In early 2015, lead singer and songwriter Hannah Miller read a New Scientist article that described how the discovery of a microscopic creature had redefined the perimeters of life as we know it.
The ‘Halicephalobus Mephisto’ Nematode Worm has none of the requirements of other known life forms – able to survive deep underground, without oxygen or sunlight.
The seed was sown for ‘Preternatural’ – an eclectic 11-track opus for the Natural World, and the strange and beautiful creatures in it.
“It made me contemplate how much we still don’t know about the planet we live on, and to consider that moving space between what we do know, and what we can never know; at the frontier of science and discovery.” says Miller. “The animal kingdom holds such a wealth of beauty, creativity, humour, ingenuity and artistry. I wanted to celebrate it, to underline its fragility, to hold up a mirror and compare our own species to others.”
The band, like the creatures they describe, have always been an evolving phenomenon, and each album has seen a significant leap into new unchartered territory, their unusual music vision prompting comparisons as disparate as «…the Kronos quartet, Roxy Music, Frank Zappa, Kate Bush…echoes of early Pink Floyd, Bowie and Radiohead.. Kraftwerk and Björk» (R2 Magazine/ Reuters.)
“We identify with bands who present their own kind of eclecticism,” says Oliver Austin. “From Zappa, and Gentle Giant to current bands like Field Music, John Grant, Snarky Puppy, Laura Mvula, My Brightest Diamond, tUnE-yArDs and Tortoise; these were all references for the record.”
It is a beautifully orchestrated ecosystem, experimental in parts but still accessible, fusing rich vocal harmonies, persuasive melodies, big riffs, detailed arrangements and sharp songcraft to make a genre-defying album, which explores the moving space between electronic and acoustic; DIY and big production.
The arrival of newest member Raevennan Husbandes catalysed a rockier mood, her stark and fluid electric guitar playing complementing Miller’s virtuosic cello to forge a muscular, unique sound-blend. Husbandes’ & Miller’s luminous voices deliver characteristic multi-layered harmonies locked in with a towering, thunderous rhythm section (Mortimore / Austin), the band’s synergy and tightness is a testament to their relentless touring schedule; their musical range described by Prog Magazine as “huge, complex and compelling. One of the most thrillingly nimble musical ensembles the UK has produced in decades.
Incurably ambitious, this is a band that has always put an adventurous approach to Art at the heart of their craft. The front cover best demonstrates Moulettes for what it is: an eclectic, progressive hybrid, a bizarre and bombastic monster.
December 2017 is the concluding chapter of the two-year ‘Preternatural’ tour, and the last chance to see the «breathtaking» live show that has taken the band across Europe from Poland to Malta, and across Canada from Nova Scotia to Victoria Island.