Astrel K

The Foreign Department

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All orders will be posted out 08/03/2024.

The Foreign Department is the second album by Astrel K, the solo project helmed by Stockholm-based British ex-pat, Rhys Edwards. Those already familiar with Edwards’ work will likely know him for fronting the cultishly great Ulrika Spacek, and given he operates as the principal songwriter in both projects, much of the same hallmarks of his cathartic, elliptical songwriting are present in Astrel  Nonetheless, The Foreign Department feels like a rubicon moment of sorts, and the album that Edwards has unconsciously been working towards his entire creative life.

As a title, The Foreign Department offers an instructive guide for the listener, framing a life-in-transition/artist-in-exile document that maps two impromptu moves in twelve months for its songwriter: the first from London in pursuit of a relationship, the second between homes in Stockholm as that decade long relationship then suddenly dissolved. Indeed, diffusion, dissolution and reconstitution feel like appropriate touchstones for its recurring themes.

Written amidst the flux of two states, at once isolated from home and then any established emotional anchor, the resulting eleven tracks came to represent a precognitive search for shifting identity and with it forming an unwittingly biographical record. It's commendable and somewhat telling that during this shake up, Edwards somehow landed upon his most realised and original work.

Tracklisting:

  1. Heavy Is the Head
  2. Darkness At Noon
  3. By Depol
  4. Brighter Spells
  5. Firma
  6. Birds In Vacant Lots
  7. The Foreign Department
  8. C Ya!
  9. A Rudderless Ship
  10. Daffodil
  11. R U A Literal Child?

Black vinyl LP in edition of 500.