We are really excited to announce that Mildred Maude are the latest members of the Sonic Cathedral family. Way back in 2019, before lockdown, they were the most exciting live band we had seen in a long time. Three seemingly disparate characters from Cornwall – Matt Ashdown (guitar), Lee Wade (bass) and Louie Newlands (drums) – named after one of their grandmas and playing an improvised noise that always seemed to be teetering on the edge of chaos but also something incredibly beautiful at the same time, like a cross between Sonic Youth and Slowdive. It was utterly thrilling.
“We formed after Lee was booed offstage at a John Peel Day gig, almost died from cancer, and spent remission finding new musicians in shipping containers,” explains Matt of their unusual origins. “We found ourselves gelling over needing outlets for unconstrained musical expression, almost a support group in a way.”
The trio have been working hard on a follow-up to their 2017 debut CPA I-III and now the first fruits are out in the form of a new song, ‘Trevena’, which was recorded by the band with Tom Joyce and Seamus Constance at Sawmills Studio and mastered by Slowdive’s Simon Scott and is available now on all digital platforms.
“It was the first thing we recorded in this session,” explains Louie. “It was just supposed to be a warm-up, really, so Lee played the bassline from a gig we’d done in Tywardreath the night before and Matt had just come up with a new guitar tuning and was getting a feel for it, but it turned out good, so we kept it. We named it after our lovely friend Chris Trevena who comes to most of our gigs and recording sessions to document our activities with photos.”
Chris has also made the video, which documents the last ship to be launched from the Penzance Dry Dock, the oldest in Europe, before its planned closure back in May. A fittingly mysterious and melancholy way to launch the band’s new release, but one with a happy ending, as the dock was saved when it was bought by new owners earlier this month.
And as for Mildred Maude’s new paymasters, Matt says: “I get really inspired by the serenity, sublimeness and holiness of old churches, cathedrals, chapels and other historic places of worship – there are some great places in Cornwall such as St Just Church and Gwennap Pit, where John Wesley preached in the 18th century and where John Peel interviewed Aphex Twin in the ’90s. It’s these beautiful spaces I try to imagine we’re in when we’re playing live – so it’s fitting that we’re releasing stuff on Sonic Cathedral.”