Vox Liminis explore the theme of recovery in new five-track EP Oblivion and Beyond
- Sean Greenhorn
- 7 October 2019
credit: Chris Scott
New Distant Voices project EP brings together celebrated Scottish songwriters and people with experience of the criminal justice system
Collaboration is at the heart of Distant Voices, a unique project from Vox Liminis that explores crime and reintegration through creative expression. Their latest EP, Oblivion and Beyond, follows 2018's Not Known at this Address by bringing together Scotland's best songwriters and people with experience of the criminal justice system, looking at their experiences from different angles.
In 2018, 1,187 people died nationally from drug use in Scotland, the most deaths since records began in 1996. This latest EP focuses on stories around recovery from drug and alcohol-related harm. Sharon Halloway, from the Highland Alcohol & Drugs Partnership, describes the songs on this latest EP as offering 'an alternative view: one of humanity, the commonalities between the challenges of recovery and coming home and hope for the future'. The 5 tracks were co-written by musicians Donna Maciocia, Fiskur, Martha Ffion, Raukarna, Jill Lorean and Gus Bear, working with individuals who had personal and/or professional experience of drug use and recovery.
Lyrically, the new EP tells these stories whilst uncovering universal truths, matching with varied musical styles over the five tracks. Opener 'Fuck It Button' uses indie power pop to tackle the very human urge to 'press the fuck it button to oblivion and beyond'. From there, the EP fuses folk and synth-pop to explore its themes, many of which centre around the need for human connection on the road to recovery. The protagonist of the closing track 'White Horses' finds 'no need for the light at the end, now I walk in the sun with my best friend' whilst 'The Package' tells us of two sons who finally find the strength to forgive their father, who suffers from addiction. Gus Bear, who co-wrote the first and last track of this EP describes how the EP is about hope, 'and that no matter how far you think you've fallen there's always a chance to come back'.
Hundreds of songs have been written through Distant Voices, affording voices to those who often have none. Oblivion and Beyond, and Not Known at this Address before it, open these stories up to be heard by new audiences, pointing towards a future where the people affected by these issues are supported rather than stigmatised. They show the power that music has to spark conversation, as complicated and difficult as they may be.
Distant Voices: Oblivion and Beyond is out now.