Signed to Lucy Rose’s Real Kind Records, ‘Moth To A Flame’, is Memorial’s first single. Lucy co-produced it with her long-time collaborator Tim Bidwell. It’s her first output swivelling in the chair behind the glass, heralding a fine meeting of similar minds.
Memorial are a duo, Jack and Ollie. