The nine-track album began life after Greenpeace commissioned band founder Arthur Jeffes, son of Penguin Cafe Orchestra's Simon Jeffes, to write four pieces of music corresponding to four breeds of penguin to help raise awareness for the endangered Antarctic seas.
A fundraising evening at EartH in Hackney followed, where Penguin Cafe premiered the four songs, namely "Chinstrap", "Adelie," "The Life of an Emperor," and "Gentoo Origin." Jeffes then used the essence of these songs to envisage a whole anthropomorphised world, "where these penguins had narratives and adventures that we soundtracked," Jeffes says.
Using gut-stringed violins, viola, cello, bass, percussion, upright and grand pianos, synthesiser, harmonium, and more, Jeffes and his cohorts have crafted a "vivid series of panoramic sonic landscapes, that are as rich in cerebral poignancy as they are in emotional depth," the label explains.
Jeffes' last album as Penguin Cafe landed in 2017, titled The Imperfect Sea.
Penguin Cafe will be taking Handfuls of Night around the UK this autumn before heading out on a worldwide tour in 2020. See here.
Handfuls Of Night is out October 4 via Erased Tapes, with "At The Top of The Hill, They Stood" streaming in full below, and pre-order here.
01. Winter Sun
05. At The Top Of The Hill, They Stood...
06. Pythagoras on the Line Again
07. The Life of an Emperor
08. Gentoo Origin
09. Midnight Sun