Isabella Mariee and Lewis Fowler are song writing, alt-country duo Two Ways Home. Two Ways Home have released 2 EPs to date and are working on their 3rd one, which is due to be released later this year. They have been called “Unique, unexpected and brilliant” and their sound encapsulates crystal clear harmonies tinged with melancholy.
Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
Isi: I’m from Vienna, Austria and I came over to the UK to study music. In Vienna the focus is more on Classical music so I decided it was time to move and see the world. Lewis and I met at University and played in several bands before we formed Two Ways Home.
Lewis: I’m from a tiny town in the Cotswolds, the biggest known town around where I grew up is Stratford Upon Avon. I love it round there but it is very quiet so I am always happy to get back to London after a family visit.
How would you describe your music?
Our music is very harmony driven and we would say we are a cross between Country and Americana. You can also hear a little bit of a folk-y twist in some of our songs and we love to ’rock‘ it up for live shows. We like calling it Alt-Country. Ultimately we try to write songs with catchy melodies and interesting lyrics and hope that other people can relate to our stories.
Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
Isi: Our influences are all over the place, musically I used to listen to a lot of soul/pop music, artists like Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Prince, Tina Turner etc. were always on around the house when I was growing up. After discovering my love for Country and Americana music I now listen to a lot of new artists but also love reading lyrics/poems by Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and other great lyricists. I’m a very visual person so I get a lot of my inspiration from art as well as my general surroundings. I love sitting in an old café and watching others go about their business, maybe a little creepy but its very inspiring, lyrically.
Lewis: I come from a largely rock based background and grew up playing in bands and covering songs from bands like AC/DC or Led Zeppelin. One of my biggest inspirations has been Queen and both Freddie Mercury and Brian May are two of my favourite musicians. Bands like Lynard Skynard or The Eagles were my first references for country music and after learning some of their solos I really began listening to more country music. Since Isi and I have started playing/singing/writing together we have checked out more and more country and vocal harmony bands, Lady Antebellum, The Staves and The Common Linnets.
What are you currently promoting?
We have a new single out. It is called ‘Take My Hand’. It has been a little while since we have released any material as we’ve been writing a lot both for ourselves and for other artists and this is a little flavour of what we’ve been working on.
Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
Whilst it’s hard to choose, we both really enjoy playing Just For Now as it’s very up beat and sums up our sound the best.
What are you currently listening to?
We are currently loving the Lucie Silvas album as well as the Brothers Osborne album and have just recently discovered a guy called Sean McConnell, who is incredible. Another artist, which we recently discovered, is a guy called Firekid, he has some really cool tunes.
And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
Next question, this is impossible to answer!
What are your hopes for your future career?
We hope to write songs with a lot of different artists both for us and for them, whilst building our name and fan-base as Two Ways Home. As long as we can keep on writing and producing songs we love and we have an outlet for the world to hear them we will be very happy indeed.
If money were no object what would be your dream project?
We would love to make a full album and have enough money to promote this widely. Off the back of this we would then tour Europe/UK and possibly America and hopefully sell out all of the venues.
Something non-music related (and a little bit hippie-y) would be to replace all the plastic in the world with sustainable sources and clear the oceans of all the waste we have dropped in it.
What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Isi: Being on stage and interacting with your audience is one of my favourite things in the world.
Lewis: For me music has always been the best way of expressing myself, I’m as happy on stage in front of a huge audience as I am sitting in the studio creating a song from scratch but I guess what I really love is the transition from one to the other. Seeing something you created turn into a song that’s appreciated by a venue full of people is pretty awesome.
And the worst?
Being undervalued and unheard.
Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
We are hosting a monthly Nashville-style writers round. The first one will be held at the Metropolitan near Westbourne Park Station in London on the 3rd of February. It is a free entry event and we have a great line up. Hope to see some of you there.