Pixel Wilderness

by firestations

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Limited edition hand-stamped CD-R in card wallet with cover art by Laura Copsey, and a "Sonic Healing Immersion Therapy (S.H.I.T.) - Dream Analysis Vol 1" zine containing drawings, submitted by kind listeners, of images from their dreams. Also, a link to stream/download S.H.I.T. collective sonic improvisations.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Pixel Wilderness via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 3 days
    edition of 50 

      £10 GBP or more 

     

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £6 GBP  or more

     

  • Limited Edition Art Collection and CDr
    Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    We have 25 collections of special artwork editions, created/curated by band member and visual artist Laura Copsey, that expand on the ideas in the songs. She says: "During lockdown, when much of the work for Pixel Wilderness was undertaken, accessing wild places became an even more remote possibility. As a result, this art collection reflects on misremembered landscapes and the power of the imaginary, with physical experience replaced by fantasy". With this super limited edition version, as well as hand-stamped CD-R in card wallet and download, you get:

    - a ceramic mountain, made in collaboration with artist Emily Stapleton-Jefferis, referencing our track ‘Greenmount’ (from the Automatic Tendencies EP)

    - a "Sonic Healing Immersion Therapy (S.H.I.T.) - Dream Analysis Vol 1" tape / zine combo. The tape features 12 tracks of sonic improvisations undertaken by the S.H.I.T. collective in response to dream drawings. The zine contains the drawings, submitted by kind listeners, of images from their dreams.

    - a polaroid, which is a snapshot of a distorted landscape painting titled 'Didn't go to school that day' by artist and outdoor blogger Dan Parnell.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Pixel Wilderness via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Seems like there's enough to worry about And in a few sorry seconds turn around the traffic Close off the lanes before they paint them on again In thick lines, in bright lines, in shadows reconstituted This is not me it's a version of me Moving around in the machine country This is not me it's a version of me Moving around in the machine country Near the waterworks at the top of the forest road Behind the filter beds, a frontier still expanding Trace desire lines, let it drift uncomplicated This is not me it's a version of me Moving around in the machine country This is not me it's a version of me
2.
You are stronger and tougher than you think You're not going down any time soon Sometimes you're gone when you're walking the corridors And the radio plays out from somewhere You're not going down You're not going down any time soon With the sun in your eyes Footsteps mark the seconds You're so sure of the cracks in the floor Someone's breaking through but not without a fight You're not going down You're not going down any time soon With the sun in your eyes You're not going down You're not going down any time soon With the sun in your eyes
3.
It's Unreal 03:56
I don't know how to get there I know it's harder when you try Don't ask me to be someone I'm not Like clouds are mountains in the sky It's unreal I'm unreal
4.
No private space So where do we go when we need to hide Run away Get away from our past lives Catch a train Across a border in the rain We're so far away it's clear But still so near But this house is where we go When we don't want to be alone Though the walls are closing in They won't turn us into stone Oh no Behind these walls They don't notice us at all Different stories with harsher consequences You make the right moves You dance like you've got nothing left to lose The wilderness will call you out And quiet is the new loud But this house is where we go When we don't want to be alone Though the walls are closing in They won't turn us into stone Oh no
5.
This memory state This memory shadow We thought we had escaped Into a new tipping point With a humble reservoir The energy building up for years and years The circular is here The wheel spins Through fragile villages Waiting for the weather to shift In a race to the bottom rung Left out in the summer sun Bleached out disintegrating The circular is here
6.

about

Pixel Wilderness represents the third and final instalment in the Automatic Tendencies EP trilogy. The project comprises three EPs released over a six-month(ish) period – Automatic Tendencies, Melted Medium and now Pixel Wilderness.

Each EP embraces a mixtape aesthetic, by including alternative “sunken” versions by the band as well as covers and remixes of new Firestations tracks by other artists. Band member and artist Laura Copsey has curated collections of limited-edition artworks that expand on the ideas within each release. The lead track from each project has been released as part of Lost Map’s Postmap Club subscription series.

