The GOLDEN DREGS – ” Before We Fell From Grace “

Posted: January 20, 2023 in MUSIC

The Golden Dregs (aka Benjamin Woods) is releasing a new album, “On Grace & Dignity”, on February 10th via 4AD Records. Now he has shared the album’s third single, “Before We Fell From Grace,” via a music video. Joe Wheatley directed the black & white video.

Hailing from Cornwall – a county in south-west England that draws thousands of tourists on holiday, and where thousands of locals could never hope of affording one – Woods grew up with a keen awareness of that gap between idealism and reality. The Golden Dregs’ third album, “On Grace and Dignity”, considers his home and what it means to be shaped by a place – in this instance, Truro, Cornwall’s capital, home to a rare three-spired cathedral, a peaceful river and a lot of empty shops and flimsy out-of-town housing estates. Written, recorded and produced by Woods from his South London home and childhood bedroom in Truro, it was mixed by Ali Chant (Perfume Genius, Aldous Harding) who provided additional production.

“On Grace and Dignity’s” origins lie in winter 2020 when Woods lost his job in lockdown and moved back to his parents’ house. The only work he could get was as a labourer on a poorly run building site on the grimmest outskirts of Truro. “It was such a bleak winter – waist-deep in mud digging holes and rolling out turf on top of building waste, really grim stuff, which became the backdrop to the stories I was trying to write,” he adds, citing Raymond Carver, Lydia Davis and Richard Hugo as influences.

In among the personal reflections on loss of innocence and inferiority, Woods spins subtly interweaving narratives about survival, desperate acts of violence, loss and the limitations of community in the face of rapacious gentrification. Nevertheless, it is, appropriately for an album about home, somewhere you’ll want to spend a while. Life here proceeds at a graceful pace grounded by Woods’s deep voice, which seems to resonate from his feet as he delivers the sort of meticulously written lunar wisdom worthy of Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner, or the tidy yet revelatory koans of Silver Jews’ David Berman.

For the “On Grace and Dignity” artwork, he’s commissioned Bristol-based model-maker Edie Lawrence to construct an HO-scale fictional Cornish town. Christened Polgras, the 8 ft by 4 ft model features a viaduct, an estuary, a supermarket, new-build houses and industrial buildings; every song from “On Grace and Dignity” is represented by a scene in the town. “There’s different parts of the experience of growing up in Cornwall in there,” he says. “Some of it was from me looking at it when I was down there that winter, and some of it was me harking back to the experience of growing up there. It’s defined by that sense of duality, of coexisting realities,” he explains. “You’re geographically so far away, and it has a strong identity of its own, as well as a different landscape. It’s so rugged and bleak, but beautiful – which is what I really like in music.”

Upon announcement of the new album in October, Woods shared its first single “American Airlines,” .Then in November he shared the album’s second single, “Sundown Lake”.

The Golden Dregs’ previous album, “Hope Is For the Hopeless”, came out in 2019.‘On Grace and Dignity’, out 10th February via 4AD Records.

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