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With their highly-anticipated self-titled debut album arriving on April 29th through Lucy Rose’s Real Kind Records (Bess Atwell, Samantha Crain), featuring the previously shared offerings ‘Dialtone’, ‘Moth to a Flame’ and ‘Latchkey’, with the latter amassing over two million streams, featured on Spotify’s highly coveted ‘The Most Beautiful Songs in the World’ playlist, and recently nominated for Song of the Year at the AMA UK Awards, fast-rising folk-pop duo Memorial now continue the support for their forthcoming full-length with their latest single release ‘Fake Moon’.
Peel back the delicate layers of Memorial’s self-titled debut album and it reveals a record of remarkable vulnerability and honesty. Through songs such as Moth To A Flame’s elegiac sigh or Latchkey’s spell-like interplay of voices and acoustic guitars, it’s an album that speaks of love, longing and loneliness with a whispered intimacy. Like only the very best and most affecting music can, it talks to you like your closest and dearest friend.
Ollie Spalding and Jack Watts had been best friends for years before they ever played music seriously together. They’d both been in various other outfits but until one Halloween when all their friends were partying, they thought to book a rehearsal room and give it a go. The magic between the two was instant.
“It was like a cathartic release for us,” remembers Watts. “We booked a rehearsal room just for a laugh. We thought, ‘Let's just see how it goes…’ It was so much more fun than anything else we'd done. We were both thinking, ‘How the hell have we not done this before?!?’ It just felt like: Wow, this is truly ourselves.”
Like most good mates, the pair had long shared similar tastes and reference points when it came to music. More importantly, that long held friendship and the trust that came with it meant that they could be completely open and honest with one another when it came to writing songs together.
“We have this ability to be completely open with each other,” says Spalding. We never take offence to anything the other has said. We talk about things with each other that are really private because we’re really good friends. Which means that now we can write about them. It’s like therapy in a way.”
“We’re not just good acquaintances, we hang out together all the time so a lot of the experiences we go through, we go through together” adds Watts. “If someone is in turmoil or going through something that was really tough at the time, because we’re writing together, you’ve got two views on it. One person can be in it and having all these emotions and the other person can be seeing it from the outside and can have a bit more clarity or a difference of opinion. When you mix those together it makes a really interesting viewpoint.”
Though the impetus of many of these songs was one of pain, of love lost and of struggling to find yourself in the world, thanks to the unique emotional and music lexicon the pair have forged together, really, at the end of the day, Memorial’s debut is an album about friendship and the hope it brings.
A brass-flecked heartbreaker that recalls Simon & Garfunkel and Sufjan Stevens”
Sunday Times Culture
'Each segment interlocks perfectly, enacting a moment of peace that feels much-needed at this point.'
'Fontaines DC like you’ve never heard them before, courtesy of a band called Memorial on this cover version… so Memorial, a two piece, made up of Jack and Ollie… we’ve played their stuff on PDP before but not this… come on that was PDP gold!'
Annie Mac, BBC RADIO 1