Monday 24 June 2024


Newsletter SIGNUP

spiral earth
Monday 24 June 2024

Share This:

The Story Song Scientists release ‘1800 and Froze to Death’ on new EP out this Friday (29th) as COP 26 SUMMIT OPENS

Oct 28, 2021

With the critically important U.N. Climate Change summit about to kick off in Glasgow, Oxford’s Megan Henwood and Glasgow’s own Findlay Napier aka The Story Song Scientists will unveil an uncannily apt track on their new EP ‘Quantum Lyrics’ released this Friday October 29th

Veering from folk to blues and country, the release of all-original material kicks off with the climate catastrophe song 1800 and Froze to Death – a chunky guitar rhythm and catchy chorus spelling out the tale of “the year without a summer” when summer temperatures were the coldest on record – most keenly felt in New England, Atlantic Canada and Western Europe.

Still referred to by Vermonters as “1800 and Froze to Death”, it followed the most powerful volcanic eruption in 10,000 years – Mount Tambora in Indonesia – which caused the worst famine of the 19th century and changed the course of world history.

 Says Findlay: “The song is about the ripple effect the eruption triggered across the planet – everything from Islington’s Spa Fields Riots to the creation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and the Russian Revolution.”

The post-apocalyptic feel is endorsed by the preceding rendition of Lord Byron’s daunting poem Darkness.

 1800 and Froze to Death

 Sleeping giant sprung awake / smothering the earth in ash
The cloud that changed the course of fate / Merciless the aftermath

Contaminated atmosphere / Jack frost threw a tantrum
Churned up every icy tear / overstayed his welcome

When that fiery mounting reared her head
Then the sky turned dark
And the sun burned red
Eighteen hundred and froze to death
The year without a summer

Withered winds and bitter sleet / Cropped fields wilt defeated
Livestock followed worn out weak / The hungry north retreated

Blood shade snowflakes spiralled fall / to land on stiff eye lashes
This weather punished one and all / Dust to dust, ashes to ashes

Death would come as sweet relief / For millions in distress
In Littleport on Spa Fields,/ rioting dispossessed

Holed up in Byron’s alpine lodge / With a cellar full of wine
from Shelly’s boredom rose a plot / She conjured Frankenstein

Eighteen hundred and froze to death
Old Tambora rose and said
You don’t what’s hit you yet
The year without a summer

When that fiery mounting reared her head
Then the sky turned dark
And the sun burned red
Eighteen hundred and froze to death

The year without a summer

Scottish master storyteller Napier and Oxford-based BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winner Henwood  are rightly acknowledged as two of our most inventive, genre-hopping singer songwriters and have a clear chemistry. They met at the famous Snape Maltings in Suffolk in 2016 on an English Folk Song and Dance Society (EFDSS) songwriting retreat.

Living up to their name, the duo have mined a seam of science-steeped stories for the Quantum Lyrics release . The pair’s dedicated research has unlocked a treasure trove of fascinating findings, prompting five highly original songs, some inspired by real-life stories. Cerebral and astute the narrative songs cover topics from clouds to artificial intelligence, blood to explosives – interspersed with complementary soundbites, poems, news announcements and ‘found sounds’ that weave the EP together – often punctuated with the buzz of radio static.

 Supported by Arts Council England, Quantum Lyrics will be released on October 29 on the Dharma Records label, distributed by Proper Music Distribution and available on digital platforms.1

“Clouds” by The Story Song Scientists (Findlay Napier and Megan Henwood) Taken from their “Quantum Lyrics” EP Out 29/10/2021

The EP will be showcased on a UK tour in November which includes a date at Glasgow’s Glad Café on the final day of Cop26 and there will be a special Live To Your Living Room streamed gig on November 11. Henwood and Napier will also perform their own solo sets in support.

Tour Dates as follows:

Nov 2   OXFORD Holywell Music Room

Nov 3   LONDON Green Note

Nov 4   WINCHESTER The Hyde Tavern

Nov 5   PENZANCE The Acorn

Nov 6   BELPER Old Kings Head

Nov 7   BATH The Bell Inn

Nov 9   BIRMINGHAM Kitchen Garden Café

Nov 11 LIVE TO YOUR LIVING ROOM Live streamed gig

Nov 12 GLASGOW The Glad Café

Nov 13 UP HOLLAND (Lancs) St Thomas the Martyr Parish Church

For further information please visit



uk festival directory