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about

SEED - The Album:
SEED is the third album from Freedom To Glide and completes their anti-war trilogy which began in 2013 with RAIN followed by FALL in 2016. With SEED Freedom To Glide have brought together every aspect of their unique sound to produce a very focused and personal concept album based around one man's experience of 1918 - the final year of World War 1. Musically, Freedom To Glide take you on a cinematic journey through their now familiar sonic landscape of layered synths, evocative acoustic guitar, atmospheric piano and soaring guitar solos.

SEED - The Concept:
On leave from the war at the beginning of 1918, a soldier, struggling to come to terms with the fact that the war seems to have no end in sight starts to conclude that his death is inevitable. Fearing this may be the last time he sees them he tells his family to prepare for the worst. In the months that follow he realises how much the war has cost him, his family, his friends, indeed all humanity. As his thoughts turn outward to the wider world he encounters an ‘enemy’ doctor carrying a fellow soldier back to safety. The two talk and find a mutual respect for one another as the futility of war stares them square in the face. With the end of the war now in sight they find a ray of light in the black of the war, a seed of hope that maybe peace is within reach?

credits

released May 31, 2019

Andy Nixon - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keys.
Pete Riley - Piano, Synthesizers, Organ.

With guest Louise Wilson (KAFKADIVA) - Additional vocals on "The Space Between The Lines" and "Seed Of Hope".

REVIEWS:

From Steve Chilton of Kafkadiva:
I remember when Freedom To Glide first started happening. At the time both Pete and Andy were in the same Pink Floyd tribute band as me. I, and the rest of our band, would commonly see those two guys stay behind after a ‘Dark Side Of The Wall’ rehearsal discussing their latest collaborations. From small acorns and all that.

They are my friends and that is something I’m naturally proud of but it plays no part in my opinion of the music they produce. That simply transcends our obvious connection. In fact, I’m rather fortunate that they are my friends because not only are they two genuinely lovely fellas, I may not otherwise have known about their music! From the very first EP release, then the exciting debut album RAIN, the subsequent EPs and xmas releases, and through to the amazing sophomore album ‘FALL', Freedom To Glide have continually produced music of an amazingly high standard. I listen as a musician myself, it’s impossible not to, but most of all, I listen as a fan of quality music. What I always love about their releases is that every one is carefully thought out, the narrative is never less than 'bang on the money' and without fail, makes you think and draws you in. Importantly, it’s always accompanied by a musical creativity that never fails to astound me. The music is always arranged, performed and recorded with such quality and attention to detail, it’s hard to think these guys aren’t full-time professionals. Given so much of the output that we get on a daily basis from mainstream media outlets it’s a massive bug bear to me that these guys are not household names and renowned artists in their own right. That’s where I am with Freedom To Glide. Love their music. End of. So, given that starting point it’s always exciting to encounter a new release… but that is always tempered by the wariness of wondering… will this next one be up to the usual standard?

So, onto SEED. The culmination of their three album trilogy dealing with the human impact of war, and most especially the brutal, and often pointless carnage that was World War One. This album is a triumph in many ways, and also a conclusion to this particular part of their story. What they do beyond this point remains to be seen. Maybe live performances, maybe a new album with a different subject matter. Who knows? The point is that Seed is here right now… and demands attention.

The most apparent thing that strikes you is that this album involves a narrowing down of the narrative. The first two albums dealt with many aspects of war and it’s impact on us as human beings. This album instead focuses on just one human being. An interesting path to take, and also to be honest, a surprising one, as I was expecting them to broaden the story. However, in doing this the emotion is even more close to home as you soon realise the personal impact on one man. One of millions. And also to his family back home. The opening track ‘Seed’ prepares you for what’s to follow. ‘Holding On’ is an immediate highlight for me. Classic Freedom To Glide containing a ‘to die for’ hook coupled with amazing lyrics finding the soldier at odds with being home on leave and the conflict in his own mind that causes. ‘No Turning Back’ continues this theme, preparing his own son for the possibility he may not return. ‘Undertones Of War’ kicks in with a sublime bass grove that wonderfully underpins this track. The “pouring rain” is no weather forecast. Every drop has a name. ‘The Right Within The Wrong’ is a tough listen in so much as it’s harsh and pleading, perfectly describing the soldier’s inner turmoil. Powerful both lyrically and musically, particular the ascending chord sequences towards the end.

