Ash before Oak by Jeremy CooperAsh before Oak, the winner of the inaugural Fitzcarraldo Editions Novel Prize, is written in the form of a journal written by a solitary man on a secluded Somerset estate. Ostensibly a nature diary, chronicling the narrator’s interest in the local flora and fauna and the passing of the seasons, Ash before Oak is also the story of a breakdown told slantwise, and of the narrator’s subsequent recovery through his re-engagement with the world around him. The title derives from an old country rhyme forecasting rain. Written in prose that is as precise as it is beautiful, Jeremy Cooper’s first novel in over a decade is a stunning investigation of the fragility, beauty and strangeness of life.
The Oak and The Ash -(Lyrics) Trad. Arr. labelhqs.orgn
For this project, they have largely left their writing pads at home in favor of digging up a bunch of traditional folk songs, but they have retained their musical style. But much of the time this is contemporary folk-rock, with the singers, often in unison, though sometimes with one or the other in the lead and the other joining in on individual lines and choruses, making the timeless warnings and anecdotes in the lyrics sound like current emotional concerns.