Written by: Mike Dimitriou
Named for the village Noctorum, located near to their childhood homes on The Wirral (near Liverpool), Dare Mason and Marty Willson-Piper have released The Afterlife, their first long-player in seven years since the Honey Mink Forever LP in 2011.
Willson-Piper has been writing and performing internationally for over 35 years. He is best known as a long-time member of the Australian psychedelic rock band The Church, who he was with from its inception through to 2013. He also joined All About Eve in the ’90s, releasing two studio albums and several live albums with them, and for a short time he was a member of The Saints. He’s also the lead singer and lyricist with the Swedish band MOAT and a touring member of Swedish Prog legends Anekdoten. While he has maintained a steady solo output, releasing several solo albums, and four under the Noctorum moniker, he has also co-written music with many artists, including Grace Slick, Aimee Mann, Susannah Hoffs, and Linda Perry.
Meanwhile, Dare Mason has worked as a house engineer at London’s Townhouse Studios with the likes of Prince, Paul McCartney, Boy George, Tina Turner, Ravi Shankar, and Soul II Soul, among others. After becoming a freelance producer/engineer in 1991, he produced albums for The Grid, The Church, Placebo and AC Acoustics, working in London, New York, Sydney and Stockholm. He finally moved to Cornwall, where he set up his VIP Lounge studio and nowadays is mainly known as a mixing engineer of Brix Smith (ex-The Fall), Cinerama, and Tommy Tokyo. He’s also a composer, songwriter and accomplished guitarist, as well as a singer and dabbler in keyboards, usually contributing musically to the artists he produces.
For The Afterlife, Willson-Piper and Mason gathered in the studio with singer Georgia Dulcie (who contributed some wonderfully angelic vocals), and Eddie John on drums, while Willson-Piper himself played all electric guitars and bass, and handled lead vocals, with Dare playing guitars, harmonica, and providing backing vocals.
The album’s first single “A Girl With No Love” is groovy and uptempo, filled with colorful, guitar lines and solos. A crunchy blast of indie pop flecked with muscular riffs and smooth grooves, it’s one of the most infectious songs of the year.
In other Noctorum news, Willson-Piper appeared on Stereo Embers: The Podcast to chat about The Afterlife, Fleetwood Mac and the artistic process.
Keep up with Noctorum / Marty Willson-Piper