The Wassail EP contains three new songs (two of which are exclusive to the EP) and a live bonus track, and demonstrate the band confidently expanding its musical palette.
The title track is a memorably melodic and anthemic fusion of folk, progressive and rock musics, while Lost Rivers of London and Mudlarks are evocative evolutions of BBT’s trademark ‘English pastoral’ sound.
The EP is completed by a powerful performance of Master James of St George (live at Real World studios).
Wassailing is a traditional ritual from the West of England, dating back to early-medieval times, to wake the cider apple trees and scare away evil spirits by banging pots and pans and firing a shotgun overhead, thereby protecting the harvest later in the year. Much singing and drinking takes place as part of the ceremony.
Lost Rivers of London and Mudlarks are two of a number of London-themed songs, others of which will feature in future releases. Mudlarks were 19th century scavengers who eked a living from the sale of anything they could find in the mud of the River Thames at low tide. Beneath the streets and buildings of the capital, a number of ancient tributaries of the Thames have been buried. However, as writer Tom Bolton has said, it is hard to stop a river from flowing and the tributaries are still there running under the ground down to the Thames, where the modern-day mudlarks search the foreshore for traces of the city's history.