The Sand That Ate The Sea

LUKE HOWARD – The Sand That Ate The Sea

Artists:Luke Howard

USD 25

Released January 24, 2020

All artist and label royalties have been donated in advance to the Australian Red Cross

LP (Frosted Clear)
USD 25
* Limited to 500 copies
* Spot-gloss on matte-finish jacket
* Shipping from US / UK / AUS warehouses


Howard found himself visiting musical areas he was yet to exploit in his own work with this project…

Hobbledehoy is proud to present the vinyl LP release of Luke’s new album The Sand That Ate The Sea, licenced from Mercury KX / Universal.

The video was filmed in the remote outback town of Andamooka in South Australia, the striking visuals resonating powerfully with Luke’s emotive string and piano arrangements alongside guitar by Leonard Grigoryan and celestial vocals from Shards (Erased Tapes) and fellow Australian Lior.

The Sand That Ate The Sea is inspired by the notion of creating music for visuals directed by fellow Australian and up and coming film director Matthew Thorne. The music and visuals together present a non-idealised snapshot of the heat of the Australian outback and its communities pending an incoming storm. The resulting LP is clearly nourished by this exchange between the two artists, as they took inspiration from each other’s work, but is also very much a bold new addition to Howard’s increasingly impressive canon. As proof of how inspiring the collaborative experience proved, Howard found himself visiting musical areas he was yet to exploit in his own work with this project.

With its contemporary stance on the mythic and spiritual connotations that come with the desert, the composer found himself writing for choir for the first time, recruiting Erased Tapes-signed vocal group Shards (who featured on Nils Frahm’s All Melody) and Australian-Israeli singer Lior, to create a fresh reflection of the desert’s minimal yet encompassing environment.

Underpinning the vocal work, strings and piano for the album were recorded live in a performance space in Melbourne with a young string quintet who were invited to play Howard’s compositions along to the visuals rather than recording to strict time cues (“I wanted to record everything properly in a beautiful sounding room because string players respond better to a great room,” notes Howard), while Australian classical guitarist Leonard Grigoryan also added some evocatively scratchy parts to conjure up a musical vision of never-ending horizons, relentless heat and gritty red dirt.

Luke Howard bio photo

“For certain moments I was inspired to aim for a sacred music feel. I love that kind of music. In classical music there’s holy minimalism, the music of Henryk Górecki and Arvo Pärt, which is not necessarily sacred but it is an aesthetic of strongly expressed simple ideas.”


1. Lake Torrens [ft. Shards]
2. Salt Flats [ft. Lior, Shards]
3. Desert Diggings [ft. Leonard Grigoryan]
4. Alien Moonscape
5. Storm [ft. Leonard Grigoryan]
6. All Around Us Is Dirt
7. Light Ascending [ft. Shards]
8. Spare
9. Dinner Dance [ft. Lior]
10. Dream (Light) [ft. Lior, Erkki Veltheim]
11. Andamooka Station
12. Rain
13. Casino
14. White Dam [ft. Shards]
15. Future Coda [ft. Lior, Shards, Erkki Veltheim]

“The record is quite diverse texturally, but i think all the music being in the same key gives it a kind of unity, maybe even more than my other records. Once we’d mixed everything Matt and I sat down and listened to the music without the visuals, to answer the question: Have we made an album or an audio-visual piece? I think we both felt it hung together on its own.”

Luke Howard bio

Fittingly for a work created in such an inspiring, collaborative atmosphere The Sand That Ate The Sea covers much ground musically, ranging from long atmospheres to short breaths; soothing choir vocals to more urgent ambiences, yet Howard’s vision ensures a strong coherency underpins the record.

Written credit: Mercury KX
Photo credit: WILK + Jeff Andersen Jnr.

Released January 24, 2020
HOB 056

first press: 500 Frosted Clear (5 Test Pressings)

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