Captivating, ethereal and majestic, Mammal Hands (saxophonist Jordan Smart, pianist Nick Smart and drummer and percussionist Jesse Barrett) has carved out a refreshingly original sound from a disparate array of influences. Drawing on their love of electronic, contemporary classical, world, folk and jazz music, Mammal Hands take in influences including Pharoah Sanders, Gétachèw Mekurya, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Sirishkumar Manji.
Formed in Norwich in 2012, one of Britain’s most isolated and most easterly cities, Mammal Hands have forged their own path away from the musical mainstream and their unique sound grew out of long improvised rehearsals. All three members contribute equally to the writing process: one that favours the creation of a powerful group dynamic over individual solos. Their records are entrancing and beautiful affairs, while their hypnotic live shows have seen them hailed as one of the most exciting bands in Europe as they push their unique line-up to the outer limits of its possibilities.
Mammal Hands’ fifth studio album ‘Gift from the Trees’ offers a fresh perspective on the unique trio’s singular music. The first to be recorded in a residential studio, the band enjoyed the opportunity to go late into the night searching for a deeper, more organic experience, closer to both their writing process but also their trance-like live performances. While some of the music was pre-composed and had even been performed live, the band also enjoyed the opportunity to improvise ideas in the studio.
Gift from the Trees is out now on Gondwana Records.