Video: Ferris & Sylvester “Mother”

Here is the gorgeously arranged and produced new song from acclaimed duo Ferris & Sylvester.  ‘Mother’ is musically beautiful, featuring a hauntingly melodic vocal from Issy Ferris, elevated by Archie Sylvester’s harmonies and rich layers of instrumentation.  Lyrically, it’s a powerful and disarming song that tells the story of a child damaged by their home circumstances, who pleads with their mother to leave, to make a fresh start and a new life somewhere new and safe: “In a house from the magazine.”  The heartbreak in direct lines like: “Mother, leave my father // Before he gets back in…And learn to love someone kind,” is breathtaking.

Archie Sylvester says, “This is the song that shaped the album. It’s a song about dreaming of a better life, and being on the outside looking in. We wrote it in our studio with long-time collaborator Michael Rendall and it quickly became important to all of us. We worked on it for months, but the vocal take from that first day was never replaced. There was magic in the studio that day.”  Indeed, there was.  It’s an incredibly beautiful vocal performance that truly captures the wistful dream of another life.

The video, directed by Toby Cuthbertson, captures the contrasting moods of the song and its narrative.  It begins with Issy staring into the camera, which was mounted on her body.  Her gaze is intense in the darkness of the woods and the sense of stillness adds to the tension.  As the atmosphere of the song lifts, the lighting changes and the motion – literally bouncing – transforms the feel of the visual.  Issy explains how the video was created, “We shot the video on a cold, windy afternoon at the top of the hill right above the town where we live. It was all done in one take using a SnorriCam, which is a camera that is strapped to you. I have the bruises to prove it. We wanted to capture how the song flickers from reality, where we’re walking through the darkness or scrabbling to get hold of one another, to a dream world, where we’re jumping, almost flying. It was such a fun shoot, jumping on a trampoline with a camera strapped to my chest, hoping no dog walkers or angry farmers stumble across us. In all seriousness, we wanted to do justice to a song that carries a big meaning and we hope it resonates with people.”

‘Mother’ appears on Ferris & Sylvester’s recent EP ‘Side A (Storm)’, released ahead of their second album ‘Otherness’, which is due on 1st March 2024.  To promote the new record, the duo are embarking on a huge UK headline tour in 2024 and have recently announced their first headline dates in Germany.  Ferris & Sylvester are a tremendous live act – get your tickets here.  The follow-up to ‘Superhuman’ promises to take the husband-and-wife act to new heights, expanding their sound with even more ambitious genre-defying songs.  That first album was a huge success, reaching number 1 on the UK’s Official Jazz & Blues Albums Chart and winning UK Album of the Year at the 2023 Americana Music Association UK Awards.

This is fine songwriting of the highest quality.  Check it out.

About Andrew Frolish 1453 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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