Since their last album The Year Dot, released on Lost Map in 2018, Firestations have refined their brand of conceptual alt-pop, and new songs take a closer look at themes of identity, belonging, progress and escapism. ‘Sun In Your Eyes’ is a song from the early days the band that has existed in various unreleased forms since then, and now shimmers into focus through the lens of the band’s more recent sonic experiments. The message of resilience in the verse “you are stronger and tougher than you think, you’re not going down any time soon”, is questioned by an uneasy backdrop of shifting drones and washes of noise, before being resoundingly affirmed by a strident harmonic chorus “you’re not going down with the sun in your eyes”. The band sound like they are moving as one, possessed and intoxicated by the mantra-like refrain and rolling chord progression.

The EP’s opening track, ‘Machine Country’, is a driving retro-futurist lament looking at the highs and lows of losing your sense of self in the wild hinterland of the internet. ‘It’s Unreal’ continues in this vein, woozy guitar loops and washed-out synth drones framing lyrics about dissociation and the pressures of keeping it together “don’t ask me to be someone I’m not, like clouds are mountains in the sky”. ‘Outpost Index (Sunken Version)’ sees the band continuing their project of taking their own songs and presenting them in an alternative way; this synth-pop track from the last EP is reimagined as an intimate fingerpicked guitar ballad with Mike and Laura’s vocals upfront and affecting.

For the cover version the band have recruited friends and fellow drone-pop travellers The Leaf Library, who have completely transformed Melted Medium track The Circular. Their version takes the cyclical, hypnotic elements of the original and expands them into a cathartic six-minute wave of distorted guitar, saxophone interjections and blissed-out vocals.

The last track on Pixel Wilderness is a remix of Firestations’ 77-minute sonic experiment ‘Dream Home’, by Ocean Moon (aka Jon Tye). As well as being one half of the brain behind independent label Lo Recordings, Jon is also a musician/producer who specialises in spacious, deep and meditative sounds. With his ‘Long Ago and Far Away’ mix of ‘Dream Home’ – a B-side to the ‘Sun In Your Eyes’ single – he has created a shimmering sonic landscape utilising fragments of vocals and basslines from the original.

ABOUT THE ART COLLECTIONS:

For each Automatic Tendencies release, band-member and artist Laura Copsey has been curating collections of limited-edition artworks that expand on ideas and themes within the songs. Each EP in the series is linked to a classical element: Automatic Tendencies water, Melted Medium fire and Pixel Wilderness earth.

During lockdown, when much of the work for Pixel Wilderness was undertaken, accessing wild places became an even more remote possibility. As a result, this art collection reflects on misremembered landscapes and the power of the imaginary, with physical experience replaced by fantasy. The Sonic Healing Immersion Therapy zine contains drawings, submitted by listeners, of images from their dreams; and an accompanying 12 track playlist of sonic improvisations undertaken by the S.H.I.T. collective in response to each drawing.

The ceramic mountain, made with the help of artist Emily Stapleton-Jefferis, references the Firestations track ‘Greenmount’ (from the Automatic Tendencies EP), inspired by a place in Lancashire song-writer Michael Cranny knew as a child. The polaroid, which is a snapshot of a distorted landscape painting titled 'Didn't Go to School that Day' by artist and outdoor blogger Dan Parnell.

credits

released August 6, 2021

Music by firestations
Recorded at home and Otterhead Studios
Mixed by Mike Cranny
Mastered by Antony Ryan at RedRedPaw

Art:

Laura Copsey - www.lauracopseyart.com
Emily Stapleton-Jefferis - www.emilystapletonjefferis.co.uk
Dan Parnell - www.danparnell.com

The Leaf Library cover:

Kate Gibson - vocals
Matt Ashton - guitar
Gareth Jones - bass
Lewis Young - drums, synth
Simon Nelson - baritone guitar, synth
Daniel Fordham - saxophone

Recorded in homes across the south east and Wales

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about

firestations UK

We are a band.

We write alt-pop songs and then mess them up.

Automatic Tendencies EP series out now on Lost Map Records.

linktr.ee/firestations

“Firestations present that sense of worldly vulnerability in synth-driven glimpses of the sublime.” ★★★★ THE LIST

(Photo by Katherine Leedale)
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