We arrived at the beautiful London town house located in Hackney, greeted by the warm soul of Chris Hyson, one half of Snowpoet. After a coffee and a freshly made ham-salad bagel we began to move furniture around his living room to aptly capture the surroundings of their music. Although, the toing and froing of furniture and ornaments was not that important. Snowpoet’s fragrant arrangements were in no need of an organised visual crutch. This music made space for itself.
The furniture arranged, the Chuckle Brothers special of the BBC’s lunchtime show Changing Rooms had settled, Flyotw and Chris sat back and relaxed as the doorbell resonated through the house, almost as if a song bird had just introduced the arrival of another song bird, a much more important one though, a Nightingale perhaps.
Lauren Kinsella, the charming Irish singer and second beat to the bands heart had arrived. The duo began to arrange notes and melodies, warming up the fingers, stretching the vocals. Without notice, the two elements merged into one, like two train track lines combining routes, the effect that can only be seen as passenger inside the speeding train staring out the window, though in this case, sat on a sofa in Hackney.
Edam!” *snap*, “margarita!” *snap*, “stilton!” *snap*, replaced take one, two and three followed by the clapping of the clapperboard (a technique used by Flyotw to keep the mood light) each song, just as fruitful as the last, a kind of libretto, drama for music, music for drama. Snowpoet treated us to a selection of songs from their new album, self titled, Snowpoet.
A song titled “If I Miss a Star” was our favourite. So spacious, as if it were a crime to not feel relaxed whilst listening to it. As the mind relaxes, the real intention of this music appears. It conjures emotion, nostalgic memories, thoughts of people who had been and gone. Family holidays in the family caravan, or building hide outs in the pine wood forests. Music of this nature often washes over you, giving your mind an excuse to forget all of your problems, but this did something additional. It was cleansing, unborn and intriguing.
Chris and Lauren’s approach to writing music is varied. Often it begins with Chris and Lauren improvising together before bringing in the rest of their band, which include: Matt Robinson, Dave Hamblett, Nick Costley-White, Josh Arcoleo and Alex Killpartrick. Other occasions such as their song ‘Alive With Closed Eyes’ was completely improvised during a studio session, which then became integrated into their library of music. Snowpoet's writing is unpredictable, their structures, derived from Jazz, feel loose and natural. With no preconceptions before writing begins, the outcome truly reflects the moment of emotion in each musician.
Snowpoet have recorded in different locations, from Wales to Dublin. As the space changes, so does the music, showing their embrace to challenge the comfort of their sound. All of the members want the process to be productive, challenging and progressive, this is one of the many reasons why everything is so organic. The music, the rapport and the vocals. 'Oh' the vocals. Lauren often blends singing into poetry and then into a sort of vocal language. Using sounds that could be words but, instead enter the ear gracefully without comprehension. Her sounds feel warm and comforting embroidered on the backdrop of soundscapes. Snowpoet's skills lay deep in constructing lonely; comforting landscape.
Snowpoet's Album is out now on Two Rivers Records. A record label that is keen to do what is right for their roster of musicians. "Life is short. Art is for real. The rivers flow forever.” a thoughtful mantra from the label. We like thoughtful.
You can acquire Snowpoet's album from iTunes, add to a playlist from Spotify, be friends with them on Facebook or chirp at them on Twitter. What ever it is you do, tell 'em Flyotw sent you. They’ll like that.