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Having released their debut album in 2011, Autumn Chorus were in the process of preparing their follow-up when Robbie was diagnosed with cancer in late 2014. The resulting treatment meant that the album was put on hold and the band, at least as a collective of friends and musicians, was essentially disbanded.
On reflection, Robbie tells us: "I was diagnosed with cancer in October 2014 and this made writing and rehearsing together almost impossible due to regular chemotherapy. Making solo music since then has become slow, but it's also now more poignant to me than ever..."
“Snake in the Grass” is the first track to emerge from these solo sessions, a stunning piece of orchestral folk rich with emotion and lyrical light. It's a transportive three and half minutes of masterful songwriting, classic production and moving lyrics.
"It's about the contradiction of good and bad within these times. Obviously there is the sinister side of something lurking in the background, ready to cause disruption, but also it's about acknowledging the joy and blessings we have that can consume any sadness and win out. The last line then resolves the sheer love and gratitude I have for my wife who I believe has kept me alive, and given me a lifetime’s worth of love and support in just a couple of years."
If your brother weighs heavy, then why won't you put him down?
When there's a scourge amongst the family, that will hide in the lowest bough, my dear...
Why can't all things to joy?
Why can't all things lead to, all things lead to joy?
If the levy's forever, we must hide all our children now.
If the serpent head marries to the lines of our beaten brow, that's what I fear...
Oh she said "It's like a pain in the side of my head is formed, of wasted joy in a time that would fascinate The Maker's boy."
Oh he said "I can't imagine all the things that have gone before, I waited night after night in the shadow of a broken voice."
Oh I heard of a light that was under my nose, and it would shelter the child from the family curse I'm sure.
Oh he said, the pain is brushed away.
Thank you light, I've returned to joy.
released November 14, 2016
Written and performed by Robbie Lloyd-Wilson
Additional strings by Sephine Llo
Produced by Robbie Lloyd-Wilson
Mastered by Clive Painter
Artwork by Thomas Feiner