Having left school with not much more than a GCSE in Astronomy, Saskia went into alternative therapy and established a practice on Harley Street, London.
She then quit it all to travel and write music; to learn her craft on the streets while busking, gigging, crowdfunding and touring, gaining regular BBC radio play, festival performances, and arts council supported national tours.
Night And Day, featuring multi award winning musicians, Ciaran Algar, Lukas Drinkwater, Jack Cookson and Evan Carson, is Saskia’s third studio album, which she describes as Anglicana – a roots inspired alt-folk fusion of acoustic meets pop. It was produced by Gareth Young at Cube Recordings in Cornwall.
The whole album explores themes of light and dark, love and loss, and joy in defeat, and revolves around her title track, ‘Night And Day’, which expresses Saskia’s vision of unity between people through love.
This album was crowdfunded by Saskia’s fans, raising £8000 in total and achieving her goal of £3000 within 10 hours of launching. She has also teamed up with Word Forest to make this album carbon neutral by offsetting through planting trees.
Devon based band Velvet & Stone release their EP Embers on 13th October 2017! The four-track EP, recorded at Cube Recording in Cornwall, is the second EP released by the band who will be celebrating the release at a launch party at the Bike Shed Theatre Cocktail Bar in Exeter on 13th October followed by a string of dates around the South West.
The EP follows on from their successful single release ‘Raise Your Ghosts’ in August 2017. which received critical acclaim from the music press and airtime on BBC Radio 2. In addition to recording, the band have been focusing on their live appearances, with performances at Cambridge Folk Festival and Celtic Connections under their belt.
Since releasing their first EP, The Storm, in April 2016, the band have had some changes to their line-up, with Lara Snowdon [guitar and vocals] and Kathryn Tremlett [violin and piano] welcoming Roger Styles on guitar and vocals, and Barry Muir on bass and double bass. The new EP also features acclaimed cellist Caroline Lavelle [Radiohead; Massive Attack; Muse; Loreena McKennit; Afro Celt Sound System], and producer/engineer Gareth Young on percussion across all of the tracks.
Lara, vocalist and writer, explains that
“We’ve had a really inspiring time over the past twelve months – working with new musicians, doing a lot of writing, and honing our sound. We draw on modern singer-songwriter influences such as Ben Howard, Bon Iver, Beth Orton, Lisa Hannigan, Sarah Jarosz, Martha Tilston, in addition to folk rock bands like Seth Lakeman, The Levellers, The Cranberries, and the classics – Fleetwood Mac, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Fairport Convention”.
Inspiration for these new tracks is drawn from the sea and natural landscapes, choosing to record at Cube Studios in Cornwall with acclaimed producer Gareth Young has been a natural progression. Velvet & Stone recorded a demo there last winter when Gareth – who has worked with many pop and folk artists – was immediately taken by the band and by Lara’s voice.
“There aren’t many times when we just go – Blimey! Lara’s got one of those voices definitely. There’s just a quality to it that’s just really good, really stunning, and just easy to make sound good.”
And what influence has he brought to the EP?
“There’s more going on with a bit more of a ‘band’ sound than their first record. I think they’ve got a great EP, with some fantastic songs and some great lyrics.”
Radio 2 Folk Award winner Sam Kelly is equally excited having heard the new material:
“Velvet & Stone push the boundaries of genre by combining folk themes with catchy pop hooks and great songs, all lead by Lara’s brilliant vocals. I would recommend this record to anyone”
Cornish duo Steve Hunt and Kim Guy together with their guests – celebrated award winner Jackie Oates, Jason Steel and Gareth Young have put together this lovely traditional album which is already turning heads! Steve is already a stalwart of the Cornish music scene and Corncrow are the resident act of Liskeard’s Barley Folk Club. The title track opens the album and gives a flavour of what is to come, Jackie Oates plays a beautiful mournful viola on the next track – Cruel Sister – which features Steve’s vocals and matches perfectly. 3 Instrumentals are on the album, which are all different to each other, Track 5 – Pysk PI written by Steve Hunt is a really catchy tune if rather short and I would have liked to have heard more! Sweet Nightingale Part 2 ends this truly delightful album and I am so pleased I have a copy for my collection. 7 beautiful tracks encased in a beautiful album cover – designed by Paul Dye, are a real treat for the listener. Better still go and see them live and buy the album! Jean Camp