Caught In The Wake Forever is the work of Scottish based artist Fraser McGowan who hails from the delightfully lovely town of Paisley near Glasgow. Not long back we released the now sold out postcard ep “Sadness & Static” which was a collaboration between Fraser, Karina ESP and Sheepdog. Also Edinburgh based label Mini50 records last year released his ep “All The Hurt That Hinders Home” which featured remixes from the likes of Library Tapes, Fieldhead and Yellow6. Fraser has been recording music one way or another since 1998 and as part of the band Small Town Boredom he released two albums for the London based label The Remains Of My Estate. Fraser’s recent output has been mostly on a solo basis and with Against A Simple Wooden Cross, we’re very excited and honoured to present the first full Caught In The Wake Forever album.
Against A Simple Wooden Cross was born after Fraser suffered a complete mental breakdown last year, following a life-long battle with chronic anxiety. He had to give up his job and eventually his girlfriend and son moved out, leaving him to face his struggles alone. Naturally, he felt destroyed but the one thing he had was extra time on his hands, which he had not been used to before. Previously, his work with music had been a very slow process but suddenly, the one thing he had left was a seemingly infinite amount of time in which to work carefully and unhurried. For six months, Fraser immersed himself in this album and poured everything that he had left into it. At the start of the project he had absolutely no confidence left in himself and as the music began to take shape, he began to tread the road to recovery.
Against A Simple Wooden Cross is an honest account from an artist who was literally starting life again, completely on his own terms for the first time. Naturally the album documents his struggles along the way, opening with hugely personal field recordings taken on a family holiday before things took a turn for the worst. Passages of the material were performed when Fraser was literally out of his mind on medication to treat his illness; other moments were performed after he had discovered more effective methods of treatment. There is a sense of despair, loneliness and melancholy throughout this album as you would expect, but underpinning it in the subtlest way is a faint positive undercurrent, as he begins to find his feet once again, on his own terms.
All profits from the album will go to the Crisis Counselling charity established in 1996 to significantly reduce the barriers and exclusion in mental health care.
Released August 2012
All music by Fraser McGowan
Photography by Chris Gowers
Art direction by Ian M Hazeldine
Also available from Bandcamp:
Futuresequence: “Against A Simple Wooden Cross feels delightfully uncluttered and unfussy, with each track’s genesis gradually unfolding into an absorbing and uniquely autobiographical portrait of specific points along Frasers journey into despair and out along the long road to recovery.”
Meg.ie: “A serious contender for the finest debut of the year so far.”