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PREMIERE: New Penguin Cafe
Patrick Clarke , July 31st, 2019 08:58

Hear the first taste of Penguin Cafe's new record, inspired by a journey in the footsteps of Scott of the Antarctic, exclusively with tQ

Photo by Alex Kozobolis

Penguin Cafe have announced their new album Handfuls Of Night, out via Erased Tapes on 4 October.

The record was inspired by journeys taken by the band's leader Arthur Jeffes (son of Penguin Cafe Orchestra's Simon Jeffes) in the Antartic.

Take a listen to 'At The Top Of The Hill, They Stood...' below.

The album began its life when Jeffes was commissioned by Greenpeace to write four pieces of music about four different breeds of penguin. They went on to become the core of the new album.

"There are four native Antarctic penguin species – each with their own individual characteristics and natures. I carried on from there to envisage a whole anthropomorphised world, where these penguins had narratives and adventures that we soundtracked," he says.

Antarctic inspirations go back even further, however. In 2005, Jeffes took part in an expedition re-creating Robert Falcon Scott’s last Antarctic trip in 1911, complete with Edwardian equipment.

"I’m no explorer but I was keen, especially as there’s a family link – Scott was married to my great grandmother before she married my great grandfather," he explains.

"I had lots of time to ponder my life back home. It was then that I decided to get my Master of Music degree and focus on composing music, and also then that I realised that even in the most remote silent places, music can still be a huge part of one’s internal world and imagination. Whilst on the expedition. I spent days playing things back in my head and also writing new things, which I would then try and write down at the end of the day."

Handfuls Of Night is released on 4 October via Erased Tapes. You can pre-order it here, and see Penguin Cafe live on the following tour dates:


28, Birmingham, Town Hall
29, Edinburgh, Queen's Hall
30, Cambridge, Corn Exchange


01, Leicester, De Montfort Hall
02, London, Queen Elizabeth Hall
03, Manchester, Royal Northern College Of Music
05, Bristol, St. George's
06, Cardiff, St. David's Hall
07, Dublin, National Concert Hall