Cat no: SZ002 Release Date: 11 February 2018
Riding The Flood is a new five-track EP from Newhaven-based duo Dandelion Charm. John and Clare Fowler combine prog, folk and rock influences into a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies, superb musicianship and heartfelt lyrics. Imagine Fleetwood Mac meets Opeth and CSN meets Yes.
Very much a personal as well as a creative partnership, Dandelion Charm have been memorably described as ‘like Fleetwood Mac without the drama’. As one reviewer has noted, however, all the drama is to be found in the songs themselves.
Clare Fowler: “The themes we deal with in our songs are not frivolous ones. They are all about aspects of real life, things that we’ve seen or been part of. Fear and self-doubt, optimism and determination, family, relationships and addiction are some of the emotions and situations we explore on Riding The Flood.”
The EP is released on 11th February 2018 and will be formally launched with a special gig on that day. Dandelion Charm will be performing songs from the EP with a full band at the Brunswick, Hove’s premier music and arts venue.
With a background working in a commercial studio, John brings over twenty years of song-writing and production experience to Dandelion Charm. Clare, meanwhile, is a long-time visual artist and performer and her love of storytelling manifests itself in her heartfelt lyrics and emotive delivery. There are three key elements to Dandelion Charm, however: John, Clare and ‘Olah’. The latter being John’s custom-built jumbo twelve-string guitar which is central to both the songwriting process and the duo’s live performances.
John Fowler: “We crowd-funded for Olah and I ended up with this amazing beautiful-looking instrument. With Dandelion Charm it’s the first time I’ve made music where I’m not trying to please anyone but it’s hugely rewarding seeing others who love what we’re about.”
What people are saying about Dandelion Charm:
“Dandelion Charm have the songs and talent to appeal to not only prog and folk fans, but anyone who enjoys strong songwriting with blissful vocals and melodies.”
– Jason Ritchie (Get Ready To Rock)
“the fullness of the music, the beautiful harmonies, the sheer musicianship that one moment floats out of the car hi-fi then suddenly becomes a blast of power”
“Packed with beautiful harmonies and emotional, heartfelt lyrics. Like Fleetwod Mac, they play, sing and write music with classic, soaring pop melodies that will also appeal to the serious muso.”
– ROSS SIMPSON (Director – First Act Workshops)
“Bloody brilliant night at The Old Oak…Dandelion Charm – just, WOW!”
– Jimbo Tipler (Folk at The Old Oak)
“Dandelion Charm…clearly destined for greatness”
– Chris Giles (Folk Is Not A Rude Word)
Track By Track: Here, Dandelion Charm guide us through each of the five tracks on Riding The Flood:
September: September is a double edged sword, the gateway to Autumn signalling the end of the Summer but also a time of new starts and resolutions after the hedonism of holiday. It encompasses feelings of fear and dread at the prospect of a return to work, school, reality but also optimism and renewed vitality for the future. The song September has opposing connotations for John and Clare and they really like this, they love the way that songs they have written are interpreted and owned by the listener in relation to their individual experience.
Riding the Flood: This was written in response to a poem that their daughter wrote at age 16. She was travelling alone to London on a train for a week, and wrote her observations down about her experience and fellow travellers. There are threads of fear and self doubt interlaced with an overriding courage and determination. An internal dialogue runs alongside parental advice and a longing for the comfort of childhood innocence. Percussion creates atmosphere by hinting at the sound of a train passing over tracks.
The Spark: This is a song that deals with the struggle out of addiction, themes of self delusion and loathing juxtaposed with themes of hope and release. The mournful vocals building into a passionate outro that mimics the jumble of contrasting emotions associated with recovery.
The Great Believer: This song tells a story about coming to terms with disappointment. It looks back on the cultish abuse of youthful and unquestioning passion. It is set in a bleak landscape which is a metaphor for the feeling of detachment to reality that comes with the realisation that you have been used. It is crushingly lonely and yet there is release, and hope in time.
Wraith: Is an epic journey. It was written about an incident with a patient that John cared for when he worked in a medium secure Psychiatric Forensic Unit. The song is written from the perspective of the carer who is a witness to the intense and relentless fall out of child abuse. Mental anguish, depression and self-harm ravage the protagonist while the only easement is the repeated promise of safety through incarceration and medication.