RODNEY CROMWELL’s debut gig at The Victoria in Dalston turned out to be a fitting reunion of ARTHUR & MARTHA, a quirky duo whose only album ‘Navigation’ in 2009 was a promising debut.

The work of electronic music enthusiasts Alice Hubley and Adam Cresswell, the long player’s highlight was ‘Autovia’, a synthetically motorik soundtrack that was ideal for motorway journeys north of Watford Gap.

Since then, Hubley has formed the indie band COSINES while after a musical break of several years, Cresswell has returned as RODNEY CROMWELL. The lo-fi aesthetic of ARTHUR & MARTHA is still very much in evidence on his recently released debut album ‘Age Of Anxiety’. The live performance in July saw Hubley joining Cresswell on a Moog Rogue, while the frontman brought along his trusty Korg MS10.

Utilising a combination of vintage synths, computer backing, bass and guitar, the show climaxed with ‘Black Dog’, a part duet with Hubley. The lengthy, but tremendous closer of ‘Age Of Anxiety’ has now been released as a single with an accompanying video. Possibly one of the best songs of 2015, ‘Black Dog’ recalls the pulsing post-punk miserablism of SECTION 25 and is embellished with the beauty of Cresswell’s Hooky bass.

Of course, ‘Black Dog’ not actually about a dark coloured canine. Of the album, Cresswell told ELECTRICITYCLUB.CO.UK: “It’s all broadly linked to experiences in my life over the last ten years; themes of love, loss, depression, redemption”. As with NEW ORDER’s ‘Temptation’, despite the inherent melancholy, there is an optimistic light at the end of the tunnel that makes ‘Black Dog’ a most joyous listening experience.

”The vocals might not always be pitch perfect, the guitars and synths a bit rough round the edges” says Cresswell, “but those records got soul!”

BlackDogcover170x170‘Black Dog’ is can be downloaded from iTunes or listened to on Spotify

The album ‘Age Of Anxiety’ released by Happy Robots and available as a CD or download via

Text by Chi Ming Lai
15th October 2014