“A Death in the Woods” is the lead single from British rock symphony outfit The Magnetic North’s forthcoming album Prospect of Skelmersdale, the second full-length installment from the Erland Cooper led trio - featuring Simon Tong (The Verve, Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, the Bad & the Queen) and orchestral arranger Hannah Peel. Prospect of Skelmersdale continues the band’s series of musical vignettes drawing from its eponymous village.
A mecca of the Transcendental Meditation movement, Skelmersdale, Lancashire was a haven for families to settle and continue their lives enlightenment and mediation. Included amongst these families was The Magnetic North’s own Tong, whose experience undoubtedly provided a wellspring of inspiration as the band worked to inhabit the spirit of Skelmersdale.
“A Death in the Woods” acts as the introduction to the overall motif for both the album and Skelmersdale. The video opens with bright flutes and twinkling guitar bouncing along as we’re introduced to a collection of Super 8 clips of what can be assumed as the titular town itself.
The lyrics feel like a sort of archival account of the initial pitch used to bring people to Skelmersdale way back in the 1960s, as Erland Cooper maintains a soothing timbre over the dream-like melodies. Ambient guitars drift and meander as Erland croons “The New World’s round the corner / They found a new world order,” and the track continues to slowly build sonically with each subsequent verse. The video exudes a sort of utopian uneasiness that comes to a head as the footage shifts its focus on the children from the Skelmersdale community, and suddenly breaks into the mellowest of electronic rampages until the song and video come to a close.
Prospect of Skelmersdale is out 3/18 via Full Time Hobby