Spirit Level: emotive harmonic vocals and cleverly precise guitar – the new EP from folk/Americana duo Duffy & Bird

EP release date: 20th September 2019

Folk/Americana duo Duffy & Bird are Tricia Duffy on lead vocals and Al Bird on vocals/guitar. The duo’s blend of vocals with Duffy’s warmth and clarity creates a beautiful and emotive harmonic effect that is coupled with Al’s sensitive acoustic guitar. Betraying Al’s roots in rock, their songs combine fluid vocals with cleverly precise guitar arrangements.

Spirit Level is Duffy & Bird’s new five-track EP following the duo’s debut album ‘5 Lines’ released in 2017. The EP is available in both physical and digital formats.

Tricia Duffy: “When we planned the record we challenged ourselves to draw together a collection of songs that are genuinely diverse, while still hanging together as a set with some sense of commonality and feel. Combining Nashville-style story-telling in ‘Faking a Smile’ with a story inspired by WWII in ‘Born to Fly’ and 3 up beat Americana tracks that comment on cultural norms from luck to mental health, we think it’s an eclectic mix!”

Al Bird: “We want to show a breadth of musical styles while staying true to the raw simplicity of just voices and guitars.”

Duffyandbird_IMG_1366_credit Gemma_Redford

Photo credit: Gemma Redford

Now based in Chiswick, west London (Tricia) and Farnham, Surrey (Al) the pair hail from Portsmouth and Cardiff respectively, their paths first crossing in 2015. Originally starting out as two-fifths of a rock covers band they morphed into an acoustic duo performing covers of classic songs. However, putting a set-list together one day two years ago, Tricia confided to Al that she was getting a little tired of doing covers and wanted them to start writing their own songs. With Tricia’s natural gift for storytelling and Al’s intuitive feel for a strong melody the pair soon evolved into accomplished singer-songwriters.

Tricia’s trip to Nashville for a writing workshop in 2017 with songwriter, Verlon Thompson, and others meant she came back with new inspiration and a clutch of brand new songs. Their material began earning them a reputation on the live circuit, with some of their memorable appearances including 2018’s Weyfest and the Tamesis Dock floating barge venue in London. Duffy & Bird’s well-received debut album ‘5 Lines’ was released in November 2017.

“It’s all about stories with Tricia,” says Al. “She’ll get an idea from something someone has said, or she’s seen on TV, and that will percolate in her head until she can write 4-5 lines of a poem. That’s how most of our songs start.”

“Al is highly logical,” adds Tricia. “His musicianship is incredible but his inspiring skill is the way he listens. He hears how things are developing before we’ve even finished writing them and adds magic touches where you least expect them.”

“When I listened for the first time, my very first thought was I haven’t heard anything like this, since Simon & Garfunkel. An incredible duo.” Al Yardy – KB Radio on Duffy & Bird’s debut album ‘5 Lines’

“Duffy & Bird do it again with trademark sound of Americana goodness.” Music Talks reviews

Spirit Level Art Work-3000X3000Spirit Level EP – Track by track

1. Avenue of Luck – A stunning slice of folk/Americana ‘Avenue of Luck’ was also the duo’s recent single. Tricia: “Al and I had been chatting about the number of listeners we had on Spotify and he used the phrase Avenue of Luck – how do we get on to the Avenue of Luck? That sounds like a song, I said to him! I think we both have a shared set of values when it comes to that whole notion of luck. We consider ourselves lucky but we also both strongly believe that there isn’t really any such thing as luck – as the song says only opportunity and [hard] work. That started the theme for the song. We’ve found that Avenue of Luck is a fantastic live song for us and even though it’s still new, it’s been incredibly popular when we’ve taken it out.”

2. Topping Up – Pure Americana, with a comment on today’s cultural zeitgeist relating to mental health. We observe our friends and family struggling with their own judged perception of a perfect life, too much to do, to fit in, to try and achieve, but instead of taking something away, they relentlessly add more and more. And top up the excesses to cope…

