press + interviews


Interview with Laura Barton for ‘Notes from a Musical Island’, BBC Radio 4, March 2016

Interview with Stuart Maconie for Freak Zone on BBC 6 Music, March 2015

Conversation with Chris Watson and Merlyn Driver for Resonance FM, July 2014

Interview with Steve Barker (with David Chatton Barker) for On the Wire on BBC Radio Lancashire, November 2011 (mp3)

Print + online

Interview with Clot Magazine about Emergent Landscapes, December 2016

Interview with Pitchfork about field recording, November 2015

Interview with The Herald about Concrete Antenna, September 2015

Interview with Cheryl Tipp from The British Library about Surface Tension, August 2015 (part 1)

Interview with Cheryl Tipp from The British Library about Surface Tension, August 2015 (part 2)

Interview with The Quietus about Water of Life, December 2013

Interview with The Herald about Water of Life, November 2013

Interview with The Liminal (archived on Mountain *7), October 2012

Press clippings

“The [Lea Valley] landscape  is described with great skill on a new album by the imaginative Lancastrian artist Rob St John. “Surface Tension” documents the course of the River Lea, and makes aesthetic and cultural capital out of both its context – decaying, gentrified, sometimes surprisingly bucolic – and its toxicity. According to St John’s notes, his field recording adventures extended to using “binaural microphones, underwater hydrophones and contact mics.” He also constructed tape loops of these recordings, soaked them in tubs of the vile river water for a month, then replayed them as they fell apart, creating an effect similar to that inadvertently engineered by William Basinski on his “Disintegration Loops”. St John’s music is as interesting as the process which underpins it. It ebbs through passages of chamber piano and cello (reminiscent of post-classical ensemble, Rachel’s), analog kosmische and, at 18 minutes, eerily euphoric, Boards Of Canada-style techno” – John Mulvey, UNCUT Magazine (8/10)

“A man playing the calls of Maltese birds bouncing off an underwater telecommunications cable? Rob St John and Tom Western sound like new wayward Aphex Twins…” – Jude Rogers, The Guardian

“Isn’t it grand when a debut album from a little known artist arrives in November and vies with the already-anointed likes of Metronomy, The Horrors and Ghostpoet for your 2011 top spot?  That beautiful thing is Weald by Rob St John, a Lancastrian singer-songwriter with the range, boom and profundity of Ian Curtis, Nick Drake and Stuart Staples whose songs animate geography like Luke Haines’ do history” – Andrew Collins, WORD Magazine

“There’s a fractured, lost and ancient air to Rob St. John’s debut full-length release on the Song By Toad label. Ostensibly a folk record, aware of all that tag implies, the songs are simply arranged – delicate guitar work weaves around shuffling dreams beats as St. John’s vocals creak over the top. Stand out track is ‘Sargasso Sea’ which flows and moves like the currents that drive the real thing. The guitar riff, stripped back, raw and deep, reminds me of something Talk Talk would have used, an instrument in perfect harmony with the crooked vocals and jazz-tinged drums, St. John’s delivery so matter of fact that the words slam in your face” – The Liminal, Albums of 2012

“The doom-laden songs of Rob St. John, performed on reverbed electric guitar with harmonium accompaniment, are destined (or rather doomed) to become the stuff of cult legend. The guy’s a great lyricist, and certainly fills a void in the market for honest, downtempo British songwriters, synthesizing post-industrial atmospheric darkness with ultra-traditional song forms.“ – The Quietus, Upset the Rhythm Yard Party Review

“Rob St. John’s music at first suggests summer, with bird song and contented flute. The musicians play synths, samples and guitar behind a screen on which are back projected silhouettes of water, exposed film, bubbles and leaves. Yet underpinning – or perhaps undermining – any chance of a bucolic reverie are occasional sections of grinding bass noise, and when Rob St John begins to sing a decidedly mournful song in a deep voice reminiscent of Tindersticks’ Stuart Staples, it’s almost startling.” – Luke Turner, The Quietus


Mailing List

You can sign up for very occasional emails giving advance notice of releases, publications and projects using the box below.

Here’s a couple of examples of what you can expect from Autumn and Summer 2015.

Hi-res press image: here.