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Ian Bailey - Empty Fields (Northern Sun)

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With echoes of Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother implied on Jose Bailey's cover shot, the cows silhouetted against the sunset have a much greater significance than those depicted on the apparently random Hypgnosis image on the famed 1970 Prog Rock classic. The image of the bovinae on Ian Bailey's latest album, the follow up to 2010s TOWER SONGS, signifies the defensiveness of all animals and draws attention to the 'systematic abuse, slavery and torture of animals' in the hands of humans. Stripped down to a basic guitar accompaniment, the highly personal songs refrain from touching upon the subject until the closing song, Empty Fields. The title song offers a plea, not specifically to refrain from consuming meat, but more a plea to understand and accept the implications of it. Giving the unspecified animal in question her sex, referring to 'she' rather than 'it', Ian adds potency to the song and instils an implicit sense of awareness, whether we heed the message or otherwise. Elsewhere we find nine other songs that demonstrate Ian Bailey's acute sensitivity and command over understatement, with one or two social commentaries, such as the Dylan-esque TV Land. 

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky

Airplay: Too Many Stars (Show 376/17.05.15)
Release Date: Available Now
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