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01 Orienteers 4:13

My Sad Captains

@ Cargo, London, 9 February 2012

It was in a self-imposed exile from the band’s London base, alone in a borrowed house in San Francisco, that Ed Wallis, singer and songwriter for My Sad Captains, wrote much of the material for the band’s second LP Fight Less, Win More. Returning to England, the band – Jim Wallis (drums, keyboards, vocals), Nick Goss (guitar, sonics) and Dan Davis (bass) – decamped to the Cornish countryside and a barn full of chickens and bugs to track the album. Sleeping in the loft by night and reveling in the barn’s huge acoustics by day, together the band brought the album to life: adding the moments of unexpected creation that come when a group of people work so closely together.

Over the past few years My Sad Captains have performed live at SXSW, End of the Road, the Bella Union stage at Hard Rock Calling and The Great Escape amongst others, as well as live on 6 Music and XFM. Following the warm reception of limited 7” singles for Fortuna POP! and White Heat, their 2009 debut album Here & Elsewhere was released on Stolen Recordings. It was hailed as “a melodic indie classic in the making” by Rough Trade, where it was an Album of the Month.

My Sad Captains are a band who have grown in both ambition and restraint. The album is a snapshot of a band now exploring a bigger and richer musical landscape. Melancholy pervades. The Captains have become sadder, but morale has not collapsed. They are less apt to push their forces ‘over the top’ and into a big, crowd-pleasing chorus. Instead they concentrate on small but meaningful tactical advances. They fight less, but win more