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Feathers, Wood 'N' String

Husband-wife rock duo making big Adelaide sounds from a tiny Southampton flat.

Composite is out and there’s a video

We hope you’ve heard the song by now, but we thought you’d like to see the video we made to go with it. There are masquerade masks and we stand on furniture. Curious yet? Watch below.

A big thank you to all you lovely folks who have been connecting with us and talking about home and belonging. We’ve had some absolutely lovely submissions of photos of home and disguises, and we’ll be contacting you all shortly to check which type and design of cards you would like to receive.

We hope you’ll continue talking with us about these themes, as we go on to talk about other ways that we can be in a “grey area” in life.

We’re establishing an email list at the moment as well – if you’re keen to be on it, use our ‘contact us’ box or featherswoodnstring@gmail.com to let us know where we can write to you with news and questions!

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Composite out now!

Hey there friends and supporters! We have new music for you today!

You can find it easily using this link: https://song.link/i/1458273061

Or visit our Bandcamp for lyrics at https://bit.ly/2ZLDjDF

Keep an eye out for the video in two weeks’ time, and of course, start sending in your photos for the photo challenge and we’ll send some art cards your way!

Single cover option 2

Here’s a little bit about the new song, for those who like to see behind the scenes:

“Composite is a song we’re hoping many people will identify with, about the experience of drifting between two homes. Even if you’ve never moved where you live, there can be times when home doesn’t quite feel like home anymore, and for expats, like us, that is quite amplified.” – Sarah Fletcher, lead singer and lyricist.

Feathers, Wood ‘N’ String release their new single Composite on April 30th, 2019. This is their first single of the year and was born while they were still in Adelaide, South Australia, over Christmas 2018. The song shares the driving, heavy alternative rock style of their 2018 EP, whilst exploring a new song structure.

Adelaide born and bred husband-wife duo Sarah and Lloyd Fletcher show the influence of their move halfway across the world to Southampton, UK more than ever in this new track, which directly explores the experience of being expats and having two homes, and at the same time no dominant home.

What inspired the musical aspects of Composite?
Lloyd says: “I was listening to a lot of songs at the time that had slightly different structures, hitting hard with a simplified chorus and following a different arrangement to the usual sort of intro, verse, chorus pattern. We had started to get into a bit too much of a routine with the structure of our songs so we wanted to try something a bit different like that. We also knew that we wanted both of us singing in all of our songs in 2019. Being a duo, it’s something obvious that we haven’t tried much in the past, so I have worked hard on strengthening my voice and learning singing techniques to get the sound we want.

We’d just started to include synth a bit more in the last few tracks on our 2018 EP, and I thought it would be good to bring that out a bit in this song and see what happens if we make it a bit more obvious. Overall, though, I didn’t start work on this song with a plan in mind. It was during the downtime after releasing Reasons to Exist and I was just playing with my guitar and loop pedal as a way to relax. Our trip ‘home’ to Adelaide was drawing to an end so I guess you could say I was in a bit of an ambivalent mood, looking forward to getting back to Southampton friends but sad to be leaving family and friends in Adelaide. The riff just grew out of that session where I was playing to chill out and then Sarah heard it and was inspired straight away.”

What does ‘Composite’ refer to as a title and what inspired the lyrics?
Sarah says: “We had been having a few discussions towards the end of that visit to Adelaide about how both our homes were starting to feel a little bit foreign in one way or another. Some friends we’d drifted apart from a little bit in Adelaide, or things that had changed while we were gone made us feel strange there, and at the same time we’re still not connected to a lot of people or activities in Southampton yet in the same way we used to be to people in Adelaide, so there’s a weird sense of not quite fitting anywhere – not quite being ‘at home’ in either home, as it were. We started to talk about writing a song about this experience, because it’s something we felt a lot of people would have been through at some point in their lives. Even a small move or a change in the environment ‘at home’ could make someone feel like they no longer quite fit in the places they live in.

The title Composite came to us because composites are something Lloyd looks at in his research – basically materials that are made up of more than one thing. So we feel that we are composite people – made up of more than one set of roots. Sometimes this can make us more interesting, and other times it makes us feel that we don’t wholly belong in either place. I feel this way about a lot of categories in life besides where ‘home’ is – there’s often a sense of ‘you are one of us or one of them and you can’t be both.’ I often get confronted with these lists where not only is there no appropriate tick box for me, but I’m only allowed to choose one, and I belong to multiple. In so many parts of our lives, people want us to be tick boxes. To be just one thing or another. We’re not that. We’re composite. Sometimes people treat you like you aren’t allowed to be composite, and equate that with belonging to no one, having no ‘team’ or being nothing because you aren’t wholly one thing. In the song I say ‘I am no one’s,’ and I guess you could interpret that both positively and negatively. But everyone is composite, they just try so hard to fit the categories put in from of them, because society often makes us feel we have to fit just one of those. All of us belong to more than one ‘team.’ We want people to talk to us about their experiences of trying to find ‘home’ and what that is, and in what ways they are composite too. We want to be on more than one team together. We think we are all composite when it comes down to it.”

