Penguin Cafe announced last month the release of their Antarctic-inspired album, Handfuls Of Night, and shared the first magnificent taste from it, ‘At The Top of The Hill, They Stood…’. Now they are offering a second glimpse at the new material with new track ‘Chapter´ and a single-shot accompanying video, filmed in New York. Of the video, Penguin Cafe´s Arthur Jeffes says:
“’Chapter’ is for me one of the big tracks on the album. We got into this mindset where we were creating cinematic story lines for our imaginary penguin protagonists – and this one was a lot of fun to make.
There’s a hint of 70’s cop-show about the main motif with the double push in the bass line and we got this idea of a hard-boiled detective-penguin, with a leather jacket and a cool car in New York. The video totally goes with that feel for me.
I love the idea of a familiar landscape being gradually moved into an imaginary, almost dreamlike version of itself – and the slow build in the video hit this exact note.”
Take a look at the video now.
Handfuls Of Night is out on October 4th through Erased Tapes.
Two years on from the release of the wonderful The Imperfect Sea, Penguin Cafe have a new album on the way. Entitled Handfuls Of Night, the record is inspired by the Antarctic and its penguin residents, and the idea first sprouted when Arthur Jeffes was commissioned by Greenpeace to write four pieces of music, each for a different breed of penguins. He explains:
“This record started with a core of pieces I wrote specifically about penguins in the Antarctic for a project with Greenpeace in autumn 2018. There are four native Antarctic penguin species – each with their own individual characteristics and natures. I carried on from there to envisage a whole anthropomorphised world, where these penguins had narratives and adventures that we soundtracked.”
But Handfuls Of Night and Penguin Cafe as a project go back more than a decade before that, as Jeffes carries on explaining:
“In 2005 I was asked to join an expedition re-creating Scott’s last Antarctic trip in 1911 for the BBC, using the same Edwardian equipment. I’m no explorer but I was keen, especially as there’s a family link – Scott was married to my great grandmother before she married my great grandfather.
Antarctica by this stage being a protected environment, we swapped to the Arctic circle where we spent 3 months on the Greenland ice sheet, first dog-sledding and then man-hauling just short of 1000 km at 10,000 feet, across ice fields and glaciers.
I had lots of time to ponder my life back home. It was then that I decided to get my Master of Music degree and focus on composing music, and also then that I realised that even in the most remote silent places, music can still be a huge part of one’s internal world and imagination. Whilst on the expedition. I spent days playing things back in my head and also writing new things, which I would then try and write down at the end of the day.”
We’ll have to wait until October 4th for the release of the album through Erased Tapes but we can already hear the first magnificent taste from it, ‘At The Top of The Hill, They Stood…’.
This Friday will see the release of Penguin Cafe‘s new full-length album The Imperfect Sea, a dance record played with acoustic instruments.
The ensemble of Arthur Jeffes had already shared ‘Cantorum’, the first magnificent taste from the record. With only three days to go till the album drops, Penguin Cafe are enticing us again with the marvellous and radiant opening track, ‘Ricercar’. Listen to it now.
Penguin Cafe have announced their return, with a new album, The Imperfect Sea, arriving on May 5th through Erased Tapes. Arthur Jeffes started the ensemble in 2009, reviving and honouring the legacy of his late father’s Penguin Cafe Orchestra. The album takes its title from a saying by Simon Jeffes that “we wade in a sea of imperfections…”. Arthur explains:
“If there is a narrative to the album it’s coming to the acceptance of the imperfections in all aspects of life; moreover, the recognition that these imperfections and tiny randomnesses are in fact what make up the best parts”.
On The Imperfect Sea, Penguin Cafe delve into newer territories, offering a dance record played with acoustic instruments.
“For this album I wanted to effect a departure from where we’d been up to now. The idea was to create a musical world that would feel familiar to an audience more used to dance records but stay true to our own values. So we replaced electronic layers with real instruments: pads with real string sections, synths with heavily-effected pianos, and atmospheric analogue drones with real feedback loops ringing through a stone and a piano soundboard.”
Made up of mostly originals, the album also features covers of electronic works by Simian Mobile Disco and Kraftwerk, as well as a re-working of Simon’s ‘Now Nothing’.
The wonderful news comes paired with the first taste from the album, the magnificent ‘Cantorum’. Here it is.