A breather now as the atmospheric keyboard signature of ‘The Space Between The Lines’ changes the mood. The guitar solo in the middle is sparse and melodic, but absolutely perfect. Then you get the ‘hit you full in the face’ moment… an unbelievable change in the dynamic leaves you on the floor. Just when you think “wow, that’s awesome”… it grows more awesome. The lead guitar coupled with a truly powerful performance and arrangement of backing vocals (supplied by the talented Louise Wilson) create a soundscape that defies the earlier part of the song. Then the resolve. A truly amazing piece of work.

The previous two albums featured a beautiful acoustic guitar based track. Andy does us proud again with ‘The Only Way’. The story of the German doctor (previously explored on the first album) is the perfect way to describe how basic humanity can cross the divide of war. Moving in the extreme. ‘Escape To Survive’ is a song of hope and again proves how good Freedom To Glide are at coming up with a memorable melody on the chorus. I confess I find myself singing along with this one! A special mention too for the beautiful guitar work that closes the track. Immediately you’re transported into another mindset with the opening of ‘One Day’ with it’s haunting background and piano from Pete. The optimism of the lyrics are all the more powerful for their brevity. This is a perfect example of what makes a ‘Freedom To Glide’ album what they are. ‘When That Day Comes’ is not afraid to make its point and whilst the hope of an end is in sight, it questions and points the finger at the perpetrators of the horror.

‘Broken Road’ is another stand-out track… and quite how you can have such a thing on an album like this is a separate question! The road in question is the one taken as the guns fall silent but one loaded with memories that will haunt his life forever. The chorus again is wonderfully catchy, melodic and memorable. Plus, there’s yet another reference to the ‘rain’ for those of us familiar with the first album. Love that.

‘Dear May’… is explained in that first line. “This is the note I’d hoped you’d never read”. It’s heartbreaking. No words do this justice. Simply listen. Finally the album closes with the appropriately titled ‘Seed Of Hope’. Vocals provided again by Louise this track provides the final killer blow. Gazing out at a ‘stone for every name’ they are ‘the endless fallen rain’. The circle has been competed.


Every album by Freedom To Glide has told a progressive story. ‘Seed’ is that journey completed but it’s also full of individual moments of brilliance that make the album able to comfortably stand alone. This is no ‘part 3’. This is a must-listen album it’s own right. ~ STEVE CHILTON

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Article by: Rob Fisher:
I have spent the majority of my working life in higher education. For the best part of 35 years I have grappled – and have been a guiding companion in helping others to grapple – with the ways in which it may be possible to make sense of the bewildering diversity of artistic cruelty human beings seem capable of effortlessly inflicting on each other.

One approach is to consider the sheer scale of the numbers involved. Over the course of the last century alone, well over one hundred million people died as a direct of violence. WWI – circa 9 million (military), 7 million (civilian); WWII – circa 48 million; Stalin’s programme of collectivisation – circa 14 million; the Korean War – circa 5 million; the killing fields of Cambodia – circa 3 million. And on. And on. And relentlessly on, even in our new century. Nor do these figures include individual and social acts of brutality and savagery.

Unfortunately the shocking truth these numbers reveal highlights the key weakness of taking this approach. The numbers quickly become incomprehensible. Overwhelming. Numbing. Too much to take in. There is just no way of getting a meaningful handle on the sheer depths of the agony and anguish the numbers represent; they defy explanation and too easily the suffering of those who went through it becomes distant and depersonalised.

The other approach is precisely that taken by this truly outstanding third studio album Seed from Freedom to Glide and marks the concluding chapter of a trilogy which started with Rain in 2013 and continued with 2016’s Fall. Andy Nixon and Pete Riley have created a musical experience which is simply breathtaking in the way it opens the doors to remarkable levels of penetrating insight, which in turn pave the way for genuinely gut-wrenching moments of emotional empathy.

Never before have I reached for a pause button so frequently as when listening to this album. There is a gentle but disturbing sensitivity which underlies the lyrical ingenuity of this release that hits home again and again with heart-breaking poignancy and force. If you want to talk about war, if you want to come one step closer to understanding the unspeakable, unbearable horror of what people went through on the battlefields, if you want to remember them, then this is precisely how you do it.