3. Faking a Smile – Al: “This was a song we wrote in 2018, Tricia had started writing stories about this character’s life, using her time in Nashville in 2017 as inspiration for some of the imagery. She’d started distilling the story into a simple song around Autumn last year, when her house was burgled. Among the things that were stolen was her song-writing journal that had the original story in it and all her notes for this song. The chord structures and harmonics. Everything. All she had left was what was in her head and some audio recordings she’d made during the development process. When we sat down to plan the record she played me these extracts – with normal 4:4 acoustic strumming. I thought the the theme was very strong but the snippets weren’t hanging together musically so I suggested we re-write the whole thing in 3…”
Tricia adds: “When Al suggested re-writing Faking a Smile in 3:4 or 6:8 I thought he was taking the piss. I’d been really struggling after my break-in and having my journal taken had been one of the most devastating parts of the loss and intrusion (Tricia had intercepted the burglar during the terrifying incident). I struggled for weeks with the lyric re-write – but my friend Oli Deakin (AKA Lowpines) suggested I listen to the Bob Dylan bootleg volumes and in particular the alternate recording of Like a Rolling Stone which was first penned by Dylan in 3:4 and later re-written in 4:4. It was all I needed to inspire me. The heart ache and hard work was 100% worth it as it’s one of the songs I am most proud of. Not just on this record but of everything we’ve made.”

4. Spirit Level – The title track of the album, Spirit Level offers a relentless acoustic beat that drives this indie-rock sounding melodic Americana with the juxtaposition between haunting harmonies, layered acoustic guitar and a complexity that betrays the simplicity of a duo that consist of just two voices and guitars. The lyrics sneak up on you, tricking you into a sense of simple pop, but in fact they ruthlessly play on the idea of ‘spirit’ with multiple metaphors building cleverly throughout the song.
Tricia: “I wrote the majority of this song, while walking around the river in Chiswick with my dog one sunny autumn day. It takes 40 minutes to do a loop and by the time I got home I had the majority of the lyrics in my head and hummed into voice memos on my phone I added some basic chords and sent it Al for development. He added a huge amount of rock influence to what started life as an acoustic self reflective tune.”

5. Born to Fly – Soaring vocals over intricate guitar, this song was inspired by Mary Ellis one of the last surviving women pilots from WWII. She told a story of the preparations for D-Day, the flotilla of ships gathering in Southampton water. The female pilots from the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) were delivering aircraft built in Hamble and as they flew overhead they could sense that something was happening, but as civilians were unaware of exactly what. During these desperate times these exceptional, young, talented women entertained dreams of romance and Mary spoke of writing love notes, which they shoved in bottles and dropped over the water hoping they would reach the man of their dreams. They couldn’t have known what would happen in the days to come – both the horror and finally the end of the war. This song is a humble tribute to the incredible bravery of the women that ferried the aircraft in the most extraordinary circumstances and the service men they endeavoured to support.

Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson +44 (0)7799 731 682 darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

Website: https://duffyandbird.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duffyandbird
Twitter: https://twitter.com/duffyandbird

Spirit Level Flier

Dandelion Charm mark new single with double gig weekend in Worthing 13th and 14th July

Intimate Acoustic gig – The Charles Dickens, Saturday 13th July
54-60 Heene Rd, Worthing, BN11 3RG. Doors 8.00pm, tickets £5.00 on the door. Show your tickets for our band gig at Bar 42 on Sunday 14th July for half price entry

Band launch gig – Bar 42, Sunday 14th July
42 Marine Parade, Worthing, BN11 3QA. Doors 7.00pm, tickets £7.00  Book here

Ahead of their much-anticipated new album this Autumn, Newhaven-based duo Dandelion Charm release a new single on 14th July and are marking the release with two special gigs in Worthing that weekend.

Drawing from the prog, rock and folk influences of John Fowler (guitar and vocals) and Clare Fowler (vocals), Dandelion Charm’s critically-acclaimed signature sound is a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Reflecting on the drip drip impact of a never-ending stream of modern media commentary, the new single ‘Afraid of the Silence’ delivers its message with an upbeat optimistic shuffle and overtones of Simon and Garfunkel.

Already familiar faces on the Brighton and Worthing music scene, Dandelion Charm have stepped up their live appearances over the past year and won many new fans, performing as a duo or trio and sometimes in an expanded full-band format.

Clare Fowler: “We love playing in Worthing and we wanted to do something extra special so in addition to our launch gig at Bar 42 with the band we will be playing an intimate trio gig the night before downstairs at the Charles Dickens Pub on Heene Road. For those die-hard Dandelion Charm fans advance ticket holders for Bar 42 can get into the acoustic gig for half price.”

John Fowler: “Afraid of the Silence is a comment on Western society. So many of us just want to be told what’s worthy of our attention, what isn’t, what we should wear, what words we should use and so on. We absorb whatever the media spews out as if it’s our own thoughts, disregarding whatever was in vogue last week. So many people are terrified of not having all this stimulus and media guidance. They are afraid of the silence. People spend their time coveting whatever product is marketed to their demographic, and get a small dopamine release when it’s acquired, then they’re on to the next thing. This seems to be how many of us exist. I wonder whether such people reach old age and feel like they haven’t actually done anything – whether they feel as if they haven’t really lived.”

Dandelion Charm’s debut album ‘Tiny Drop’ was released in 2015. This was followed by a five-track EP ‘Riding The Flood’ in 2018. Following the success of ‘Riding The Flood’ last year and appearances at Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, the Cropredy festival fringe and a support slot for prog icons Gryphon, 2019 is promising to be even more of an exhilarating ride for Dandelion Charm with an appearance at the Cambridge Rock Festival in July, a return to Cropredy in August and a string of gigs along the south coast. A second full-length album ‘Maybe Dreamers’ is scheduled for release in November 2019 in both CD and digital formats.

Afraid of the Silence cover art

Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson +44 (0)7799 731 682 darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com
Website: https://www.dandelioncharm.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dandelioncharmmusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dandelion_Charm

New single: ‘Afraid of the Silence’ – an upbeat yet thought-provoking slice of prog folk from Dandelion Charm

Single release date: 14th July 2019

“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” – Get Ready To Rock

Ahead of their much-anticipated new album this Autumn, south-coast duo Dandelion Charm release a new single on 14th July. Reflecting on the drip drip impact of a never-ending stream of modern media commentary ‘Afraid of the Silence’ delivers its message with an upbeat optimistic shuffle and overtones of Simon and Garfunkel.

Drawing from the prog, rock and folk influences of John Fowler (guitar and vocals) and Clare Fowler (vocals), Dandelion Charm’s critically-acclaimed signature sound is a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies and heartfelt lyrics.

John Fowler: “Afraid of the Silence is a comment on Western society. So many of us just want to be told what’s worthy of our attention, what isn’t, what we should wear, what words we should use and so on. We absorb whatever the media spews out as if it’s our own thoughts, disregarding whatever was in vogue last week. So many people are terrified of not having all this stimulus and media guidance. They are afraid of the silence. People spend their time coveting whatever product is marketed to their demographic, and get a small dopamine release when it’s acquired, then they’re on to the next thing. This seems to be how many of us exist. I wonder whether such people reach old age and feel like they haven’t actually done anything – whether they feel as if they haven’t really lived.”

Dandelion Charm - High Res for print-71

The release of ‘Afraid of the Silence’ will be marked with a special launch gig at Bar 42, Worthing on 14th July.

Dandelion Charm’s debut album ‘Tiny Drop’ was released in 2015. This was followed by a five-track EP ‘Riding The Flood’ in 2018. Following the success of ‘Riding The Flood’ last year and appearances at Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, the Cropredy festival fringe and a support slot for prog icons Gryphon, 2019 is promising to be even more of an exhilarating ride for Dandelion Charm with an appearance at the Cambridge Rock Festival in July, a return to Cropredy in August and a string of gigs along the south coast. A second full-length album ‘Maybe Dreamers’ is scheduled for release in November 2019 in both CD and digital formats.

Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson +44 (0)7799 731 682 darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

Website: https://www.dandelioncharm.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dandelioncharmmusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dandelion_Charm

Afraid of the Silence cover art

‘Avenue of Luck’ the new single from folk/Americana duo Duffy & Bird

Single release date: 21st June 2019

A stunning slice of folk/Americana ‘Avenue of Luck’ is the brand new single from Duffy & Bird. It follows the duo’s well-received debut album ‘5 Lines’ released in 2017 and is a first taste of new material ahead of a new five-track EP that will be released this Autumn.

Duffy & Bird are Tricia Duffy on lead vocals and Al Bird on vocals and guitar. The duo’s blend of vocals with Duffy’s warmth and clarity creates a beautiful and emotive harmonic effect that is coupled with Al’s sensitive acoustic guitar. Betraying Al’s roots in rock, their songs combine fluid vocals with cleverly precise guitar arrangements.

Reflecting on the inspiration behind ‘Avenue of Luck’ Tricia Duffy comments:

“Al and I had been chatting about the number of listeners we had on Spotify and he used the phrase Avenue of Luck – how do we get on to the Avenue of Luck? That sounds like a song, I said to him! I think we both have a shared set of values when it comes to that whole notion of luck. We consider ourselves lucky but we also both strongly believe that there isn’t really any such thing as luck – as the song says only opportunity and [hard] work. That started the theme for the song. We’ve found that Avenue of Luck is a fantastic live song for us and even though it’s still new, it’s been incredibly popular when we’ve taken it out.”

Now based in Chiswick, west London (Tricia) and Farnham, Surrey (Al) the pair hail from Portsmouth and Cardiff respectively, their paths first crossing in 2015. Originally starting out as two-fifths of a rock covers band they morphed into an acoustic duo performing covers of classic songs. However, putting a set-list together one day two years ago, Tricia confided to Al that she was getting a little tired of doing covers and wanted them to start writing their own songs. With Tricia’s natural gift for storytelling and Al’s intuitive feel for a strong melody the pair soon evolved into accomplished singer-songwriters. Tricia’s trip to Nashville for a writing workshop in 2017 with songwriter, Verlon Thompson, and others meant she came back with new inspiration and a clutch of brand new songs. Their material began earning them a reputation on the live circuit, with some of their memorable appearances including 2018’s Weyfest and the Tamesis Dock floating barge venue in London.

Duffyandbird_IMG_1366-2_credit_Gemma_Redford.jpg

“It’s all about stories with Tricia,” says Al. “She’ll get an idea from something someone has said, or she’s seen on TV, and that will percolate in her head until she can write 4-5 lines of a poem. That’s how most of our songs start.”

“Al is highly logical,” adds Tricia. “His musicianship is incredible but his inspiring skill is the way he listens. He hears how things are developing before we’ve even finished writing them and adds magic touches where you least expect them.”

Duffy & Bird’s debut album ‘5 Lines’ was released in November 2017. A five-track EP is scheduled for release in Autumn 2019.

“When I listened for the first time, my very first thought was I haven’t heard anything like this, since Simon & Garfunkel. An incredible duo.” Al Yardy – KB Radio on Duffy & Bird’s debut album ‘5 Lines’

Website: https://duffyandbird.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duffyandbird

Twitter: https://twitter.com/duffyandbird

Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson 07799 731 682 darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

Avenue_of_Luck-Artwork

‘Stephanie’ the captivating new single from Dandelion Charm

Single release date: 8th April 2019

“a song about disappointment and failed expectation, loss of innocence, isolation and shame”

In a busy twelve months for prog folk outfit Dandelion Charm they’ve released a highly-acclaimed EP, extended their reach to many new fans and spent time in the studio finalising a brand new album. The single ‘Stephanie’ provides the first taste of what Dandelion Charm’s new material has in store for fans and will be released as a download on Monday 8th April 2019.

Newhaven-based Dandelion Charm is the creation of John Fowler (guitars/vocals) and Clare Fowler (vocals). They combine prog, folk and rock influences into a luxurious blend of intricate harmonies, soaring melodies, superb musicianship and heartfelt lyrics, receiving plaudits from across a range of genres – from prog to hard-rock to folk.
The single is a captivating and dramatic slice of exquisite prog folk from the highly-rated south-coast duo.

Clare Fowler: “I started writing the melody and lyrics for Stephanie on the bus to Brighton, I was thinking about my daughter and how she had come home from London after making a ‘bad’ choice. She was so embarrassed and crippled by shame and feelings of inadequacy, which were then fuelled and exaggerated by the insta-perfect lives she saw online. As the song took shape, however, I realised that I identified with her feelings and the character of Stephanie grew in my mind into an every-woman, embodying the journey into womanhood. Stephanie is a song about disappointment and failed expectation, loss of innocence, isolation and shame. The train is a metaphor for time which moves relentlessly forward regardless of our desire to step off or go backwards to a simpler more unworldly place.”

0008426340_10.jpg

Already familiar faces on the Brighton and Worthing music scene, Dandelion Charm have stepped up their live appearances over the past year and won many new fans, performing as a duo or trio and sometimes in an expanded full-band format. Playing Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, being part of the festival fringe line-up at Fairport Convention’s Cropredy weekend and a support slot with prog rock icons Gryphon have been among the many recent highlights for Dandelion Charm.

John Fowler: “It feels like we’ve grown wings, its great when people you don’t know get in contact and want to talk about the music. That’s been the big difference this year it really feels like we’re going somewhere. For me this year has felt like someone has opened a gate to a big field, and we’re walking around the field and experiencing all these new things. It’s been great!”

Dandelion Charm’s debut album ‘Tiny Drop’ was released in 2015. This was followed by a five-track EP ‘Riding The Flood’ in February 2018. A second full-length album ‘Maybe Dreamers’ is scheduled for release in late 2019.

The release of the single ‘Stephanie’ will be marked with a special launch gig at The Observatory, Herstmonceux, Hailsham BN27 1RN on 6th April

DC Stephanie Cover Art

Media enquiries to: Darren Johnson 07799 731 682
darrenjohnson@crowfliescommunications.com

Website: https://www.dandelioncharm.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dandelioncharmmusic
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dandelion_Charm