Scarlet's Well

In the beginning, Scarlet’s Well was Bid (of Monochrome Set fame) accompanied by a fluctuating cast of girlish singers, esoteric musicians and random collaborators. It was a beautiful but primarily solo vision. Lavishly illustrated albums emerged quietly, all set in the vicinity of a place called Mousseron, “a sickly village situated somewhere east of the Azores and only slightly north of the Styx” populated by howling wolves, seductive mermaids and a bawdy captain with his crew of beer-swilling pirates and off-kilter animals with disturbingly human characteristics.

Seven albums have now been released and with the most recent two: Black Tulip Wings (2006) and Gatekeeper (2008), Scarlet’s Well has evolved into a band in its own right, with live gigs, collaborative song writing, luscious merchandise, tantrums and uncorroborated suggestions of bizarre fantasies. A sense of band empathy and the benefits of varied influences are evident in both these albums but there is still a thematic consistency.

Although there is a conceptual thread that runs through the albums, the songs still function as pop in the sweetest sense, i.e. they are catchy, you can sing along (if you must) and most are dance friendly. What makes them special is their unpredictability and the dizzying range of musical genres combined with an essence that is simply ‘Scarlet’s Well’. It’s Whirling Dervish meets gypsy troubadour with the crack of a whip on the rump of a unicorn…then it gets fey and funky.

Lyrics leap from cryptic literary allusions to pert whimsy and although there is a certain obscure quality there is also an air of familiarity: a morphic memory thing bringing on a parallel universe that reveals itself to those who are open to getting lost with new acquaintances down strange cobbled streets, wooded glades, uncharted waters or the dark tunnels of the underworld.

Bid describes it better in November Night from Gatekeeper:

Strange songs playing, so darkly chanted
With words that I feel but don’t understand

While Peter Momtchiloff emphasises the benefits of collaboration with New Friends:

We are your new friends, if the night ever ends
It will feel as if we’ve always been here

This is a big band – eight members in all – but the sound, although rich and multi-layered, is surprisingly light and charming. Each new album leaves you with the desire for just a little bit more. It’s a light lunch thing – although there have been songs about “sausages standing to attention”, “Belladonna cooking in her frilly bloomers” and “liver like it used to be”, you are never left bloated.

The Monochrome Set were a more manly outfit – all black and white with staccato beats and a cowboy swagger. With Scarlet’s Well, Bid has gone technicolour and connected with his feminine side aptly complemented by the virgin/vixen vocals of Alice Healey. The rest of the impressive line-up consists of Deb van der Geugten: bass, Sian Chaffer: keyboards, Jennifer Dennito: drums, Helena Johansson: violin & mandolin, Peter Momtchiloff: lead guitar and Martin White: accordion.

Scarlet’s Well is a band of eccentrics for eccentrics, dandies, grannies, choir boys, mariners, twee poppers and indefatigable travellers. The music should ideally be experienced under a flickering light with a glass of fine mead in the company of fey maidens and prattling moles...alternatively, go and see them live…you will come out with naughty little fairies nibbling at the musical bits of your brain!

Scarlet's Well Discography Tracks


Scarlet's Well - Strange Letters album art Scarlet's Well Strange Letters (Album) Siesta Spain 1999 Sell This Version
Scarlet's Well - The Isle Of The Blue Flowers album art Scarlet's Well The Isle Of The Blue Flowers (Album) Siesta Spain 2000 Sell This Version
Scarlet's Well - Alice In The Underworld album art Scarlet's Well Alice In The Underworld (Album) Siesta Spain 2002 Sell This Version
SIESTA 194 Scarlet's Well - The Dream Spider Of The Laughing Horse album art Scarlet's Well The Dream Spider Of The Laughing Horse(CD, Album) Siesta SIESTA 194 Spain 2004 Sell This Version
SIESTA 224 Scarlet's Well - Black Tulip Wings album art Scarlet's Well Black Tulip Wings(CD, Album) Siesta SIESTA 224 Spain 2006 Sell This Version
Siesta 195 Scarlet's Well - Unreal album art Scarlet's Well Unreal(CD, Album) Siesta Siesta 195 Spain 2006 Sell This Version
SIESTA 244 Scarlet's Well - Gatekeeper album art Scarlet's Well Gatekeeper(CD, Album) Siesta SIESTA 244 Spain 2008 Sell This Version
siesta 264 Scarlet's Well - Society Of Figurines album art Scarlet's Well Society Of Figurines(CD, Album, Dig) Siesta siesta 264 Spain 2010 Sell This Version
RVR4 Scarlet's Well - Unreal II album art Scarlet's Well Unreal II(CD, Album) Red Velvet Records RVR4 US 2010 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

none Scarlet's Well - I Walk In Endless Silence album art Scarlet's Well I Walk In Endless Silence(CD, Single, Promo, Smplr) Not On Label none UK 2004 Sell This Version

Videos (9) Edit