Wandering English troubadour and multi-instrumentalist Justin Grounds has had a restless 2 years of touring and writing and now offers his long-awaited new record Francesco, released on his own label Exploding Tree Records. Written and recorded on his epic journey through Europe, America, Canada and Australia, Francesco explores a deeper journey with themes of lostness and belonging, distance and time. With a guitar, some recording equipment, a camera and some notebooks, Grounds' set off from England with no agenda but to try to live the songs and let them guide his path, time and again finding himself drawn to the marginal areas of society; drug addicts, the homeless, the mentally ill, places which reveal the hidden treasures in the everyday mess of life. The final song on this eclectic record, recorded in front of two microphones in a dark Canadian studio at midnight, seems to sum up all that has come before it; "Time...it brings jewels and it brings pain/And sometimes they're the same." With a degree in electro-acoustic composition and life spent immersed in music, poetry and painting, Grounds' voice and heritage spans the spectrum, from Beethoven to Buckley, and with his cast of collected musical friends; adding the sounds of French horn, accordion, 'cello, double bass, percussion, guitars from Hawaiian band The Girlas, and the other-worldly vocals of Canadian singer Karly Warkentin, this is a haunting and exquisite record that seems to hark back to the poetic voice of an earlier age.
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