Tonight sees folk inspired duo, Worry Dolls, bringing their unique sound to Bristol’s Canteen. Their EP, Burden, was released last summer, and they are currently touring across the UK.
Rosie and Zoe recently returned from an inspired trip to Nashville – most of the time stateside was spent writing new material, some of which will be showcased on their current tour. The songs to have soundtracked their road trips while travelling through Nashville still stick with them today, as they tour through the UK, as Rosie and Zoe tell us:
“We’ve been listening to a lot of Patty Griffin, Ashley Monroe, Jason Isbell, Lee Ann Womack, Cam’s EP and of course Bob Harris Country re-runs.”
The tour, which runs through until 22 December, is titled ‘Back from Nashville’ and gives listeners a chance to hear exclusive previews of their forthcoming album, to follow up their Burden EP release. Explaining a bit more about what we might expect from tonight’s live show, they explain:
“We hope to draw a more folky crowd who like listening to stories with the focus on lyrics and melody. Though it’s just the two of us, we make quite a big sound with banjo, guitar, stomp box and two-part harmonies.”
Not only can Worry Dolls deliver a faultless, assured live performance, they are well crafted songwriters and imaginative storytellers, first and foremost – drawing inspirations from Patty Griffin and Emmylou Harris, amongst others. Talking of their experiences in Nashville and the impact it had upon their songwriting, they tell us:
“In Nashville, we generally start off with a lyric idea and build from that. We did a lot of co-writes there and became very use to writing a full song within a 2-4 hour session. It’s normal in Nashville to book a morning and afternoon writing session and to come out with two finished songs.”
“We have been very inspired by Americana and this is the direction we’d like to take our music.”
Nashville itself is a much revered destination for aspiring musicians – especially in the realm of folk, country and blues, as singer-songwriter Mercy Bell realised when she made the move to Nashville from Massachusetts. While in Nashville, Rosie and Zoe did cross paths with many an inspirational musician:
“We know Mercy Bell. We were planning to write together on or last trip but now plan to write next time we’re in the US. We love her album ‘All Good Cowboys’. It’s always inspiring to find out about new artists, especially those that are similar to our sound.” They say.
“We’ve both learnt so much from listening to other artists and how they craft songs. We love watching artists live. We were really inspired by watching Patty Griffin at The Ryman in Nashville. She had an amazing band called Darlingside open for her, and at the end she brought Emmylou Harris out and they sang together, it was incredible!” Rosie and Zoe continue.
Creatively, the duo don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ formula for creating an original song, but inspiration can come in many forms, and they are open to absorbing, observing and experiencing life in all its guises:
“We always try and write down random ideas that are sparked by every day things. We’ve found inspiration in books, in films, and travelling always helps to bring new ideas. There was a point in Nashville where we had been writing every day for weeks and we had run ourselves dry of ideas so we had to get out to find inspiration. In the last month of our trip we went travelling to Memphis and New York. By having a bit of space and experiencing new places, we found more inspiration to keep writing.” They say.
Burden, their sophomore EP was released last summer, and it was a long process, involving a lot of soul-searching and perseverance. The finished result has a naturally Americana feel, which inevitably threads through their live performances and their album due out in 2016. They tell us:
“It was definitely a transition EP for us. We spent two years crafting the songs and recording. The first two songs on the EP are the best reflection of what to expect from our debut album. We have been very inspired by Americana and feel this is the direction we’d like to take our music. It is the stepping stone to our album and the gradual move over from indie-folk to a more Americana-inspired sound.”
Not only have the musical duo found inspiration across the pond, they too have found certain places within the UK to be fertile lands for inspiring songs, lyrics and ideas:
“We both love to go to Cornwall to get away from the madness of city life, we’re both country girls at heart. In London, we’ve gone a whole year without writing before. It’s such a crazy, busy city and your mind can get filled up with lots of other things that can block writing all together. When we arrived in Nashville last April, songs started to pour out of us instantly. We felt so inspired to be surrounded by this music hub. It definitely made us both want to experience this way of life for a longer period of time and it proved that we could do what we do for a living.”
Their tour continues:
Dec 16 Back From Nashville Tour @ Whiskers, Newquay
Dec 18 Back From Nashville Tour @ The Plough, Torrington
Dec 19 Back From Nashville Tour @ Railway, Winchester
Dec 20 Back From Nashville Tour @ Lighthouse, Deal
Dec 22 Back From Nashville Tour @ The Musician, Leicester
View their video: Long Gone, below:
Worry Dolls official website: www.worrydollsmusic.com