Critically acclaimed folk group Bird in the Belly return with their third record ‘After the City’. A concept record based around the novel ‘After London; or Wild England”. 'After London; or Wild England' (1885) by Richard Jefferies, is an early example of post-apocalyptic fiction.
Jefferies tells the story of England’s rebirth following an unspecified catastrophe. Cities decay and collapse, pet cats and dogs go feral and festering human bodies are left to rot, before the country is ultimately returned to nature. Jefferies doesn't detail what preceded the end of fictional England, so taking poems (Cotton Famine Poetry, Plague Poetry) and Broadside Ballads, we constructed a backstory for ‘After London’.
‘After the City’ begins with a song representing a bustling metropolis, where the only nature available is the flowers on the window sill. Each of the four songs that follow represent a different Horseman of the Apocalypse; Plague, War, Famine, and Death, which leave behind nothing but smokeless chimneys.
An interlude marks the end of life as was and songs in the second part of the album are directly adapted from Jefferies’ novel, describing the country’s slow rot and eventual renewal.
1. Tragic Hearts of Town
3. Jemmy is Slain
4. Famine, Fever, Frost
5. Pale Horse
6. Smokeless Chimneys
8. After London
9. Lay Low Lay
10. The Ships