Dirty Dozen: Talitha Rise

Talitha Rise are Jo Beth Young and Martyn Barker. Their songs are a combination of Art Pop and Progressive Folk inviting the listener into a world of ethereal landscapes and bohemia. Accomplished live performers, their chemistry together offers any audience an opportunity to step outside of their heads and witness a psychedelic, raw and tribal emotive sound-scape presence.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years? We both met in Lewes East Sussex where I am from originally (Martyn being from Ellesmere Port). We got together in 2013 and never intended to be a band, it just happened after Martyn played on my solo album. Since then we’ve made a mini-album Blue, being playing live in the UK, Scotland and Ireland and now finishing our first full album.

 How would you describe your music? This is always a hard one but I would say it is ethereal dark folk and pop art combined. There are real pastoral elements (we’re both influenced by the land) and emotional landscapes. We’re both influenced by older bands so there’s a vintage sound their too. Songs that are like journeys at times and very layered for a duo! We both play all the instruments, Martyn playing drums and these beautiful rhythmical guitars with me tending to bow guitars and play electric and piano as well as acoustic. We basically will try to play everything between us.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences? We both really loved the prog and folk sound of the 70’s so that very much comes in. I love Kate Bush and Tori Amos so there’s some of  that influence. We’re both big Radiohead fans and of Nick Drake and Tim Buckley. Someone one described it as Joni Mitchell meets Pink Floyd.. which I thought was lovely!

What are you currently promoting? Our new single The Lake out on March 30th – it’s the first single from the new album and we had the video filmed by the amazing photographer Eamonnn J McCabe. It was on a  FREEZING cold day in February! but so worth it!

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you? It hasn’t been released yet but I am very proud of a track Blood Fox from the new record, I think that’s got as much me in there as you can get! As for work we’ve done already I think Golden Moon from our Blue EP really says it all about how we work together.

What are you currently listening to? Aldous Harding.. a lot!

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without? Dream Letter by Tim Buckley. It’s a record that changed my life and I never tire of.

What are your hopes for your future career? I’d love for us to get this record finished and take it on tour.. then just keep making music we love!

If money were no object what would be your dream project? I would love to travel to places like Iceland and Arizona, places with really dramatic  beautiful landscapes and hire fantastic string players and go and  write and record outside in hills and rocks. I’d then make a really awesome interactive live visual and musical show and take it round the world.

What’s the best thing about being a musician? That you have an outlet, a place for all the emotion and questioning of life to go and that you never cease to wonder where does it all come from? Music is something that does you, not the other way round so it’s a privilege to be struck by the muse.

And the worst? The lack of support for new or interesting Music at the moment. I don’t think it will be like this forever, but as they say, ‘there’s no such thing as a lazy musician anymore’ It can be grueling and tough at times and I hope we might at some point return to a more community way of sharing music. I lived in Ireland for 7 years and the attitude towards music was so different and positive.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK? Thanks for reading and please come over and have a listen and say hi on Facebook or a live show near you soon.

Author: Rudie Hayes

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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