“The Agency…” quite simply fell into being and was a surprise to everyone involved. It started when drummer and guitarist Garry Cosgrove encouraged singer/songwriter Steven K Driver, formerly with ‘Gunman’, to branch out and write his own material, he in turn went to his friends ‘My Exit Music’ to play on and help produce the record. As they worked the dynamic, the vision and the music itself became more cohesive. Bassist/guitarist Steve Beyer was instrumental in encouraging the project and produced and directed most of the material with help from Garry and the versatile Andy Ludbrook, who would bring many of the final touches of madness/brilliance to tunes. Scott Wall, like Steve and Andy, of ‘My Exit Music,’ assisted with piano parts and accordion. Others offered contributions including dance music producer Aaron ‘Fonzerelli’ McClelland, who provided string samples and has remixed the track ‘Wolfman’.
As the process of recording evolved the group decided to work beyond the initial production, finding a faith in what they were creating. Some folks say that ‘the Agency…’ have created a new sound and spirit in ‘gothicana’ others that it is a gift bestowed upon them by the Gods. Either way there is a refreshing blend of musical inspiration and ideas at work on their debut. Whilst the lyrics and structures pay homage to folk, the music veers from country to post-rock with all kinds of diversions along the way. The band cites influences as diverse as Dylan, Pink Floyd, the Felice Brother, Mark Lanegan, the National, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Rex Harrison and the Wizard of Oz.
The songs themselves take a tongue in cheek look at the darker side of life. Although, in tracks such as ‘The Muse’ and ‘The Supplicants Lullaby’ they reach out to show glimmers of light, cracks in the darkness, with sweet melodies and hope. Elsewhere ‘The Assassin, The Bureaucrat or The Stranger’ is an upbeat ditty about a killer on mission, ‘Wolfman’ is a ballad about the pain of a monster and ‘She May Meet a Tall Dark Stranger’ is a sinister updating to the folk tale in which a demon steals women before their wedding nights. With literary and media influences as diverse as the musical soundscape there is a little bit of something for all that dare to listen to ‘The Agency…’.