Where can we hear the song and join in the discussion?
Composite will be out on all major platforms on April 30th, which is the anniversary of Lloyd and Sarah’s first date 15 years ago, when their adventure together began. Visit Feathers, Wood ‘N’ String’s social media pages for the Songlink, or save on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/track/3RVB1emA1TMm9z4T4ddFy4?si=cEeeVFj9Tii5AQMtvjWVDg. Feathers, Wood ‘N’ String will be chatting on social media with you in the lead up and on the day about what ‘home’ means to you, and about belonging. If you’d like to join our composite ‘team,’ feel free to come and share about your experiences of being composite – Sarah and Lloyd would love to hear from you.

Are you ready to hear Composite?

Do you remember how you sent us wonderful paper boats pictures for the Paper Boats music video release? Have you noticed us wearing masks in the Composite video? Do you own, or can you make, some kind of disguise for yourself? Or do you have a picture of a place or thing that makes you feel at home?

We’re going to run another little challenge. This one is for the weeks surrounding Composite’s release. Here’s how to join in:

1) Take a photo of a) yourself in a disguise or mask or b) a place or thing that makes you feel “at home.”

2) On or in the two weeks after the 30th, post this picture online (can be anywhere as long as you tag us). On Facebook, you can use the “so-and-so is listening to/watching etc…” post drop down to say you are listening to our song. Elsewhere, write “I’m listening to Composite by FWnS” as the first line of your post. Then tell us about your picture. You might like to include something about what home is to you, or about how YOU too are composite.

Be sure to include the Songlink so that your friends can listen too – you can get that here, in the Facebook event or from any of our pages. You can join the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/670464133383702/permalink/676544912775624/

3) We will probably comment and try to talk to you about your photo – It’s extra nice if you can reply but don’t feel pressured.

4) Actually listen to the song, sit back, relax, and Sarah will get her art thinking cap on and make you some cards! If you have a special request, feel free to get in touch – it might just be possible.

The challenge will end on the 15th May once the music video for Composite is out, so make sure your photos are online before then.

In the meantime, if you use Spotify, you can pre-save Composite at http://bit.ly/2FMGL7Q to make sure it’s in your library on release day! The song will be available from 6am your local time in all time zones on April 30th. That means our Australian friends will have access to it before we do! So get ready to listen and start letting us know what you think.

Talk to you all soon!

Sarah and Lloyd.

New song coming April 30th!

So we decided that there’s no time like the anniversary of our first date, and our lovely sister Charmaine’s birthday, to release our first single for 2019! If you use Spotify, click here to pre-save the song: http://bit.ly/2FMGL7Q

Header design date

Composite is a song about having two homes – the expat experience, and how it changes you, and how there is both a struggle for belonging and a sense of freedom involved. We’re trying to get some discussion going around what “home” is to you and whether the places you’ve been have shaped you. You can join in anywhere on our social media if you have thoughts, or you can comment here. Below are some of the ideas people have raised about what home is to them.

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We’d love to hear your thoughts.

We’re also working on a music video for the song, which will be released a couple of weeks after the track comes out. It’ being filmed entirely inside our tiny flat, and involves masquerade masks. Intrigued? Watch this space.

We can’t wait to share our new creation with you!
Happy listening,

Sarah and Lloyd

Feature Track 24th February: Lifeline

Lifeline official image numbered
Well, it’s Sunday again and it’s time for our 5th and final feature track from Reasons to Exist. We hope you’ve enjoyed these insights into the stories behind each song on the EP. This week’s feature track is Lifeline.
 
We had to cut our ties
Before I ever saw you jump
Your truth choked-back, crossed-out
For all we’d made and all we’d tried
I was still numb.
 
Lifeline was our first track of 2018, and set the style of the EP with the mixing of clean and distorted tones. Sarah was originally inspired by the unfinished story of a character, which she felt a sense of loss about. Characters can sometimes offer us the chance to explore the consequences of actions or chances we’d never take ourselves, but we don’t always get to finish the story and see those outcomes. We think that’s a bit like in life – we can never find out what the outcome would have been if we’d made a different choice.
 
Sarah says:
“Lifeline is about how we lose the ‘draft’ versions of ourselves when we make choices in life. You have to wonder how the story went for the ‘draft you’ who went the other way. Maybe you wish you could keep them around, see how different choices would have worked out.”
 
Lloyd says,
“This was the first song we released in 2018. I remixed it after the full year of mixing practice and experience from the other tracks, and I think it’s now one of the best songs on the EP. It definitely set the mood for the EP with the mixing of clean and distorted tones.”
 
You can listen to Lifeline via the following links:
Get it on Bandcamp and read the lyrics: http://bit.ly/2SnH65a
 
 
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about Lifeline!

Feature Track 17th February: The Glass

The Glass logo 7
This week’s feature track is The Glass.
“’Life is short, experience.’
Never ‘Life is short so leave your mark’
The inching steps too bleak to see
With gilded weariness we paid for dreams.”

The Glass was written and recorded late in 2018 after a discussion about our concerns about what the world cares about.

