Ambient alternative folk act Snowpoet are pleased to announce their debut EP ‘Butterfly’, due for release on 2nd December 2014.
Born out of a musical friendship and understanding, nurtured during their time studying at the Royal Academy of Music, the London-based group combine melody and poetry in an improvisational effort inspired by artists such as Bjork, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits and Ólöf Arnalds, as well as poets Sylvia Plath, W.B. Yeats and Philip Larkin.
With a core composed of the paired songwriting skills of coveted bassist Chris Hyson and award-winning vocalist Lauren Kinsella, the duo lead a malleable live set-up which includes Nick Costley-White on guitar, Matt Robinson on piano/keyboards, Dave Hamblett on drums and Josh Arcoleo, whose portfolio includes work with Joss Stone and Ghostpoet, on saxophone.
EP opener ‘Always’ places Lauren’s spoken word poetry against background chimes, piano and pattering drums. The lyrics are an exploration of the human mind and our unspoken difficulties, as Lauren explains: “we alone listen to our thoughts and try to make sense of them.” Her spoken word evolves into a crystalline sung vocal before Arcoleo’s saxophone takes centre stage in a beautifully emotive solo.
As the energy of ‘Always’ slows, ‘1953’ provides a delicate interlude played on a Wurlitzer, which segues in ‘Butterflies’. Inspired by a symbolic experience Chris had at the funeral of his father, when he saw butterflies fly from the walls into which the coffin had been sealed, the track is an attempt to recreate the metaphor of a spiritual ascent, with three sections that merge and flow subtly into each other. While a brushed drum beat, languid guitar and verse recited in stilted pronunciation intertwine, Lauren slips effortlessly between singing and speaking to create an immersive listening experience.
Final track ‘Alive With Closed Eyes’ is a musical reworking of the E. E. Cummings poem ‘I Will Wade Out’. A prolific American poet with a focus on natural imagery and unique form, the verse has also been put to music by Bjork for ‘Sun In My Mouth’. The half-spoken, half-sung lyrics are paired with the sound of gentle rain in a perfect reflection of the words as soft keys make their trace.
Chris was awarded a Yamaha Jazz Scholarship for outstanding musicianship in 2011 and has been commended by Jamie Cullum for his previous EP releases, while Lauren’s accolades include picking up the prestigious Irish Young Musicwide Award in 2010 and the significant Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize in 2013. Critically acclaimed by the likes of The Guardian for her previous work in groups like Blue-Eyed Hawk, her music can regularly be heard on BBC Radio 3 and Jazz FM.
Mastered by the legendary Tony Cousins, whose recent credits include mastering Laura Marling and Tom Odell, ‘Butterfly’ EP furthers the success of pairing accomplished musicians with poetry, which achieved mainstream note with the Mercury Music Prize-nominated collaboration between Jon Hopkins and King Creosote.
The sheer volume of talent involved in crafting Snowpoet’s ‘Butterfly’ EP is astounding, and has resulted in a delicate and tender piece of work which resonates on a deep emotional level.
Click here for a free download of ‘Alive With Closed Eyes’.