"I Have Committed Murder" is a collection of ten traditional songs from England, Scotland and the United States. Although the musical arrangements are far removed from the tradition, we hope that our treatment of the songs themselves is respectful and faithful. These are folk songs, learned from traditional sources, sung in a folk style and only then obliterated with feedback and distortion.
The Hand-weaver and the Factory Maid
This song was collected by Bert Lloyd in the 1950s, and we learned it from Roy Palmer's book A Touch on the Times. David plays drums, bass and lead guitar, and probably a few other things I've forgotten. Sam sings and plays rhythm guitar.
The Bitter Withy
One of the most celebrated carols in the English tradition, possibly heard for the first time in the disco style. Once again the rhythm section is all David, with Sam playing the guitars and singing.
Sheath and Knife
This Scots version of everyone's favourite incest ballad comes from Bronson's Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads. Just to switch things around, Sam plays bass on this, with David on acoustic guitar and drums.
The Oxford Girl
From the singing of Phoebe Smith via the great Shirley Collins. Sam plays guitar and sings, David is on fretless bass and insects.
At one point most of the tracks on the album sounded a bit like this: a raucous live performance with David on drums and Sam on guitar. Vocals and synth bass are the only overdubs. Again from Bronson, this is the only known tune for this ballad, which we think has never been recorded before.
The Prickly Bush
This, by contrast, is one of the best-known songs in the tradition, although Sam's poor memory for a tune means this version is probably unique. David plays at least ten different instruments.
This was the first traditional song that Sam learned, and remains a favourite. As well as Sam on acoustic and electric guitars, piano and organ, and David on drums, this features our friend David Greeves on pedal steel.
Come All You Fair and Tender Maidens
This comes from a version collected from Rosie Hensley by Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles, and published in their book English Folk Songs of the Southern Appalachians. It's lost a beat or two along the way, or maybe gained some, we aren't exactly sure. Yes, the guitar solo is meant to sound like that.
The Flanders Shore
Nic Jones rediscovered this forgotten fragment of a traditional ballad and introduced it to the world on his classic album Penguin Eggs. Our version is noisier, with David on bass and drums, Sam on electric guitar, and the excellent Jake Hatter on trumpet.
Dives and Lazarus
Another rightly celebrated English folk carol, collected by Lucy Broadwood and widely recorded since. Our version features Nell Glasper on lead vocals and penny whistle, while David's contributions include miniature string instruments!