Back in February Liam Frost announced his retirement as a solo artist with new projects promised rather than him disappearing from the scene altogether. In Chrysalis is the first track from the first of those projects - The Fountainhead - and Liam's voice is of course instantly recognisable, the musical direction has changed from his three solo albums. The Bandcamp exclusive version is an early "home version" mix of the forthcoming debut single.
The track starts with twittering birds and atmospheric sound effects that build and then entwine themselves around an electronic beat and strings. Lyrically it's still as reflective and personal as his solo work, with references to dreams of romantic encounters in Stevenson Square to the reality of cleaning up his dog's shit at midnight in his yard, but more sonically widescreen and ambitious in scale - clocking in at well over six minutes.
We had a chat with Liam about the track and the different approach he took to recording and why he's decided to branch out under a new name.
"After the final solo shows there was always going to be new music even when I announced the final show quite dramatically, it wasn't intended that way. The idea was to do new stuff under a new name for a multitude of reasons but primarily because this feels different to what I've done in solo outings so I felt it needed a new name. I'm erring on the side of making it not obvious that it's me, so it seems like a new thing, but I'm always fighting against the fact my voice is recognisable and people are going to know it's me, particularly in Manchester."
"This was my contribution to the GMCA Artist Relief fund and it was a micro-commission relating to the response to COVID. It was mostly recorded at home on my own on my old Mac bar the higher bass part that sounds like a baritone guitar that was recorded by Sam Morris (of Alfie) and the strings. They kicked on the making of the track because they feel like the central hook. There wasn't a guitar part or a vocal at that point so it was a really inspirational moment when it dropped into my inbox from a guy called John Purton who's part of the Up North Session Orchestra and who I've collaborated with as far back as 2006 when I played two shows with a quartet at the Royal Northern College Of Music and The Spitz in London."
"The drum programming, the bass, the synth bass, the guitar and the vocal, the backing vocals are all me - and that in itself is exciting because The Latchkey Kid album felt like a collaboration, a lot of the arrangements were done by Roo (Walker). I lost sight of my ability as a recording artist and a musician a little and I forgot I could play guitar just because I know so many people who can do it better than me, but I think it's come out really well."
The Fountainhead is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The single is available to download on Bandcamp with all proceeds going to the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Centre in Manchester.