Kittiwake Cry

by Jay Sunaway

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Announcing our new single ‘Kittiwake Cry’, out now on Upcycled Sounds.

It’s taken from our forthcoming EP sparrowfeather. Where 2018’s Earth Hum EP was centred on technology and modern life, sparrowfeather is about place, history, and memory. ‘Kittiwake Cry’ is inspired by coastal walks over burial grounds in East Anglia, and combines West-African influenced electric guitar style with lush string arrangements from Limpet Space Race’s Hannah Jakes.

The meandering lyrics about time and place were inspired by the Sebald novel The Rings of Saturn, and all the bird imagery was taken from Adam Nicholson’s fantastic book The Seabird’s Cry: particularly the chapters on squalling kittiwakes and flustering fulmars.

The song is represented in one of three post cards commissioned from collage artist Rebecca Loweth: "Reveal and conceal, appearance and disappearance, these words are key to the thinking behind this work and link to my fascination with Roland Barthes’ concept of the ‘seam’. Barthes describes the seam as being the site of both loss and of desire. I am interested in playing with the tension of the edge or seam by working with folding to collage."


That was the kittiwake cry
Like I’ve never heard it before
Like I’ve only heard it in writing

It cares not a splash in the lake
For all of our shadow and doubt
For all of our uproar and slighting
Says I must be good
I must be brave

That was a drop in the wind
That was me dropped like a stone
Dropped like a fulmar in fluster
I must be good
I must be brave

We have been walking and squawking for hours
We’ve cut down the trees and we’ve trampled the flowers
We’ve dug up the old king and scattered his bones
We’ve woken his ghost in our turning of stones

Follow me follow me home
We can be back before dark
Follow me follow me home

I must be good
I must be great

Black and white or not at all
Better far to take a fall
Feathers ruffled but alive
Better far to take a dive

We have been walking and squawking for miles
We’ve tilled the dry earth and we’ve kicked down the stiles
Among all the old kings, asleep in their graves
When we could be wintering over the waves


released July 26, 2019
Written by Joe Woods
Arranged by Jay Sunaway
Artwork by Rebecca Loweth

Hannah Jacobs: Accordion, Vocals
Will Palmer: Bass, Vocals
Anna Parino: Violins, Vocals
Eddy Spirit: Drums
Joe Woods: Guitars, Synth, Lead Vocals

Recorded and Mixed by Nicholas O’Brien, Upcycled Sounds
Produced by Upcycled Sounds
Mastered by Felix Davis at Metropolis Studios




Jay Sunaway London, UK

The UK's foremost space-folk collective

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