For over a dozen years, Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey had been playing across the globe as part of Morcheeba. But during this time there was a noticeable separation forming between studio trickery and live performances. The pair decided to make a record together which reflected the energy of their shows.
The result of this revelation is SKYE | ROSS. Released last month on Cooking Vinyl, it’s an album following its own musical path while returning to the roots of the sound that made Morcheeba a 90s-household name.
It recalls the spirit of Morcheeba’s international, platinum selling Big Calm, while boasting a revived spirit and the mature experience that comes with two decades of making music. This isn’t the first time either of the pair has stepped away from Morcheeba, having each released solo projects. For a while they toyed with the idea of making an ‘unplugged’ record, but ended up writing something packed with ambition and verve.
Coinciding with the new album, the pair are touring the UK, which will include a visit to Brighton’s The Old Market on Tues 1 Nov. These shows will see the pair premiere music from the new record as well as a few tracks from Morcheeba’s extensive back catalogue, including plenty of Big Calm. We caught of with singer Skye Edwards, to find out a little bit more.
What prompted this change? Did you just feel too comfortable within the construct of a long-established band?
Ross and his brother no longer get along and as a result, there are issues surrounding the Morcheeba name. So Ross and I decided to move forward as Skye|Ross.
You’ve been touring together for a while. Is Skye and Ross simply an extension of that?
Yes exactly, Ross and I have been touring together, without his brother Paul, for many years now. Making an album together was the natural progression.
How does the writing and production differ from before? There seems to be a more live feel to your music, especially with the percussion.
It’s a little more organic sounding, less programmed than before. We’ve added live drums on a few of the tracks which represents what we do live. There is of course still strong links to the original Morcheeba sound with similar tempos plus my voice and the guitar playing from Ross.
Was it intentional to make everything on this new album sound so expansive? Did you place any parameters on what form this new material could take?
We initially thought this would be more of an acoustic album but as the songs developed we added more instrumentation.
Am I right in thinking much of this record was recorded at your home? If so, does being in a familiar environment your individual performances?
Yes, that’s correct, I recorded my vocals at home. I have a good mic and a quiet space. I usually recoded at night when it was peaceful and mellow.
Lyrically, did you try to draw inspiration from different places to before?
I draw inspiration from so many different places. Love, conflict, life… sometimes the lyrics come together quite randomly and it’s only once the song is complete that I know what it’s about.
Do your musical maturity leant itself to the rich vein of soulfulness running across this work?
It’s great to still be able to write songs and record albums after 20 years of being in the music industry. The maturity comes from experience, it all goes into the melting pot of creation.
While the new material sounds fresh and exciting, there are certain flourishes which reference Morcheeba material. Were these intentional Easter eggs, or a happy accident?
My voice, plus guitar and production from Ross, by default sounds like Morcheeba. It’s not intentional, we just sound like that when we work together.
Do you think Morcheeba were ahead of the rimes? You weren’t a band subscribed to tribalism, instead lifting the best elements from a range of genres. Now the industry is crammed with bands attempting to do this.
I think our first Morcheeba album ‘Who Can You Trust?’ Was perfectly timed. 1990’s Trip Hop was a big thing and I’m glad to say that we were part of such a cool music scene!
SKYE | ROSS come to The Old Market on Tues 1 Nov 2016