Mysterious portals and secret entrance ways into magical other worlds – such are the wonders of childhood imagination, often sourced from the fantastical books, films and cartoons that once fuelled our daydreams and nightmares. This is the territory inhabited by Age of Not Believing.
Named after a line from C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair, their new album Rainbow Plumage, Blue Shadows and Emptiness is an immersive world of compelling field recordings – wind-blown church bells, eerily echoing halls, distant chatter – atmospheric vignettes and disarming, often heart-warming songs. The elements fuse into an ageless story of light and shade, redemption and mystery – appealing as much to adherents of Angela Carter, Roald Dahl or Philip Pullman as to fans of Tom Waits singing ‘Bend Down the Branches’, Sun Ra’s reading of ‘Pink Elephants on Parade’ on Hal Willner’s Stay Awake Disney film music tribute or even the fantasy world conjured by the late Jim Henson in his 1986 musical, Labyrinth.
This is music to accompany little Max as he sees his bedroom transform into a forest in Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, or a soundtrack for Chihiro, the young hero of Hayao Miyazaki’s anime cartoon Spirited Away, as she journeys through an abandoned building into the realm of the fantastic. This is music for those who are equally enchanted by the multi-coloured euphoria of Fantasia and the hiding-behind-the-sofa thrill of Dr Who.
ABOUT AGE OF NOT BELIEVING
Age of Not Believing consists of a shifting cast of wonder-struck musicians under the benign stewardship of sometime radio DJ, podcaster, French horn player, music promoter and self-styled ‘dreamer-in-chief’, Ben Eshmade.
Named after a song by Disney composers Robert and Richard Sherman that will be familiar to fans of the movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Age of Not Believing debuted in late 2013 with an EP, Lantern Waste (referring the lamppost and clearing next to the ‘Land of Spare Oom’, close by the land of ‘War Drobe’, as depicted in C.S. Lewis’s Kingdom of Narnia). The EP’s seductive parallel realm decked out with comfort-blanket Disney classics and affecting, glinting bespoke songs, all of it poignantly orchestrated and infused with the fantastical spirit of Tove Jansson and L. Frank Baum and the redolent musical echoes of Julie Andrews, Angela Lansbury et al.
You can listen to Lantern Waste here.