“One of our favorite records of the year. Trust me on this one. Velvet & Stone are superb” – James Santer, BBC Introducing
“Velvet & Stone tread a compelling line between folk, jazz and blues, and their Storm EP is a haunting listen – great production and writing” – Gilmore & Roberts, double BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees
Artist – Velvet & Stone
Title – THE STORM
Label – Independent
Release date – 8 December 2015
THE STORM is the eagerly awaited debut EP from Devon-based alt-folk female trio Velvet & Stone. Lyrically it draws on a rich palette of life stories, life events, the natural world and melancholy West Country tales, exquisitely delivered in six haunting compositions, topped by distinctive vocals, crisp guitars and soaring violin.
Formed by “fates colliding” at a Devon pub in February 2014, Velvet & Stone comprises Lara Snowdon (lead vocals, acoustic guitar), Holly Jo Gilbert-West (lead vocals, acoustic guitar) and Kathryn Tremlett (violin, piano). “We all bring different things to the group,” says Lara. “Holly and I have a folk background. Kat adds another dimension with her classical past.”
“Our music is a mix of whatever’s happening in our lives,” says Holly. “We all contribute to the writing and play around with a mix of genres. Our songs focus on stories of us, people we know, or things we’re inspired by. We’re lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world and that comes through in our music.”
Within months of forming, the talented trio won a competition, giving them the opportunity to record at The Convent – a venue and record label in Stroud, Gloucestershire. The Storm EP is the stunning result. “We would never have been able to produce the EP without Convent Records’ support,” says Lara. “They’ve been great.”
Joining Velvet & Stone for the recording sessions at a chapel in Stroud were renowned musicians Ben Nicholls (bass, Seth Lakeman, Patsy Reid) and Andrew Tween (drums, Seth Lakeman, Show of Hands). Producer Jack Henderson (Over The Rhine, Cowboy Junkies) also played guitar and keyboards.
All tracks are group compositions. The opener is the sublime Fishermen’s Blues, which focuses on a girl growing up in a fishing town. “It’s a folk song from a female perspective and is about the cycle of life,” says Lara. Forget About The Rain concerns heartbreak, while Patchwork is an equally poignant take on love, but with references to Devon.
The EP closes with the majestic title track. “I wrote The Storm on a beach in Cornwall,” says Lara. “It’s about the sense of feeling alive when there’s a storm coming. Soon after that we went up to Holly’s house and her mum was going storm-chasing, so that added to it, although it’s metaphorical, not just about a physical storm.”
The Storm further strengthens Velvet & Stone’s growing reputation, built from regular gigging, appearances at Sidmouth Folk Week and Somersault Festival, increasing radio play on BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio, and impressive YouTube hits.
“We’d love The Storm to be a success and then to go on and write an album,” says Lara. “We’ve got a lot more music to play.”
For all media enquiries, MP3s, hard copies of the EP and launch party tickets, please contact: [email protected]