Once again spoken arts label Caddabra Records bring us a new Lovecraftian release, this time a 7 inch EP entitled Hallowe’en In A Suburb And Others. As with their The Hound & The Music Of Erich Zann LP, Andrew Lemon is the reader, this time of seven of H. P. Lovecraft‘s short poems. Josh Coy of Teratoma Sound Lab provides the fitting and subtle ambient sound which accompanies the readings.
Lovecraft was not just a prolific writer of fiction, having close to eighty works published within his relatively short life, he was also a man who wrote letters. An awful lot of letters. And in these letters – to family members, friends, and acquaintances – he sometimes included poems. Three-hundred-and-something of his poems are known and recorded today [you can read many of them here], the earliest of which (The Poem of Ulysses, or The Odyssey) was written when he was just seven years old. The seven poems offered on this latest little Caddabra record are: Hallowe’en In A Suburb (1926), The Cats (1925), The Garden (1917), Festival (1925), Astrophobos (1917) Despair (1919), and The Messenger (1929). They all, as you’d expect, bear the marks of Lovecraft’s Weird Fiction and Cosmic Horror.
Once again Leman’s readings do HPL proud and even I, Lovecraft fan that I am, had not read some of the poems, so there was some genuine and pleasant surprise in listening to the EP.
The very short The Messenger (the final track on Side B) is a prime example:
The thing, he said, would come that night at three
From the old churchyard on the hill below;
But crouching by an oak fire’s wholesome glow,
I tried to tell myself it could not be.
Surely, I mused, it was a pleasantry
Devised by one who did not truly know
The Elder Sign, bequeathed from long ago,
That sets the fumbling forms of darkness free.
He had not meant it-no-but still I lit
Another lamp as starry Leo climbed
Out of the Seekonk, and a steeple chimed
Three-and the firelight faded, bit by bit.
Then at the door that cautious rattling came-
And the mad truth devoured me like a flame!
Hallowe’en In A Suburb And Others may be a mere taster – a little something to keep people going between Caddabra’s last LP release and The Lurking Fear which is coming in Summer – but it’s very nicely done, and features some of HPL‘s work which doesn’t often get the attention it deserves.
Hallowe’en In A Suburb And Others is pressed on clear vinyl, in an edition of 150 copies. The cover, with artwork by Sam Heimer, is hand-screened in silver ink on a fold-over cover, printed on French paper, and includes an insert.
Label: Cadabra Records
Band Links: N/A
Scribed by: John Reppion