English folk royalty meets Australian soul in the collaboration between Marry Waterson and Emily Barker; creating an album of fly-on-the-wall observations of the contradictions and disconnections of modern life.
No strangers to collaboration, Waterson and Barker discovered an immediate kinship when they started writing together. The intriguing combination of Waterson’s poetic lyrics and Barker’s eclectic musicality has been shaped in the studio by musical polymath Adem Ilhan, with recording contributions from two of Barker’s live band: Lukas Drinkwater (bass and guitar) and Rob Pemberton (drums). Serendipity worked her magic in bringing Waterson, Barker and Adem together.
Their first meeting was at a songwriting retreat run by Waterson’s One Little Indian labelmate, Kathryn Williams. Three songs from that retreat formed the kernel of what was to become a full album. “It came very easily. I think we were meant to meet,” says Waterson of that first encounter.
With no self-imposed restrictions on musical direction, the studio sessions allowed the songs to take their own path, roaming from the sub-3-minute indie-pop of ‘Perfect Needs’ via the sparse jazz-blues of ‘Trick of the Light’ to the epic alt-folk of ‘All Is Well’. ‘Little Hits of Dopamine’ took shape when Lukas introduced the trippy double bass groove that underpins the whole track, and the album is liberally smattered with Adem’s lavish string arrangements and ingenious electronica.
The resulting collection of songs pushes the boundaries of Barker and Waterson’s renowned roots styles, venturing into a diverse union of genres – contemporary folk, country and soul nestle comfortably alongside lilting indie and playful blues. ‘A Window To Other Ways’ is the product of two revered musicians embarking upon an exciting, explorative journey, and a charmed collaboration.