Velvet & Stone announce their debut album

Velvet & Stone

Velvet & Stone’s highly anticipated debut album is released on August 2nd 2019. The self-titled album is a collection of the band’s songs which they’ve crafted at gigs and festivals since they formed in 2014, and is inspired by the creative partnership between the band’s front women Lara Snowdon and Kathryn Tremlett.

Drawing upon the wild, natural landscapes of their home county of Devon, folk tales, and personal stories of love and loss, the album weaves traditional threads with a fresh and contemporary take on folk, putting the album at the cutting edge of its genre.

Topped and tailed by the band’s more traditional tracks; ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ and ‘I’ll Dream Of You Tonight’; the album takes the listener on a journey rooted in dark indie-folk-rock which comes to prominence on ‘Lay Her Down’, ‘Oh Boy’ and ‘Walls’, through to an insight on unrequited love with folk-pop tunes ‘By The Water’ and ‘Breathe’. Towards the end of the album the band explore their characteristic dreamy soundscapes on ‘Am I Dreaming’ and ‘Forget About The Rain’.

All songs are characterised by the honesty of Lara’s song-writing and vocal, and Kat’s expressive violin. Supported by their band Paddy Blight on bass, Garry Kroll on drums, and Kev Jackson on guitar. The album is produced by Josiah Manning at Momentum Studios, who also plays keys on the album.

Velvet & Stone’s brand of indie folk combines haunting soundscapes with catchy pop hooks and great songs; providing an original and beautiful take on a traditional genre. Crafting their live set with performances at Cambridge Folk Festival, Celtic Connections and Larmer Tree Festivals, they take their audiences on a journey through stunning melodies and soundscapes to foot-stomping folk-rock.

Led by the ethereal combination of Lara Snowdon’s vocals, and Kathryn Tremlett’s violin; Velvet & Stone’s music draws upon personal stories, melancholy tales and rugged landscapes, creating a sound that is difficult to forget. Supported by their band Paddy Blight (double bass), Kev Jackson (guitar) and Garry Kroll (drums), the band weave traditional threads and combine them with folk-revival and contemporary flavours.

Velvet & Stone have been likened to a twenty-first century Fairport Convention, and comparisons drawn with Seth Lakeman, Mumford & Sons, and Laura Marling. Their music has gained plaudits from across the music press, airtime on BBC Radio 2, BBC

Velvet & Stone is the band’s fourth recording. Their discography includes:

The Storm EP (2016)
The Embers EP (2017)
The Live EP (2018)

Artists’ website:

‘By The Water’ – live in a wood:

VELVET & STONE – The Storm (VelvetStone LVID001)

The StormA new female alt-folk trio from Devon, Lara Snowden and Holly Jo Gilbert-West sharing vocals and acoustic guitar with Kathryn Tremlett on violin and piano, make their recording bow with a six track EP of original material that most certainly whets the appetite for a full album in the hopefully not too distant future.

It’s perhaps a mark of their assurance that they open proceedings with a ballad titled ‘Fisherman’s Blues’. It certainly takes balls, or whatever the female equivalent may be, to share a title with one of the best known Waterboys’ classics, let alone brazenly have it head up the collection, but, featuring fiddle, spooked electric guitar, upright bass and tinklingly moody descending piano line, its tale of a girl growing up in a fishing town, with all the tragedies that can bring, effortlessly sweeps any quality comparisons aside.

Having made such an assertive entrance, they continue to impress with a further set of songs that draw upon their West Country background, the forces of nature and a female perspective. Second up showcases Tremlett’s sorrowful violin on the heartbreak-themed ‘Sweet Summer Rain’ with its almost ethereal keyboards swirl from producer Jack Henderson and cascading melody line, moving on to ‘Patchwork’, an optimistic love song underpinned by an insistent tapping and tumbling military beat and fleshed out with violin and piano. ‘Same Old Records’ takes a swerve into jazzier areas with gypsy violin and Andrew Tween from Seth Lakeman’s band providing syncopated drums, the finger-clicking rhythm and twin vocals calling to mind a folksier Cleo Laine.

Things are pared back to primarily acoustic guitar for ‘That Road’, a terrific moody, soulful number, the melody and vocal delivery of which can’t help but call to mind Bill Withers’s ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’. Introduced by piano trills and almost Oriental-flavoured violin waterfalls, the album closes with the title track, written on a Cornwall beach and looking to evoke that sense of feeling the most alive in the darkest hours, embracing rather than running from the metaphorical winds and tides.

Potentially the West Country’s answer to First Aid Kit, currently, the trio largely seem to only play around their own backyard. I suspect their horizons are about to expand dramatically.

Mike Davies

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