Findlay Napier and Megan Henwood are the Story Song Scientists, making more Story Song Science music with a quirky inspiration and chemistry.
Release Date: 29th October
Label: Dharma Records
Format: CD / digital
We’ve been well aware of Findlay Napier through his Glasgow and Very Interesting Persons work as well as his involvement with Shake The Chains. Megan Henwood too after encountering her perfromance during one of the english Folk Expos. The duo have teamed up before to produce 2019’s Story Song Scientist EP and tour.
Interspersed with five soundbites – Specimens 1 to 5, another five tracks reveal the results of studies of five different science themed stories. The real life events range from clouds to volcanoes, from blood to explosives. Each is given a musical treatment which is similarly varied. A cool and jazzy lounge blues accompanies “the year without a Summer” – a lovely musical optimism on a topic which revolves around climate catastrophes.
And all hail to the Ode To The Man With The Golden Arm that celebrates the gift of life given by Australian James Harrsion whose blood contained a potent antibody to protect unborn babies. he’s a character who would fit perfectly on Findlay’s Very Important/Interesting Persons – one of our understated heroes of modern times. The tale is given a lovely little acoustic treatment that’s a perfect illustration of the humility of the piece.
Lo And Behold goes all crooning Richard Hawley / mournful country and western. It’s a clever little piece which demands close attention as Siri and Alexis go into virtual battle. A love song for two machines and for trivia and pub quiz buffs, the title is from the very first words sent over the internet in 1969. Slightly less tongue in cheek, yet given another incongruously charming and mellow soundtrack is The Anarchist Cookbook, based around William Powells’ collection of recipes for explosives, weapons and illicit drugs. The knack of enveloping some of the most horrific of subjects in gentle little tunes.
We end on a light note with Megan explaining “how all cloud related things sound poetic” and quoting the Cloud Appreciation Society manifesto while the “head in the clouds” cliche comes in the lyric. An equal rights for clouds philosophy and they have a point in reinforcing how evocative a lovely cloud formation can be. Given a dreamy and wistful backing, it concludes an atmospheric and low key yet thoughtful collection.
To steal a phrase from that very manifesto, life would be immeasurably poorer without projects like this. Let’s hope the duo get back into the lab as soon as, as their source material must surely have plenty of unexplored research possibilities for the Story Song Scientists.
Here’s the duo doing The Shepherd from the first EP:
Megan Henwood online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / other