Posts Tagged ‘Josienne Clarke’

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It’s very rare that you’ll ever get such an established, talented and all-round beautiful songwriter releasing their debut solo single at such a stage. Josienne Clarke’s collaborations have elevated her to a certain level but she now steps out on her own and to be perfectly candid, she’s shining brighter than ever.

On ‘Things I Didn’t Need’ Josienne Clarke is so hauntingly angelic that you feel as though you’re sucked into her world, feeling what she feels. As though you’re some sort of impersonating body snatcher, it’s so wonderfully poetic and yet heartbreaking at the same time. The acoustic guitar takes a backseat in the track in place for Josienne’s wonderful voice to pull the song through and it ultimately elevates it to easily become one of the folk songs of the year. The release features new song “Things I Didn’t Need” – with barely more than voice and the Twin Peaks-like echoes of her guitar, the focus is centred on the song. Plus two new b-sides that further Clarke’s embracing of a less-is-more approach to her music and a resolve to sing it as she sees it.

B Side ‘Season And Time’ is just as beautiful, creating a world that is represented as being so beautiful but she’s just running out of “notes” to describe her feelings for her love and it’s so beautifully told it’s almost self-insulting for her to refer to music as “singing is just talking to a tune” and ultimately that is how personal these songs feel to the listener, as if Josienne is speaking directly to them, telling her own personal tale in, sometimes, a hauntingly dark way. It’s truly wonderful.

Track listing

A- Things I Didn’t Need, B1- Season And Time, B2- Never Lie

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PicaPica - Together & Apart

PicaPica’s debut album “Together & Apart” was recorded at the end of 2018 and is produced by Mobo / Mercury Nominated Producer Sonny Johns who also plays bass on the record. Together & Apart” is about health and heartache, spring and shade, love and loss and life, PicaPica are able to balance life’s joys and sorrows beautifully, effortlessly, and in continuous harmony, viewing life’s coloured photographs as imagined through their silvery negatives.

‘Together & Apart’ is about health and heartache, spring and shade, love and loss and life. PicaPica are able to balance life’s joys and sorrows beautifully, effortlessly and in continuous harmony, viewing life’s coloured photographs as imagined through their silvery negatives.

PicaPica features the vocal interplay of Josienne Clarke and Samantha Whates, dual front women who create powerful harmonies atop layers of texture created by Adam Beattie and Sonny Johns, a tiding of magpies picking shiny moments of tone and timbre from 60s West Coast, sunshine pop and indie folk. Josienne and Samantha met on the London acoustic music scene several years ago and immediately shared a love of singing and writing. They have been unofficially collaborating for years, often singing backing vocals for each other’s projects or just singing harmonies together for the pure enjoyment of it.

The other half of PicaPica, Adam Beattie – Scotland’s king of soft-spoken chanson – brings gently morphing textures and detailed guitar playing to every bar, while Sonny Johns is a Grammy, Mercury and MOBO- nominated producer / engineer. Sonny’s bass playing and production give PicaPica’s otherworldly compositions a seriously grounded sound.

The band first appeared on the scene with their debut EP Spring and Shade back in 2016 and are now returning with this new 12” featuring delicate yet empowering new track Cast in Stone. The release also features two remixes from Seb Rochford – best known for drumming with the legendary Patti Smith – who has also performed on PicaPica’s upcoming debut album.

Release Date: 7th June 2019

Picapica 1

One for sorrow and two for joy. PicaPica features the vocal interplay of Josienne Clarke and Samantha Whates, dual front women who create powerful harmonies atop layers of texture created by Adam Beattie & Sonny Johns, a tiding of magpies picking shiny moments of tone and timbre from 60s west coast, sunshine pop and indie folk.

Josienne and Samantha met on the London acoustic music scene several years ago and immediately shared a love of singing and writing. They have been unofficially collaborating for years, often singing backing vocals for each other’s projects or just singing harmonies together for the pure enjoyment of it. PicaPica represents a long-held ambition to write, record and perform new material together and to join with like-minded musicians to explore what it’s like to be in a band. When writing, Josienne and Samantha (AKA “Pica One” & Pica Two”) take two versions of the same idea and the songs are built around that concept in various ways, they sometimes even have two titles for each song, one by Josienne, one by Samantha. Good music loves a contrast. Spring and shade, harmony and melody, brightness and deadpan… So do PicaPica. As writers, they compose songs that hold the sadness closer, yet let the joy fly higher.

“Pica Three”, aka Adam Beattie, Scotland’s king of soft-spoken chanson, brings gently morphing textures and detailed guitar playing to every bar, while “Pica Four” is Sonny Johns – a Grammy, Mercury and MOBO-nominated producer/engineer. Sonny’s bass playing and production give PicaPica’s otherworldly compositions a seriously grounded sound.

Their first EP, “Spring & Shade” contains four songs freely- designed to bewitch the listener until its fifteen minutes are over. This is music for memories that creep in under the door. Songs that wear their cares lightly, shining in the dark. Simply, beautiful, beguiling, elegant sounds.

Seedlings All

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker have revealed heavenly new track “Bathed In Light” from their upcoming new album ‘Seedlings All’ due to be released 23rd March. the release also includes a Bonus CD of three previously unreleased tracks.

Josienne explains the background to “Bathed In Light”: “As a performer I’ve always been torn between my need for attention and my fear of how exposing it is, especially as a songwriter. In that 30 seconds before the first note when the audience is silent and the lights are on you, I’m gripped with nerves and I ask myself ‘why do you put yourself through this?’ This song is basically the narrative that runs through my head as I sweat and panic. I want it to go well, and my stage fright has always come from a fear that I’m not really made of strong enough stuff for a performing career but I’ve gone and wasted my life trying to do it and what else would I do and by the second or third note I love it…..”

Picapica 1

One for sorrow and two for joy. PicaPica features the vocal interplay of Josienne Clarke and Samantha Whates, dual front women who create powerful harmonies atop layers of texture created by Adam Beattie & Sonny Johns, a tiding of magpies picking shiny moments of tone and timbre from 60s west coast, sunshine pop and indie folk.

Josienne and Samantha met on the London acoustic music scene several years ago and immediately shared a love of singing and writing. They have been unofficially collaborating for years, often singing backing vocals for each other’s projects or just singing harmonies together for the pure enjoyment of it. PicaPica represents a long-held ambition to write, record and perform new material together and to join with like-minded musicians to explore what it’s like to be in a band. When writing, Josienne and Samantha (AKA “Pica One” & Pica Two”) take two versions of the same idea and the songs are built around that concept in various ways, they sometimes even have two titles for each song, one by Josienne, one by Samantha. Good music loves a contrast. Spring and shade, harmony and melody, brightness and deadpan… So do PicaPica. As writers, they compose songs that hold the sadness closer, yet let the joy fly higher.

“Pica Three”, aka Adam Beattie, Scotland’s king of soft-spoken chanson, brings gently morphing textures and detailed guitar playing to every bar, while “Pica Four” is Sonny Johns – a Grammy, Mercury and MOBO-nominated producer/engineer. Sonny’s bass playing and production give PicaPica’s otherworldly compositions a seriously grounded sound.

Their first EP, “Spring & Shade” contains four songs freely- designed to bewitch the listener until its fifteen minutes are over. This is music for memories that creep in under the door. Songs that wear their cares lightly, shining in the dark. Simply, beautiful, beguiling, elegant sounds.

From PicaPica’s EP ‘Spring & Shade’:

 

Today our favourite musical folksters Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker have announced that they will release their fifth album ‘Seedlings All’ on 23rd March on Rough Trade Records.

’Seedlings All’ is Josienne & Ben’s first album to be made up of all original songs and is songwriter Clarke’s most autobiographical work to date. She explains: “For the first time I’m out there alone with a bunch of songs that expose my insecurities, fears of failure and inflated pride. They deal with my own specific thoughts and feelings about the reality of pursuing this kind of career, the cost to personal relationships, circumstance and lifestyle, and asking the question – “Is this still worth it?”

It’s this theme that informs the album’s stunning opening track “Chicago”, which the duo have unveiled today along with a video by filmmaker Bob Gallagher (the man behind many of Girl Band’s visuals).

Of the track, Josienne explains: “We drove all day to get to Chicago, but then NO ONE came to the gig. It was one of those gigs where you wonder whether it’s even worth going on, but we’re sticklers for a contractual obligation, so we played.  After our set one of the guys from the support band said to me that he thought an hour set of our music was “a bit long” because “it’s the kind of music you have to listen to and think about and it’s Saturday and no one wants to do that”.  So I was sitting at the bar drinking my quadruple Bulliet bourbon thinking “fuck this, I’m not doing it anymore, the world is not made for my gift!” and then I realised that I was being a knob and that’s just how it is, we’re not the fucking Beatles and we have to start somewhere, we played to no one in the UK and we’d have to get used to it here too. So I wrote this song mainly to have a word with myself about not being a massive diva….”

Having spent last Autumn honing their already incredible live show supporting Richard Thompson across the UK, we’re sure there won’t be any empty venues on the BBC Folk Award-winning pair’s upcoming European tour

Taken from Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker’s album ‘Seedlings All’, out 23rd March on Rough Trade Records

Photo credit: Jenna Foxton

Coming up through the cloistered English folk scene, this north London duo have filled their repertoire with songs dating back centuries, but Overnight, their Rough Trade debut, is their first album to feature primarily originals. Clarke has been holding out, with a lyrical style as luminescent and melancholy as her voice. On “Nine Times Along” she describes the wax and wane of a relationship against the lunar cycle and the gentle current of Ben Walker’s elegant guitar-work, working from the timeless wisdom that time heals not all wounds.

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Josienne Clarke is a glorious, and very funny, purveyor of gloom who argues that she can now be as miserable as she likes after she and Ben Walker won best duo at this year’s folk awards. This the elegant and suitably melancholy opening track to their last album, Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour. From the album ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour ‘
Out on Folkroom Records October 13th, 2014.

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Nominated for Best Duo and Newcomer at the Fatea awards for British Folk, Josienne Clarke, powerful and pure vocals reminiscent of english folk heroine Sandy Denny and Judy Dyble and Ben Walker with some guitar mastery are one of the best Folk bands you will see and hear. they are similar to the Richard and Linda Thompson of I want to see the Bright Lights era,