Led by multi-instrumentalist/DJ Pete Cunningham, the expansive collective Ishmael Ensemble have been creating a stir with their cerebral jazz psychedelia. Cunningham and his people first whipped up a storm with their debut EP Songs For Knotty last year and now they're kicking off a series of 7" releases inspired by Bristol with the Severn Songs 1 (which dropped July 29) and then Severn Songs 2 (due Oct. 26). Just a month and a bit after the first edition, we're already looking ahead to volume 2 with new track "Tunnels".
The rolling, heady jazz instrumental takes its inspiration from the Rivers Severn and Avon that course through the city and its surrounding vistas, expressed via nods to Bristol's long and storied musical history. Slight hints of the late '90s 'Bristol sound' can be heard woven into it via the hypnotic rhythm section of percussionists Rory O'Gorman and Jackson Lapes, while Cunningham's trippy sax, Jake Spurgeon's synths, and Stephen Mullins' and Fred Brooks' guitar playing gives the song an almost pastoral feel. Despite consisting of only two tracks, Severn Songs 2 feels as though it crams in a great deal more than that. Take in the record's opening track below.
"Tunnels" is taken from the Severn Songs 2 7". Pre-order it here.