My week is starting a little late due to health issues, but I'm back in the studio again on quiet, grey, melancholy day. Tilly is dozing at my feet, a squirrel is peering at us through the window glass, and the hills are turning yellow and gold as the days grow steadily colder.
On Sunday night, I was lucky enough to see my Modern Fairies colleague Marry Waterson perform with Emily Barker in an old Devon church (accompanied by Lukas Drinkwater and Rob Pemberton), so I'm focusing on their music today. "Having met on a writing retreat," writes Neil Spencer, "it is perhaps no surprise that England’s Marry Waterson and Australia’s Emily Barker found their voices made a harmonious fit. Both women have a history of collaborative projects. That their respective personae also gelled was more unexpected. Waterson, a scion of Yorkshire’s Waterson-Carthy dynasty, sings much like her late mother Lal; stoicism and lowering northern skies are never far away. By contrast, Barker has inclined to upbeat Americana; her last album, Sweet Kind of Blue, recorded in Memphis, bristles with soul and country influences. Together, the pair have cooked up a dozen songs that blend light and dark, helped by the cello parts of producer Adem Ilhan, encountered at the same retreat."
In the video above, Marry and Emily perform four original songs -- "Be Good," "Twister," "I’m Drawn," and "Perfect Needs" -- for Pirate Live (2018). All of the songs can be found on their wonderful new album, A Window to Other Ways.
Below, Marry and guitarist David A. Jaycock perform their beautiful song "Two Wolves," from the album of the same name (2015).
Above: "Lord I Want an Exit" by Emily, recorded for The Toerag Sessions (2015).
Below: "Some Old Salty" by Marry's late mother, Lal Waterson, from her album Once in a Blue Moon (with Marry's brother, Oliver Knight). Marry, Emily, Lukas, and Rob sang this one acapella on Sunday night to close their set, and it was so gorgeous my heart was in my throat.
The wolf photographs are from the Wolf Conservation Center, an educational foundation and wolf refuge in South Salem, New York. For more information, go here. For wolves in folklore, fairy tales, and fantasy, go here.