There’s something in the water in Bristol at the moment.
An ever-widening circle of friends, focused mainly around two local labels, are collaborating on projects that can’t be easily defined or categorised. Edward Penfold embodies the scene, playing all manner of instruments in four different bands and still finding the time to record and release his debut solo album, Caulkhead.
During the recording, Edward worked alongside his own band Taos Humm, members of Factotum, Velcro Hooks and EBU as well as local violinist Caelia Luniss – a frequent collaborator with Oliver Wilde – to realise his own vision of acid-tinged folk pop.
Caulkhead is an album underpinned by a glowing warmth. “A lot of the album was recorded to a single track cassette player,” Edward explains. “It sounded good so I saw no reason not to use it.” He maintains a thoughtful, earnest attitude towards making music, and it shows in his decidedly nostalgic songwriting.
“At the time of recording I was listening to The Paperhead and Connan Mockasin,” he says, nodding to those 60s influences as well, “The Beatles, Syd Barrett and The Kinks are in there too.” Ed’s vision combines a knowing obsession with reconstructing the past, a talent for lo-fi production and a strong focus on melody. With the track Up Down receiving support from 6 Music recently, Edward laughs off the idea that he’s about to blow up, claiming that hearing his songs on the radio is “like electric caterpillars in my stomach struggling to turn into butterflies” with more than a hint of self-deprecating hyperbole. He may not have a Big Plan in mind, but with a single track recording device, some gifted friends and a dog-eared collection of records, it sounds like Edward Penfold is happy enough.