Earlier this year I was very fortunate to work on a very special project with a band called Mercia. It was (and is) special to me because I got to meet some truly talented individuals, got to spend a lot of time with them and have input to their work, got to record them and mix this wonderful EP.
Mercia are essentially a duo – Simone Picknett on guitars, vocals and songwriting; and Dan Endersby on drums. Additionally, the EP features a giant of musical knowledge, heart and spirit of Tobias (Toby) Edward Hawthorne; pianos and violins by Dan Richards, marching drumming by Tom Ashcroft, and stunning additional vocals by Luke Crawford.
Simone’s writing is way too mature for her age. Augmented by a brilliant sense of melody, alternative tunings and open chords, she creates lush textures that create the basis for her beautiful storytelling. Equally, Dan’s solid drumming and Toby’s exceptional bass work all create a head-shaking and foot-stomping performance. Luke adds exceptional lead and backing vocals to Simone’s lead vocals which interleave like a elegant dance.
I’ve attended rehearsals with the band prior to the recording and we’ve done simple pre-production at my studio. With a recording plan and a schedule in mind, we went into Snap Studios for three days to track the songs. Starting with drums and bass, and working through guitars, piano, violins, vocals and percussion. One by one, every piece of the puzzle came into place.
After three long days and very little rest, the EP was mixed in my studio and mastered skilfully by John Webber at AIR Studios Mastering. In hindsight, I’m not sure how we had the time, but we managed to also record all the four songs as a live performance in the studio’s live room! You can watch them all on the band’s YouTube channel.
Very proudly I’m happy to say that the EP is now available digitally via iTunes and Amazon. Please buy, list and share!
Here’s a little sample (or listen before you buy) from the EP:
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[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/113239792″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/113239872″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/113239971″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
I regret not having enough time to take as many photos as I would like, but here’s something.
Do follow Mercia on the various social networks. They are actively gigging and uploading new stuff.