Guest Playlist: Jo Quail

In the run up to acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist Jo Quail‘s new album Exsolve, we asked her to put together a playlist of the artists and tracks that have influenced her throughout the years.

Watch Jo Quail’s trailer for the album here, with an excerpt of the track ‘Mandrel Cantus’:

Artists / Tracks that have influenced me:

Dead Can Dance – ‘Song of the Sybil’
My cousins playing this whole album to me when I was maybe 12, sitting on the steps outside their flat on a warm summer night. This careful, simple yet wholly powerful arrangement has stayed by my side over the years.

G Tom Mac – ‘Cry Little Sister’ (from The Lost Boys)
I remember watching The Lost Boys for the first time as a kid, and immediately rushing upstairs to the piano to play this theme back. I still love this track today (and the movie!).

Jane’s Addiction – ‘Three Days’
Perry Farrel’s vocals are unbridled in an almost animalistic fashion and this gives such space, it removes boundaries of precision in a way, yet there is so much precision in the whole track. It creates a kind of virile rawness that pervades ‘Three Days’, and much more of their music too.

Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 – ‘Adagio (final movement)’
I have to listen to this periodically. There’s an incredible YouTube performance conducted by Myung Whun Chung that I often visit. The whole symphony is stunning but this movement especially has a place in my heart. I played this years ago and for the first time felt the true power of a symphony orchestra, and knew first-hand the absolute intention in the weight and heaviness wrought from the instruments and performers.

Saul Williams – ‘Twice The First Time’
Awesome track. He’s mesmerising in live performance and has a real breadth to what he does in terms of arrangement, as well as brilliant lyrics. Watching him open for Nine Inch Nails was a huge and profound learning curve for me.

Ratt – ‘Round and Round’
I love Ratt for several reasons but in this track it’s the drive and the kind of confident (hedonistic!) attitude that pervades the writing and the live show too, it delivers in droves!

Arvo Part – ‘Fratres’ (for strings and percussion)
When I first heard this in concert I was completely moved. The harmonic movement of the strings, the rhythmic unison, coupled with the constant pedal A sparse and profound percussion. This is pure beauty.

Manuel De Falla – ‘Asturiana’
Beauty, grace and elegance. I have played this arranged for cello and piano, and also arranged and performed it as a cello quartet in a concert a few years back. The harmonies are close, and there is a gentle almost omnipresent movement in the piano or guitar underpinning the voice which, when it pauses, creates the most powerful space in the music.

Lana Del Rey – ‘Summertime Sadness
At home people like the Cedric Gervais remix particularly! The whole remix concept has influenced me a great deal, especially in the way I’ve dealt with pieces like ‘White Salt Stag’ in live performance, bringing the pace up a bit and making fuller use of percussion to drive things along, cutting things out or apparently ‘splicing’ them sonically speaking – changing bowing or phrasing to get a very different feel from a track that I’ve felt has been less settled previously.

Huge thanks to Jo Quail for selecting these tunes for us! Listen to them in our Guest Playlist here: 

 

Jo Quail’s upcoming album Exsolve is out 2nd November. 

Guest Playlist: Emily Magpie

As Autumn draws in, what better way to remember the summer than by listening to some of the sweetest tunes from this year’s festivals…?! Having just shared the celestial grace of latest single ‘Last Train’, and set to release her new EP next month, Bristol-based artist Emily Magpie has chosen some of her personal favourites for us…

Watch Emily Magpie’s new video for ‘Last Train here:

It’s been such a lush summer of festivals for me, and I’ve gotten to see some amazing female artists along the way. Really proud to see some amazing women doing their thing and blazing a path for there to be more of a balance at festivals – we need more of this please! Here’s some of my faves that I’ve seen/hope to see next year…

China Bowls 
My fellow Bristolian China Bowls is such a superb musician and songwriter… I’ve had the joy of gigging with this lady before and she was all over the festival season. Jazz, neo soul and hip-hop influences, soulful vocals and guitar… Always great solo, or with band in tow, check her out!

Lucy Dacus
I’ve loved ‘…Familiar Place’ by Lucy Dacus since I stumbled across it on Spotify this year, and then managed to stumble across her live set at Green Man Festival this summer after I’d finished mine. I was so happy to see this lovely indie singer-songwriter live; chill vibes, plus she’s hilarious!

Hollie Cook
I caught Hollie’s tropical pop at Boomtown Festival this year, when tropical pop was so so necessary. It was a pretty soggy affair and Hollie brought the sunshine. She’s on tour in Autumn, and I’m definitely going to try and watch her again!

Goat Girl
Saw the end of their live set at Green Man Festival and loved it. Dark, hazy, some shoegaze feels and indie sounds – very cool band.

IDER
IDER are right up my street; with really cool electronic production, their vocals are what really take it to the next level. I’m excited to see what they do next.

Kate Stapley
I saw Kate Stapley live at Bristol Harbourside Festival just after my set. It’s such a great festival for seeing upcoming Bristol artists, and I fecking LOVE Kate’s music. I guess genre-wise it’s indie, but what she does is just magical. The songwriting is fantastic. You need ‘These Planets’ on repeat!

Holly Walker & Malibou State
I’m really into this set up; it’s such great music to chill to, but also kind of dance-able also. It’s on my list to listen to lots more and get into.

This is the Kit
I didn’t manage to catch This Is The Kit at a festival this year, but they were doing the rounds. Such a lovely, lovely band! I was lucky enough to play support to them earlier this year, and they craft the most magical folk songs. A really special band and excellent people, check them out!Frankie Cosmos
Frankie Cosmos is just ace. Somewhere between indie and folk, I love the lo-fi feel of her music, it just makes me feel all happy and soft inside.

Honeyfeet
Honeyfeet are a band you just have to see live. I got taken along to a gig of theirs a couple of years ago, and wow. Perfect festival band – so much soul, so much sass, so much energy, so much dancing. Go listen and get sweaty and happy!

Huge thanks to Emily for putting together this playlist for us! Have a listen, and feel all those luscious summer vibes here: