NEW ALBUM: Running In Sunlight

It’s time to launch our second album, ‘Running In Sunlight’, released 27th November.

We recorded this one last year, putting the finishing touches (and an eleventh hour song!) on in early 2020, even doing a bit of lockdown-based collaboration in the late stages of production.

Running In Sunlight – album artwork by Simon Thomas, Photini Knoyle and William Thomas

The record is, in contrast to our first one ‘everything is on hold’, almost entirely acoustic-based with more stripped back instrumentation. The smaller scale production perhaps made the songwriting process a bit more impulsive and stream of consciousness, and I think that has led the music and lyrics to a different kind of place- maybe slightly stranger at points and more straightforward at others.

At the end of 2020, the songs now feel more relevant than they did last year, with many of the subjects we’ve explored – societal division, climate change, the warlike rhetoric of politicians and the precariousness of creative endeavour – being highlighted by all that’s happened this year. But I hope the album has a wider meaning than that. The songs are an attempt to resolve inner conflicts and find some kind of beauty in the feeling of powerlessness this world can often inflict on its inhabitants.

We are releasing this album digital-only on the excellent site Bandcamp. If you are a health worker we are giving out free download codes.

[clears throat]

You may, however, notice the absence of the full album on Spotify, Apple, Amazon and pretty much anywhere else. It’s unlikely to be a permanent decision, but is fully intentional. As a band with a small profile, there is a very limited impact to any kind of stance we take (to the extent that it almost feels pompous pointing this obvious fact out). But “what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?”.

There’s journalism around the subject and several burgeoning movements, such as Tom Gray’s #BrokenRecord campaign, but the fact remains that a music track currently needs to be played around 2,760 times on Spotify to earn you an hour’s worth of the UK Minimum Wage. This works out as requiring 46 people a minute to press ‘play’ on your track. Don’t forget to divide that revenue between all the people who were involved in creating it.

If you walked into a record store and bought a local musician’s CD, you’d reasonably expect about half your cash to go towards reimbursing them for producing it and for the joy that music would bring you in future, with the shop taking the remainder. If the person at the cashpoint casually told you that 99.99% of your money would be redirected towards Ed Sheeran because, ‘well, he did make us the majority of our revenue this month!’, you might think about going to a different shop next time.

This collective accounting system is currently how Spotify works and there is no reason why it has to be this way. As individuals, we subscribe to streaming platforms so we can listen to the artists we like. A decent and fair proportion of the revenue they take from us should be going to the artists we individually choose to listen to.

Anyway, enough about the release format. We hope you enjoy the songs.

New album and album review

It’s quite unusual to announce an album with a review of said album, but what is 2020 if not unusual? Many thanks to Steven Spencer, blogger at A Little More Vodka, A Little Less Milk, for a heartwarming write-up of the second full Sandtimer album, Running In Sunlight, which we’re releasing on Bandcamp *tomorrow morning*. If you’re a health worker, drop us a message to get a free download code for the album.

Read the review here.

Yongo / 四五 and Canadian Boating Song double A-side released

We are proud to present the latest two songs from our upcoming second album, Running In Sunlight. This new double A-side single includes Yongo / 四五, an electronic-infused song about societal division and false nostalgia, and Canadian Boating Song, a contemporary arrangement of a traditional song from the early 1800s.

Find the songs on Bandcamp, Spotify, SoundCloud and most other sites.