Vox Liminis' Distant Voices project is a fascinating musical and artistic offering
- Craig Angus
- 17 April 2018
Admiral Fallow's front man Louis Abbott talks about the new project that collates Scotland's lesser heard stories and gives them a platform
The cogs are turning in Louis Abbott's head, as the Admiral Fallow frontman considers the dozens of sessions he's been involved in with the charity Vox Liminis. 'They're all in my head quite vividly', he says. 'If I thought about it, I'm pretty sure I could reel off all of the songs I've co-written. The characters and people just stick in your mind.'
Abbott is here to talk Not Known At This Address, the first full-length album released through Vox Liminis' Distant Voices project, a series of songwriting workshops that, as the name suggests, tap into lesser heard stories from society's fringes: the album's ten tracks are comprised of collaborations between some of Scotland's most renowned songwriters and people with first hand experience of the criminal justice system. With contributions taken from sessions dating back 18 months, the end result is fascinating, a unique musical and artistic offering. 'It's a record not just full of sad songs,' Abbott says, 'but hopeful songs.'
Having been involved with Vox Liminis since around 2016, Abbott was keen to explore the collaborative side of the project more for Not Known At This Address after the initial success of the Silent Seconds, Seen and Heardand Things Left Unsaid EPs. 'We had an idea of making a full length,' he adds,' but trying to make the cowrite aspect a bit more balanced. The first EP was songs that we took out and worked up ourselves, played on them. This one's been a lot more about identifying songs and then going back to the co-writers to strike up a conversation about developing it.'
Featuring the considerable talents of Kris Drever, C Duncan and Emma Pollock – as well as tracks by Abbott and Admiral Fallow – the record broadly explores the theme of homecoming, a conclusion that Abbott arrived at organically. 'We always go into a session jumping off from a theme, but we try and be quite abstract,' he says, pointing out a broad canvas allows for more individuality to come through. There are direct, hard hitting moments: Kris Drever's lament 'The Man I Used To Be' discusses fatherhood, Donna Maciocia's 'Never Got To Say Goodbye' is a haunting song about experiencing loss within prison walls, and Admiral Fallow's 'An Open Door' documents the positives – and negatives – of time spent in Polmont Young Offenders Institute.