sinner-songwriter’, Rev Simpkins’s distinctive sound is a brew of outlandish tunefulness, string-snapping fingerpicking, and sanctified psychedelia. Shades of the Kinks, Captain Beefheart and Pavement meld with church choirs and pipe organs, pre-war Gospel Blues, strings, brass bands, and Bert Jansch style finger-twanged guitar.
Now the fourth generation of his family to be ordained priest in the Church of England, before his ordination Matt Simpkins was a professional musician. He collaborated with Kenney Jones of the Small Faces to reconstruct the orchestral parts of their 1968 psychedelic masterpiece Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake and gained notoriety through his raucous and melodious exploits in FuzzFace and heavy-weight hollering in gospel fiddle duo Sons of Joy. The Reverend’s 2008 LP, Babbler & Crow, and 2009 LP, Lions were praised by the national folk and music press.
Advent is released to download on 3 July 2020.
PRE-ORDER NOW HERE