New single – Formicarium – out today

As promised, here’s one last single from me before I leave music behind to focus on further study and family, at least for a good while.

I wrote this one a couple of Septembers ago but hadn’t recorded it until now – I didn’t want it to be the one that got left behind. It’s available now from iTunes and Bandcamp (on Bandcamp it comes with a home demo b-side: ‘Breathe, Rabbit, Breathe’). It’s already had some love from Gideon Coe on BBC 6 music and from WFUV in New Yoik.

Bandcamp – free/pay what you like. Includes b-side
iTunes – 99p
Or you can stream it on Spotify. Lyric video here.

It features my band of lovelies – Hannah (flute, vocals, percussion), Oliver (banjo) and Katherine (violin) – and was recorded in one short session at 2Fly Studios here in Sheffield on September 1st. I hope you’ll give it a listen and share it with anyone you think would appreciate it.

FInally, a big big THANK YOU for all your support over the years, it really means a lot and I wish you all lots of happiness in return.

Forwards, fellow creatures
Ant Johnson

I was born into the summertime so I’d see September arriving
I crashed and clawed my way to 35
But that year I learned to walk quietly – now you will never hear me by scarce perceptible stream
I’ll stare a pheasant right down from a couple of feet

Water don’t move, it’s the forces upon: gravity, sun and wind

See I’ve already gone (she’s already gone)
Slipped away by the light of day (slipped away by the light of day)
To the Pinetum (to the Pinetum)
Where I’ve stashed all your stork-given babes

When I’m a giant I stroke the land, oh so very gently, my great hand
Over prickling treetops, green velvet hills
A spire, now chimney smoke, through my fingers spread wide
I wash my hands in the lake, rub the water in

Giants don’t get a giant brain, just a heart that beats nice and slow

And now I have got the brawn (she has got the brawn)
To lift great boulders from the moor (boulders from the moor)
And drop them out of the dimming sky (out of the dimming sky)
On the dogs who live next door

And when I shrink back down (when she shrinks back down)
If I should shrink too small (if she should shrink too small)
Build me a formicarium (formicarium)
And keep me sheltered from the storm

Keep the river to the right (keep the river to the right)
If you’re here, be here (to the bridge and back again)
Under willow we will sleep (under willow we will sleep)
On the cusp of severe (it’s just that time of year)

Dead as the water, alive as the wind
(To the bridge and back again)
Dead as the water, alive as the wind
(To the bridge and back again)
Dead as the water, alive as the wind
Dead as the water

I am standing still (we are standing still)
At both ends of the lane (both ends of the lane)
Cos time stops when I run (time stops when we run)
To the bridge and back again (to the bridge and back again)

And you saw a solid thing (you saw a solid thing)
While I swam in the Hall
The theatre spins through space
As rockets fly above us all

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2 thoughts on “New single – Formicarium – out today

  1. Hi, I don’t know if you are viewing post comments anymore, anyway I just wanted to say a big thank you for your music, it really cuts trough the heart and soul, I could write an extensive text about how your lyrics and music touched me, but I’ll keep it short. Most of your songs are beautiful and evoke in me deep feelings in a way I have not experienced in a long while, I don’t know why this is, maybe you or your voicetone reminds me of someone in my childhood. Well I read almost all of your blog posts and articles that you linked and I liked very much the way you write, though the Connie Converse one is a little sad, well her story is sad and as you said that you share some similarities with her I’m hoping you a much brighter life, lots of friends, lots of love and health for you and your family.
    I’m 36 making progress in the guitar, I’ll for shure add some of your songs to my repertoire, and I’ll keep listening to you in Spotify and Youtube.
    Best wishes and happy everything.

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