A snippet of a song jumps out and catches your ear: the imagery, the allusions, the delicate beauty of the song’s story physically jolts you to a halt. As the resonances begin to ripple out from the point of impact, you find yourself sitting there on the verge of tears as the full force of the emotional realisation well and truly sinks in of the awful, senseless state of resignation and despair these soldiers – these sons, brothers, husbands, lovers, friends – felt as the sun rises and falls on yet another sodden, deafening day of fighting in a foreign land.

To pick out individual tracks would be a horrible injustice to the tight and organic conceptual as well as musical vision that flawlessly threads its way from opening chapter to aching conclusion. Yet I would point your attention to four particular episodes which mesmerise with a clarity and a focused purity the immense foresight and imagination which underpins this release.

The Right Within The Wrong is steeped in the most tragic sense of unravelling self-certainty, the unfettered questioning of everything you hold dear as you sink into the morass of moral ambiguity from the everyday sights and sounds all around you. The plaintive plea and desperate holding on to certainty repeatedly asserts: “I’m not broken”, but is tested in the heat of battle “with every ounce of steel / That finds a fate to seal / Another crack appears”.

The enthralling and elegant acoustic of The Only Way? tells the story of an ‘enemy’ doctor crossing the lines to bring an ‘enemy’ soldier back to his comrades. The unabashed humanity is “A ray of light passing / Through the black of war” and forces the recognition of what we have in common: “You, like me, will bleed when you are torn and it’s / Clear that we would both prefer to talk than kill so / Much more to lose than they could ever hope to gain / It’s not the only way.”

Infrequent moments of humanity feed fleeting seeds of hope. Yet even here, the lament of Broken Road is loud and clear: “Broken road carry me home / To the life could have made / On the path we should’ve laid / Broken Road lead me away / From where my brothers lie / Where truth and reason died.”

Dear May is staggering in the bewitching simplicity of the final message it conveys from “this distant broken land”. “You’ll hold our memory close as we fade from view / This war must never claim me as it’s hero / I belong to you.”

Seed is magnificent. It is devastating in the range of its emotional sweep, humbling in the profundity of the insights it enables and majestic in the way it flawlessly presents a holistic musical experience. This is, without doubt, a contender for album of the decade and should be mandatory listening for anyone who is grappling to understand what it is human beings are capable of doing to each other. ~ ROB FISHER

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Track Name: Seed
Are they symbols of our blind faith?
Are they symbols of our failure?
So many seeds of hate
Have fallen on this ground

And as we send them to the sky
They scribe a perfect arc of madness
We'll see them sown before
We ever her their sound
Track Name: Holding On
Left the line and made it home again
How do I spend these precious days so many ties to mend
Like being paroled from your own prison cell
And following on this kind of heaven with some kind of hell

I’m holding on to every grain of hope that I can find
And holding back every doubt that preys upon my mind

See the stillness from the waterside
Letting it flow through every memory that today untied
Choose a stone that makes an easy throw
Into the centre of the water watch the ripples grow

I’m holding on to every grain of hope that I can find
And holding back every doubt that preys upon my mind

All I’m thinking while I’m there is home
Now that I’m here and I can see how much the kids have grown
A ray of hope suggests and end in sight
Maybe the other side will feel the same and see the light

Holding on to every to memory that’s so dear to me
And holding back the bitter truth that seems so clear to me

Holding On, Holding Back, Holding On, Holding Back

The more they ask me the more I’m lost for words
Looking for answers chasing reason like a flock of birds
Seems like home is now the foreign land
Maybe it’s just too much for anyone to understand

Holding on to every to memory that’s so dear to me
And holding back the bitter truth that’s oh so clear to me

I’m holding on, Holding Back, Holding On, Holding Back

Keep us in the dark we’ll lose our sense of wrong and right
(Tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the bitter truth)
Maybe someday we will find a way to shed some light
(Tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the bitter truth)
Track Name: No Turning Back
Holding on
(Tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the bitter truth)
Holding back
(Tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the bitter truth)
Holding on
(Tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the bitter truth)
Holding back
(Tell the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the bitter truth)

Listen son there’s something on my mind cuts me at every turn
I need you to know
Every step I take will lessen any chance of my return
Won’t be long before I go

No turning back from the promise that we made
No second chance
No looking back on this endless road we’ve made
No second glance

