Hey everyone! We have a new video for one of our tunes called 'Floodplains'. It's a track off our new album 'Mirabilia' scheduled for release on November 13th 2016.
Whalebone HQ sits on a gentle promontory of red sandstone overlooking the water meadows of the River Severn in South Shropshire. The landscape is always in motion, flocks of migrating birds, blowing trees, scudding clouds, and the constant pull of the river flowing through the centre.
In some seasons, the river is a peaceful, twinkling presence, but at other times of the year it is an unruly and intimidating neighbour, spilling out of its bed and transforming the meadows into an enormous lake, with only a sinister seething underneath to show where the treacherous deeps are.
Having lived, written and recorded next to the river for years, it is inevitable that we are always aware of it. The studio building has been in place for more than two hundred years, and in all that time it has never been affected by flooding; the builders of the nineteenth century were aware of the river too, and were respectful and wise in their positioning. However, both up and downstream of us are many people who haven’t been so lucky.
Travel a dozen miles in either direction and you find Ironbridge to the north or Bewdley to the south, both of which have suffered terrible and destructive flooding in recent years and both of which now regularly rely on a complex set of flood barriers and other prevention measures to keep them dry.
It seems to us that the flooding here has been getting worse and more frequent in the last decade or so. And this story is repeated up and down the country, not just on the Severn. The Ouse in Yorkshire, the Cocker, the Derwent and Eden in Cumbria, the Lune in Lancashire, the Tyne in Northumberland and Tyneside, Boscastle in Cornwall, the Somerset Levels, all have seen unprecedented destruction from flooding in recent years.
The reasons for increased flooding are clearly complex: global climate change, increased building on floodplains, changes in agricultural practice, decline in ancient management practices such as hedging, ditching and dredging. And it can be hard in Britain, which after all is such a relatively benign country, to shake off the idea that man’s works are immutable and permanent in the face of the forces of nature. It is easy, perhaps even more so now in an age of ever-faster technology and more and more ways to distract and insulate ourselves from the realities of life on earth, to lose the sense of connection with the natural world that used to ensure balance prevailed. But water is frightening.
Spend a day watching the rise and sweep of a tidal estuary, feel the push of a current stronger than you are, and most people will experience at least a frisson of elemental fear. Massed water says: ignore me at your peril.
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