Mark Fry South Wind Clear Sky 2014

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Artist: Mark Fry
Title Of Album: South Wind, Clear Sky
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Second Language Music / SL032
Genre: Indie-Folk, Ambient
Total Time: 36:00 min
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Quality: Lossless
Total Size: 202 mb

Perhaps still most widely recognised for Dreaming With Alice, his 1972 psych-folk debut for RCA Italy as a 19-year-old art student-troubadour, Mark Fry has been turning his creative gaze on the world, and alchemising its elements into shimmering, quietly visionary works of art, ever since.

Certainly not an artist who dances to the music of time in any conventional sense, Mark, a respected, and collected, painter, most often to be found holed up in his Normandy farmhouse studio, allowed more than three decades to glide by before recording Alice's follow up, 2008's Shooting The Moon. His subsequent musical activity has been frenetic by comparison.

Mark's beguiling, Arcadian-flavoured 2011 Second Language album, I Lived In Trees, recorded in collaboration with The A. Lords - musicians from a more recent generation of psychedelic-folk experimenters - proved a major critical hit, demonstrating that Mark Fry's musical stock lay not only in the Paisley-hued haze of his Aquarian Age youth, but also in the full glare of the postmodern, internet-facilitated present.

A series of concerts in Japan and Scandinavia, and a widely reported 'supergroup' London showcase, featuring members of Mercury Rev, Super Furry Animals, Tunng and Lemon Jelly, further evinced the subtle but inexorable diffusion of the Mark Fry legend, something abetted by BBC Radio 4's Today programme airing an interview with Mark in the wake of Trees' release.

All of which brings us to Mark Fry's latest, most exquisitely realised musical offering to date, South Wind, Clear Sky. Sung with that now familiar alloy of cool restraint and wondering innocence, and passingly reminiscent of the kind of English pastoralism associated with the likes of Kevin Ayers or Bill Fay, the album's leanly arranged yet immersive songs are propelled by Mark's glinting, plangent guitars and deliciously embroidered by John Parker's double bass, Angèle David-Guillou's piano and backing vocals and Katie Lang's French horn, all bound together by producer Guy Fixsen (My Bloody Valentine, Stereolab) into a delightfully iridescent whole.

For all its finely honed arrangements, and the translucence of its recording, South Wind, Clear Sky is still very much the work of the man who made Dreaming With Alice; the mature Mark Fry's feeling for wonderment and magic, for the dreamlike and the innocently surreal, is just as pervasive, and persuasive here, only more focused, and etched against a more luminous, even heavenly canvas.

Partly inspired by the work of French writer, poet and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the songs are as dreamy and gossamer as moonlit stratus clouds, but come freighted with deeper meaning, constantly oscillating between ideas of isolation and self-discovery; between flight, in every sense, and high adventure.


1. Aeroplanes (5:03)
2. Along the Way (4:39)
3. Leave Me Where I Am (5:00)
4. Little Flashing Light (4:39)
5. River Kings (3:58)
6. Fall Like a Stone (4:13)
7. Dials for Home (4:23)
8. Long Way Down (4:01)
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