Take my hand son look into my eyes you need to understand
I may not return
Behind the vail of your brave face, reflected in your anxious eyes
My bitter lesson learned

No turning back from the promise that we made
No second chance
No looking back on this endless road we’ve made
No second glance

They cast the line we took the bait we are the nation's loyal sons
We swallowed hard we stepped up only to be fodder for the guns
Straying from the path of reason led us down the road to war
How many children must she lose before a nation cries “no more”

No turning back from the promise that we made
No second chance
No looking back on this endless road we’ve made
No second glance
Track Name: Undertones Of War
As I walk between the faces
Of the trenches to the frontline
To familiar exchanges
Of the bullets and the five nines
They pull me back to this world
I'm like a stone into the water
All the new and nervous faces
Soon to be acquainted with the slaughter

Still we face each other in this pouring rain
Still we pay with life for every inch we gain
Still we wonder if our lives could ever be the same
While the undertones of war
Seep into the very core
Of your soul

As I walk between the faces
Of the trenches to the frontline
To familiar exchanges
Of the bullets and the five nines
They pull me back to this world
I'm like a stone into the water
All the new and nervous faces
Will soon be acquainted with the slaughter

Still we face each other in this pouring rain
Still we pay with life for every inch we gain
Still we wonder if our lives could ever be the same
While the undertones of war
Seep into the very core
Become the keepers of the door
To every soul

Still we face each other in the pouring rain....

And now the time we waited for
Is here to wake the keepers of the door
This endless road, this endless war
The endless rain that falls on this killing floor
The face of every man I see
Another Mother's eyes are staring back at me
And as the son begins to fade
This heavy price will seal this bitter trade
Track Name: The Right Within The Wrong
I’m not broken but the cracks are plain to see
I’m crossing lines and dogs of fate are haunting me

And every word that flows from this pen onto this page
I get to feel the place that I belong
And every day I’m here I feel further from
The road I should be walking on
To find the right within the wrong

We’re alive but we don’t live from day to day
We just survive among the wreckage and decay

And every word that flows from this pen onto this page
I get to feel the place that I belong
And every day I’m here I feel further from
The road I should be walking on
To find the right within the wrong

We took the longest trail
To see the logic fail
And then the cracks appeared
With every ounce of steel
That finds a fate to seal
Another crack appears

I’m not broken but the cracks are plain to see
I’m crossing lines and dogs of fate are haunting me

And every word that flows from this pen onto this page
I get to feel the place that I belong
And every day I’m here I feel further from
The road I should be walking on
To find the right within the wrong

The right within the wrong
The right within the wrong

I’m not broken but the cracks are plain to see
I’m crossing lines and dogs of fate are haunting me
We may be alive but we don’t live from day to day
We just survive among the wreckage and decay
Track Name: The Space Between The Lines
An hour before the dawn
We open up our day
The calm before the storm
The black before the grey

The watchers gaze
As the night begins to fade
For any sign
Of a move to be made

I can’t escape the sound
That echoes through my mind
No answer could be found
In the space between the lines

Where the watchers gaze
As the sun is on the rise
For any sign
Of life between the lines

SOLO

And I fix my gaze
To a moon on the wane
In a clear sky
Above, this pouring rain

I can’t escape the sound
That echoes through my mind
No answer could be found
In the space between the lines

Echoes through my mind
The space between the lines
Echoes through my mind
The space between the lines

Echoes through my mind
The space between the lines
Track Name: The Only Way?
You came to save and you
Carried the weight as you
Crossed the line to bring our brother home
A ray of light passing
Through the black of war
For every life you save you risk your own

You, like me, will bleed when you are torn and it’s
Clear that we would both prefer to talk than kill so
Much more to lose than they could ever hope to gain
It’s not the only way

Dehumanized by the High Command we are
Trained to see you as the evil foe
But I can see by your selfless action you are
Another brother I should get to know
You, like me, adore your wife and children we are
Led to believe that we are fighting for their lives
Take this cigarette let’s work on that connection
It’s the only way

We so weary of this war it’s taken so much life
Cuts to the core of every soul clean as a butcher’s knife
You feel the guilt of being the only one who’s left alive
Was this the only way?

If I could I’d walk away I’d find a way back home
See angels fly once more before another falling stone
But all I ever see is flying steel meet flesh and bone
Was this the only way?

