Stroud band Toadstone will release their new album, Cernunnos on Friday, January 27th. This album follows on from their self-titled 2018 debut album and a trio of singles: Oubliette, Seabeast and Song of Eyam.
Toadstone comprises Lucy Newbould (lead vocals and percussion), Mike Libbiter (guitar, bass and additional vocals) and Bhavandeep Stephenson (flute). They first met at school, but it was only a reconnection after university that formed what is Toadstone today.
The band self-recorded Cernunnos from 2020 to 2021, the album mixed and mastered by Dan Mitchell-Brown of Black Cat Studios in Stroud. The album art was crafted by local artist Dave Seed, known for his signature urban, wildlife and magic-realist creations.
In this entrancing new album, Toadstone continue to explore and refine their unusual and ethereal folk sound, taking inspiration from folk legends and the local landscape. This is reflected in the album’s title, Cernunnos, referring to a Celtic nature god.
The album takes the listener on a journey through folk stories including the legend of Herne the Hunter, folklore piece The Wild Hunt, and Germanic ballad, Leonora. The ‘nature god’ theme of Cernunnos asks listeners to consider unconventional solutions to climate change, which may lead to some unexpected sacrifices. A hot topic that evokes strong feelings in Stroud and beyond. The album invites Toadstone fans to also explore what is meant by our shared cultural heritage through our relationship with folk tales.
Toadstone’s music has quite a strong folky, pastoral feel. The local landscape is quite inspirational in that sense. There’s also a distinct connection to, and an open mindedness towards historical traditions. Events like Stroud Wassail are quite influential in the band’s music. Toadstone’s song, The Call of the Horned Piper, is based around historical events and traditions that happened in Painswick concerning the ancient Pagan God, Pan. There are plenty more of these references to local history and legend in Toadstone’s discography.
On their website the band lists ten inspirational albums, ranging from Moving Pictures by Rush, to Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring through to the 1971 soundtrack album Blood on Satan’s Claw by Marc Wilkinson.
Cernunnos is available on all major music streaming services including Bandcamp and Spotify from 27 January. Would-be fans can follow Toadstone on their Facebook and Instagram profiles, watch their YouTube videos, or get the latest updates by visiting their website: www.toadstoneband.com