A Simple Flower – GNAC’s new single.
I’m so happy to welcome the superb new GNAC’s single in preview at Pop, Cultures & Cie.
Indeed, Mark Tranmer is for me one of those discreet long-standing musical companions who are never far away. They’re not the loudest, nor the most spectacular, but certainly the most faithful. Accompanying my sinuous life journeys and changing moods, their music is always there when needed, even (and especially) in bad times, they’re like a reassuring and benevolent presence, an added shadow, a cloak of invisibility, a consolation. Sometimes they go away, withdraw into their melodious cathedrals, but it’s always to come back, and each time it’s as if we had left each other the day before, after a beautiful evening to remake the world in music and wine.
Whether he accompanies St. Christopher on stage, composes splendid velvet cases for the mesmerizing voice of the late Roger Quigley with the wonderful Montgolfier Brothers, shares the spotlight with another craftsman of emotion (James Hackett in Vetchinsky Settings for the now immortal Underneath The Stars, Still Waiting in 2019), or simply at home, under the name of GNAC, Mark Tranmer has the gift to create soundtracks for our lives in motion, original tunes that would regenerate theirself permanently, from the heart to the fingertips of an artist with a delicate sensitivity, discreet but always vibrant.
And it is once again the case with A Simple Flower, beautifully put in image by Isobel Blank. Sounding first like a lovely and harmless tune, the music gradually enters your whole body and soul under the spell of those poetic chords that invite our fragile heart to re-open its hurted eyes. Like a subtle and warm breeze. Like a gentle breathe of life. Like a swarm of miscellaneous thoughts that would protect you from the decaying world. And look after you as if you were still this shy little kid trying to find some peace and some faith in a shaded cocoon. Trying to see beauty and hope in his daily routine. Another humble work of art. Another precious one.
Winter is ending soon.
A Simple Flower makes it definitely sound nicer.
« A Simple Flower » is the second single from GNAC’s forthcoming album « The Echoes On Departure » (Vertical Features, March 2023), following first single, « Betweenness ». Mark Tranmer (GNAC) says: « Travel plans had been made and then cancelled because of the Omicron variant. At home on the 26th December, I picked up my Fender Stratocaster and started playing a series of chords over a drum-machine pattern, then went to the piano and electric piano. This track is the end result – a first mix was completed the same day – with a few Fender Jaguar overdubs added later. »
The video for « A Simple Flower », was made by Turin-based artist Isobel Blank (isobelblank.com). Isobel says: « The video is about the constant metamorphosis of life, nature and imagination. The creative process was like a stream of consciousness in which, through the use of an essential and childlike drawing style, I tried to represent what the music and the title suggested. I wanted to emphasise that from the contemplation of simple, everyday things an unusual journey of wonder can arise and make us look at things in a new and precious way. »
The Echoes on Departure is the seventh full-length album from GNAC, a musical project composer Mark Tranmer started in 1990. The inclusion of early single “The Broken Fall” on Tim Burgess and Bob Stanleyʼs 2019 Tim Peaks compilation inspired the relaunching of GNAC after a long hiatus; 2021 saw the release of the well-received album « Afternoon Frost » – with extensive airplay, including FPO on KEXP and 6Music, and a Timʼs Twitter Listening Party. There were several GNAC concerts in Scotland last year — these continue further afield in 2023. Prior to GNACʼs return, Tranmer co-wrote and recorded an album with Italian pianist Alessandra Celletti in Rome. He was also half of the Montgolfier Brothers, alongside sorely missed songwriter, lyricist and vocalist Roger Quigley; the band released two albums on Alan McGeeʼs Poptones label.