Snow Ghosts have announced the release of their third album, A Quiet Ritual, out May 3rd via fabric’s Houndstooth label (pre-order here). The band have also released the brand-new single, ‘Rip’, the first track to be taken from the album.
A chaotic blend of visceral, frenzied energy and haunting lyricism, ‘Rip’ deals with the violence of grief in its suddenness and cruelty. Unnerving discord and pulsating ambience permeate the track, with semi-spoken vocals and powerful instrumentation building to an expressive climax of cathartic release.
The track is the first to be taken from their upcoming album, A Quiet Ritual. Centring on the theme of death, the album seeks to process the shock and grief of bereavement and its aftermath, as well as casting back across history and other cultures for their own metaphors and coping strategies.
The band explain, “’A Quiet Ritual’ maps out stages of the grieving process and how every individual deals with it in their own unique way. Most importantly how they handle their own heart and the other fragile hearts inevitably scattered around them. The song ‘Rip’ is about the initial shock of grief, the effect it has on loved ones and the untimely destruction of dreams.”
Recorded in a castle in the countryside and two years in the making, A Quiet Ritual is written for an ensemble of classical and modern instruments including the carnyx, an Iron Age Celtic boar-headed horn excavated from a bog in Deskford, Scotland. For the carnyx, they enlisted the services of John Kenny, one of just a few musicians able to play the instrument and the first to do so in modern times.
The mix of instruments is indicative of the idiosyncratic timelessness common to this album and all of their previous works: having had a historical context present on their previous albums, the inclusion of the carnyx ties the release together, combining ritualistic themes with an instrument commonly used in rituals or as an offering in ancient culture.
Snow Ghosts are Ross Tones, Hannah Cartwright and Oliver Knowles. Formed in 2008, their musical interests reside in our own time, the beginning of time and all points between. The trio explore the complex weave of the eternal, love, death and nature through the contemporary mediums of genres spanning electronica, post-rock and heavier sounds to create an immersive, physical ambience.