Sarah says:
“We were talking about something that worries us – the way that most people would prefer to pay for escapism than for things like medical research or aiding those in need or the planet. Reality is hard to face so we escape into ‘the glass’ – our phones, TVs, selfie cameras. What happens if we just keep doing that? We kind of think maybe that’s how you get an apocalypse.”

Lloyd says,
“This is the most synth I’ve used in a song to date. I even used synth on Sarah’s voice to create a kind of robot sound. It emphasises the song’s message, which is asking us to ‘keep it real,’ by kind of contradicting it.”

You can listen to The Glass via this Songlink: https://song.link/gb/i/1445917213
On Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2S8SLER
Or get it on Bandcamp and read the full lyrics: http://bit.ly/2DLeVYN

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about The Glass!

Feature Track 3rd February: Constructs

 

Constructs image with text black

This week’s feature track is Constructs.

“But aren’t they just legends and lies,
To comfort our minds,
Yeah they’re just legends and lies,
Constructs of our kind.”

In Constructs we deliberately aimed to do something different and heavy. It took a while for Sarah to find a space for the melody in this song and Lloyd helped a lot by encouraging her to shift where the words fitted in the rhythm of the music. Lloyd says,
“This was the last song we wrote for the year. I love the way the opening riff just hits you without warning. The 6/8 was a really conscious decision to make it strong and different from the other tracks.”

Sarah says:
“Constructs is about how most of the things that really stress us out in life are just things the human race made up. This occurs to me sometimes when I’m worried about something – I just suddenly realise it’s all constructed by us.”

You can listen to Constructs via this Songlink: https://song.link/i/1445917212
On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/28DLVazLZYGrR167AxxXsg…
Or get it on Bandcamp and read the full lyrics: https://featherswoodnstring.bandcamp.com/track/constructs

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about Constructs!

Feature Track 27th January: Rift

rift image coloured numbered

This week’s feature track is Rift!

“You’ve been my compass,

Proof of everything,

What the struggle means. 

Other people set us free,

In spite of all.”

Rift is a matchmaker’s point of view of when a relationship you’re really invested in isn’t going so well, and what that feels like. Sarah says,
“I wrote these words because both I and a lot of the characters I play and write do tend to get really deeply invested in others’ relationships and really care about them.”

It’s also the highest song Sarah has ever had to sing! She says
“In the beginning it was nerve-wracking – I nearly changed it so that I could be sure I could hit the notes in the chorus in performance, but I decided it really had to go right up and follow the guitar riff to get the contrast, so the month before our trip to Adelaide was just constant range extension exercises! You can hear in the recording that I’m really just making those notes – I wasn’t very well at the time either. But now I can reach them a lot more comfortably. I still get a bit worried that I’ll struggle to have any power at that pitch live, but the really strong bass that Lloyd added helps a lot.”
Lloyd agrees that the bass is key to the high vocals working. He says:
“I didn’t use a lot of synth in Rift, but I added a synth bass in the chorus. The bass is really important in this song to support the super high vocals.”

You can listen to Rift via this Songlink: https://song.link/i/1445917211
On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/46bUh29HKKmU9TEGKPnEoy…
Or get it on Bandcamp and read the lyrics: https://featherswoodnstring.bandcamp.com/track/rift

We hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into what this song is all about!

Feature Track 20th January: A Rose for Nothing

New things are well on the way here in the tiny Southampton flat, but before we leave Reasons to Exist behind us, we wanted to take the time to tell you a bit more about each of the songs. We hope you’ll give them all a second listen, read the lyrics and enjoy those things about a song you don’t notice the first time around.

So this week’s feature track is A Rose for Nothing.

“Depths unknown to be feared,

We sail out on black waters not our own,

But I can always lose my grip – you’ll catch my fingers,

You are the ship that carries me home.”

This was the first love song Sarah ever wrote for Lloyd, and it’s about how another person can really help remind you who you want to be, and what you care about in life, when those things start to get a bit lost. The lyrics speak from a position of having been helped in this way without yet having had the chance to reciprocate.

Sarah says, “It’s my favourite song to play live. I love looking at Lloyd and thinking ‘This is about you’ and just having fun together.”

The lyrics to A Rose for Nothing are deliberately ambiguous, and we chose the name for its double meaning – is it a surprise rose, a gift for no particular reason, a gesture of love? Or is it a rose that is given, and never reciprocated, a complaint?

You can read the full lyrics to A Rose for Nothing on Bandcamp: https://featherswoodnstring.bandcamp.com/…/a-rose-for-nothi…

Lloyd says, “I think it was the first time I really nailed mixing Sarah’s vocals. I was watching a tutorial of Bob Marlette mixing the Lola Black song ‘Nothing’s Gonna be Alright’ and it just completely blew my mind and changed the way I approached the vocal mixing.”

You can get this track on your preferred music service by clicking here: https://song.link/i/1445917120

Or listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/5kOBgYYzkFWHLSNMXZyimL…
Get it on Bandcamp and read the lyrics: https://featherswoodnstring.bandcamp.com/…/a-rose-for-nothi…

We hope you’ve found out more about the story behind this track, and that listening to it you notice new things. 

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