This thin veneer we call humanity has fled this life
No shred of doubt no grain of truth could ever make this right
We’ve never seen so many shadows in such failing light
Was this the only way?
Track Name: Escape To Survive
Over sees of complicity
Through fields of regret
Down roads of uncertainty
To the streets of unrest

Like a city under siege
Our defences will break
As our options are closing
Only one we can tak

Over the fences and over the walls
The hope that would keep me alive
Over the borders and over the land
We need to escape to survive

We’re not prisoners of conscience
We’re not prisoners of war
But this conspiracy of silence
Makes us bolts to the door

Over the fences and over the walls
The hope that would keep me alive
Over the borders and over the land
We need to escape to survive

Over the fences and over the walls
We need to escape to survive
We need to escape to survive
We need to escape to survive……

Over sees of complicity
Through fields of regret
Down roads of uncertainty
To the streets of unrest

Over the fences and over the walls
The hope that would keep me alive
Over the borders and over the land
We need to escape to survive
Track Name: One Day
The only real escape we can make
Is to steal some time from our conscious minds
See between the lines
Looking through the grey
To a better way
One day
One day
One day
One day
Track Name: When That Day Comes
We approach an unfamiliar road
Our spirits fly high at the end of the wait
Feel the lift of that familiar load
And a sense of our minds shifting from hope to faith

We’ll live our lives beneath this shadow
That we know will never quite fade
Some will make their name
While they shift the blame
When that day comes

What kind of justice could play a role
Blind ambition and greed, the conviction to win
Left with this brutal and savage toll
While the answer just hangs like a noose in the wind

We’ll live our lives beneath this shadow
That we know will never quite fade
Some will make their name
While they shift the blame
When that day comes

Who’s watching the watchers?
Who’s guarding the flame?
Who’s watching the watchers?
Who’s placing the blame?
Who’s taking the upperhand?
Who’s looking for proof?
Who’s claiming the moral ground?
Who’s telling the truth?
Who’s watching the watchers?
Who’s guarding the flame?
Who’s watching the watchers?
Who’s placing the blame?

Left with this brutal and savage toll
We laid down our arms we were headed for home
The promise that distant horizons hold
With the future of so many souls set in stone

We’ll live our lives beneath this shadow
That we know will never quite fade
Some will make their name
While they shift the blame
When that day comes

We’ll live our lives beneath this shadow
Track Name: Broken Road
First the left and then the right
Marching blind into the night
It seems like a lifetime ago
I was older they were young
Trained to use their given gun
They were loaded and ready to go

Now the word is we are done
And judging by the silent guns
That day may have come

Broken road carry me home
To the life could have made
On the path we should’ve laid
Broken Road lead me away
From where my brothers lie
Where truth and reason died

From the deck they’d see the land
Racing minds and gun at hand
They’d soon find how true was their aim
And with the changing of the wind
The sound of distant guns crept in
To the lives that could be never the same

We couldn’t find the sense in war
Or see an end worth fighting for
Though that day may have come

Broken road carry me home
To the life could have made
On the path we should’ve laid
Broken Road lead me away
From where my brothers lie
Where truth and reason died

We’ll carry the scars from the cuts that run so deep they’ll never mend
We’ll be caught in the vastness of the wake of a war without an end
We could drown in a sea of regret and a tide we could never stem
And return to our homes where our spirits have lane
Suspended in time since the days before the rain

Broken road carry me home
To the life could have made
On the path we should’ve laid
Broken Road lead me away
From where my brothers lie
Where truth and reason died
Where truth and reason died

Broken Road carry me home
Broken Road carry me home
Carry me home
Carry me home
Track Name: Dear May
This is the note I’d hoped you’d never read
But if it’s in your hand….

It’s taken every one of us from someone
You’ll hold our memory close as we fade from view
This war must never claim me as it’s hero
I belong to you

I watched you every moment I could find
Never more than just a heartbeat from my mind

Our baby, she’d be sleeping on your shoulder
Our brave son holding on to his Mother’s hand
You’d catch my eye, I’d catch my breath
From this distant broken land
Track Name: Seed Of Hope
Are they symbols of our love?
Are they symbols of our failure?
So many stolen souls
A stone for every name

And as I gaze across the land
I see a perfect scene of sadness
The seeds of hope that died
In endless falling rain

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