Some uneasy listening inspires artists

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DON’T expect inFictions to suggest a suitable place to listen to their album.

The Sheffield-based post-progressive rock act of familiar local circuit faces have just delivered the “ambitious and dynamic” Maps Of Revenge And Forgiveness, but seem a tad baffled.

Three years in construction, it is the result of collaborations with five studios, eight drummers and a host of session musicians and arrangers, yet completed on a “microscopic budget for something of its scope and complexity”.

At the core of inFictions are Ed Cartledge (vocals, guitars), Gareth Hughes (bass, double bass, synth, mandolin) and Tom Chaffer (guitars) with cello, brass and more from a vast cast – including artists to interpret the music.

“It felt like a natural progression in many ways to try and involve artists from other disciplines as the album approached being a tangible reality, but it is also an attempt to further clarify and make sense of some of the material we’ve produced,” says Ed.

“Artists are people who are very good at using themselves as mirrors or lenses for the things they experience, for the benefit of others.

“In this case, the experience was a single track from the album and the brief was simply to ‘make visual’ what they ‘found’ in the song.

“Some of the artists have taken this quite literally. Others have found connections and ideas far removed from the songwriter’s original conscious intentions.”

The band says sometimes lyrics can be picked out in the artworks, such as Lee Knights’ image for Orchards.

Others are more abstract. “Perhaps appropriate for an album that is often concerned with hiding away from the complexity of the world and feeling unable to make decisions or act on them.

“We’ve often been asked what ‘genre’ we fit and we’ve never really been able to adequately answer.

“That’s not some pretentious way of saying we’re ‘uncategorisably amazing’, it’s actually quite frustrating not being able to figure out exactly where we fit – we have no clue which radio shows and magazines to try and impress.

“There’s probably no appropriate time to listen to this album: another symptom of its unpredictability. It doesn’t work as cosy background music at a dinner party, it doesn’t work as music to work out to, or get ready to go out to, or to make sweet love to – trying would be funny. You wouldn’t really want it on at work with your colleagues or on in the car with your family. I don’t think you’ll catch any tracks being used on adverts or TV shows – but you never know.

“It’s probably an album to listen to alone, perhaps with headphones.”

The album is available on iTunes and other digital retailers and limited edition CD via