aswekeepsearching – Zia


aswekeepsearching is a refreshing cleanse to the aural pallet. Their latest offering is entitled Zia (Flowers Blossom in the Space). Zia is mostly instrumental with some uplifting vocals from Uddipan Sarmah strewn throughout like wildflowers in a field. The band hails from India and sing in Hindi. To be reductionist, it’s “world music”. So if that’s a genre you dig, then Zia is a perfect album for you.Continue reading


Build A World Part I – Bruce Soord of The Pineapple Thief


With their 10th album, Magnolia (Kscope), Brit prog rockers The Pineapple Thief have given quite possibly their strongest and certainly most instant and catchy album to date. In Part 1 of a 3 part series, Ghost Cult looked behind their new found immediacy and greater critical reception to find a darker undercurrent of loss and despair for frontman and creative leader Bruce Soord.

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There is very little in life that can offer as much emotional and nostalgic resonance as music. Even the most casual of fan will surely have an attachment to certain songs or albums for personal reasons, whether as a reminder of a past event or person, or perhaps as comfort through hardship and adversity; sometimes it seems like a band or artist can spell out our emotions better than ourselves. With their combination of melancholy but overriding positivity, modern progressive rockers The Pineapple Thief are a masterclass in creating music which has can hold poignant familiarity for all.

Latest album Magnolia makes a perfect archetype for their simultaneous blend of both the somber and the uplifting, from the punchiness of ‘Alone At Sea’ through to the closing, heart tugging ‘Bond’. In reality this album holds real emotional gravitas for frontman and main song writer Bruce Soord, written in the wake of the passing of his long and close friend Steve Coe, as Soord explains.

“Sometimes I’m tempted to apologise for the subject matter, the stuff that inspires me to write songs, I’ve made no secret that it’s the darkness that inspires me. When things happen that you can’t put into words, that’s when I pick up my guitar, and obviously when Steve passed away it wasn’t like ‘Wow I’m going to write some songs’ I just found myself writing and the best stuff unfortunately comes from then.”

The tragic passing of someone dear is an experience that anyone can affiliate to, and Soord offers that this is as much a reasoning for the making of such songs as his own healing process: “I think also these universal experiences that everyone goes through, this means they can relate to it. It’s not exceptional, unfortunately life can be pretty shit for people. The reason I write about that stuff is because it’s like therapy for me and I’d like to think its therapeutic for other people who listen to it.”

In hindsight, perhaps the most moving effort on Magnolia is the strikingly fragile closing ballad ‘Bond’, which is clearly Soord speaking directly to his friend. “When someone dies it’s such a strange feeling, there’s nothing you can do, it’s the most final thing in life. It’s that emotion that I found most intriguing, so the final song ‘Bond’ was me desperately trying to find something positive about the death of my friend, and that song is about taking everything, all the experiences he has given me, and taking it forward.”

Despite such tragedy however, 2014 sees The Pineapple Thief in their strongest position to date with Magnolia being received extremely well by both the media and an ever growing fanbase. With Magnolia being the band’s most direct and accessible album to date with only one song exceeding the five minute mark, the question is posed as to whether this album has been an eye opener for a wider audience?

“I think it has, and it will be a slow thing.” Soord offers, before clarifying that it wasn’t necessarily his intention to do so. “People always talk about crossing over as if people are desperate to do it but it really doesn’t cross my mind. I think some of the more cynical people will look at the album and think ‘Well, they are just trying to be more commercial and trying to sell more records’ but that honestly wasn’t the case. If by not scaring people away with ten minute songs, if that gets us more listeners then great, but it certainly wasn’t something that we did on purpose.”

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Words by CHRIS TIPPELL