The Hi-Life Companion is a Bristol-based music collective loosely gathered around brothers Matt and Jon Troy.
Take a journey through a West Country wilderness with brothers Jonathan and Matt Troy, on an album charting the many tender moments of growing up and growing old
Inspired by the lush, rich cinematic sounds of Richard Hawley and Lambchop records, much of the melancholic nostalgia of the album was precipitated by parental deaths and a subsequent re-visiting of remote childhood haunts in and around the Forest of Dean.
The songs on the album are a set of stories spanning the last hundred years and taking in themes such as Bristol’s nautical past, child disappearances, adolescent obsessions with tennis players and old mining stories from the Forest of Dean, drawing on a heady mix of local myths and legends and blurred memories of places, times and events.
Much of the album was recorded in a disused warehouse in Thornbury, near Bristol between 2009 and 2013 by brothers Jonathan and Matt Troy, with additional parts recorded at family homes around Bristol.
The majority of the instruments on the album were played by Jonathan and Matt, with strings and horns added by Sarah Eales, Dury Loveridge and Jim Cornick. Additional vocals were supplied by Lucy Rogers. The hub of the band remains Jonathan and Matt and long-time drummer Mark Freeth, with the wider band a fluid musical collective of contributors.
Jonathan Troy: “As a child I was fascinated by the eerie undiscovered wonders of the Forest and Wye Valley. I wanted to write something which was rooted geographically in the Forest of Dean and West Country, and which captured this feeling of strange creepy places and the adolescent excitement of crossing boundaries, expanding horizons, stepping into the wilderness that lies beyond the bottom of the garden.”
The Hi-Life Companion have made one album previously – ‘Say Yes’ which came out on Plastilina Records in 2010. Songs from the album have been played by Colin Murray on Radio 1, Tom Robinson on Radio 6 and Tom Ravenscroft, Channel 4 Radio
From 2007 here are two lost rarities – Soft, Plummy and Pilot Light, recorded at home in Bristol and previously unreleased. Soft, Plummy is an instrumental track originally intended to be at the very end of the ‘Say Yes’ album. It was mixed by Rob Price from Airport Girl. Pilot Light was an early throwaway attempt to make something as loud and aggressive as possible.