'Games Non-People Play' released ahead of debut album: MOLLUSK

In the autumn of 2016, we met with Joseph Quinn (The Grazing Saints/The Amazing World of Living Things) and Lizzy Burt (Woodland Creatures) to discuss the possibility of recording a future Tontena Music project. 

Photo by Richard Shashamane

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At that time the project had no name, no form, and no band. We finished it after six months of 'recording only on Sundays' and now we would like to share its lead single with you. It's called 'Games Non-People Play' taken from the 9-track debut album called 'Mollusk' by the band ORGANISMS. 

The prospect of recording 'Mollusk' was compelling. Quinn's vocal, described as "…a thousand years old, marinated in whisky, nicotine and pain …just perfect..." [Outline Magazine], combined with Burt's smooth tones honed on British Folk and traces of Americana would make for an enticing contrast. Not quite renouncing vocal harmony convention, whenever they sang in unison, the timing of their vocal phrasings were remarkably exacting (as can be heard on Quinn's intriguing 'Astral Bodily Hair' and his mystical 'Golden Door'). 

Here, Quinn writes from a dark abysm of self-deprecation, loneliness and fear …and yet the odd whispers of love and gentle sensuality are allowed to escape from his complex psyche. 

This is particularly noticeable in Burt's song 'Magpie' and again in her revealing 'Green Grass.' Both present touching moments of affection.  "You are so unpredictable," she cries out - before proclaiming: "We are not always good to each other."

Most of the songs on this album derive from dark places, wrapped in bohemian abstractions, weirdness and the esoteric ethos of Quinn's own beliefs and values. He teases them out from beneath his leafy camouflage and perhaps just for one last time (Treetops): "…. I see those eyes and those lips - those thighs and those hips."  And again, in the perplexing ghoulishness of  'Vampyr' he is found tearing himself apart, seemingly in fear of his soul being taken over by his demons and addictions.

Mollusk features some epic tracks. 'Waves' reflect some of Quinn's dark truths. Starting as a ripple, it then gushes forth soaked in a fusion of melodramatic pop, fuzzwah and psychedelic wonderment. Joe slurs his lyrics, he is in his own space, intoxicated and anxiously pleading above a sea of organic swirls emitted from his sustained crunch guitar. 

The band's local following (Norwich) may sometimes compare Joseph Quinn with the genii of the late Lou Reed, Johnny Cash or Leonard Cohen. Respectfully, we believe that Joe is unique.  ORGANISMS continues to evolve. It isn't assigned to a set music genre. So where does the inspiration come from? 

Joe answers:

"From all that is seen and heard, through atomic and subatomic manifestations, to life experiences, travels through astral realms, the thoughts and feelings of myself and others. Exorcising demons and devils via Magick (sic) ….once it's written the power over you disappears…. and you can move on."