The first U.S. issue of a full-length solo album by Martyn Bates, the stunning vocalist and founding member of Eyeless in Gaza – originally released mid 1997 to accompany the similarly titled book of lyrics – and has been unavailable commercially until this HAND / EYE release.
Comprising new interpretations of songs extant 1982-1995 hitherto unheard, Imagination Feels Like Poison is primarily a collection of songs (occasionally threaded through with fleeting ”illustrative atmospheric” sketches); a music brightly bittersweet, conjuring up ghostly and vivid invocations of folk/psych. Voice and, perhaps surprisingly, Banjo (an unusual choice for Martyn Bates), are the principal instruments that carry this music, a skeletal, simplistic music, deftly coloured and fleshed out by inventive use of Autoharp, Percussion, Whistles and Pump Organ.
Constituting totally solo recordings (co-produced and engineered by Eyeless In Gaza’s Peter Becker), this collection bears the distinct air of the highly personal/autobiographical, with dedications and references to the authors family. Luxuriously melodic, easily side-stepping lazy characterisations of genre, the album extends and elaborates upon Martyn Bates’ previously explored musical endeavours … quiet fire; filigree and mercurial, silvery images.”