Video Premiere: Arborist “Alabaster Skin”

Photo credit: Aaron Cunningham

Belfast’s Mark McCambridge, also-known-as Arborist, once again demonstrates his fine songcraft on the third single from ‘An Endless Sequence of Dead Zeros’, which is due for release on 21st April 2023.  Matthew E. White produced Arborist’s new album at Spacebomb Studios in Richmond and the collaboration proved so successful that the recording experience was captured in the video for ‘Alabaster Skin’.  The footage from Andre Mags, edited by Tristan Crowe, provides a spellbinding glimpse of the recording process and is artfully put together for the visual.

McCambridge says of the song: “I didn’t want any guitar on the track.  However, after a few run-throughs it all felt a little naked and the piano a little exposed, so Matthew came-up with the idea of passing my piano signal to guitarist, Alan Parker’s, Microcosm Hologram pedal and allow Alan to tinker with it in real-time during the take.”  It’s this experimental approach that transforms ‘Alabaster Skin’ from an excellent piano ballad is to something so much more: a beautifully ethereal experience, a sonic dream that transports the listener out of themselves.  There are textured layers, provided by the Spacebomb house band, and we are swept along deeper currents of Schuyler Slack’s cello, Daniel Clarke’s Hammond B3.  Above these depths and Pinson Chanselle’s fluttering percussion, the soaring sounds of viola, violin and McCambridge’s keys, like droplets of sound, are truly hypnotic.

The song was written during recent riots in Belfast and McCambridge says that this was an example of, “The older, bitter generation stoking hatred in the young, only to realise that they are not of the same mentality, their minds not as poisoned.”  Like the songs on previous albums ‘Home Burial’ (2016) and 2020’s ‘A Northern View’, ‘Alabaster Skin’ tackles challenging themes with great sensitivity.  It’s absorbing; it’s hypnotic; it’s strangely uplifting.  Enjoy.

About Andrew Frolish 1439 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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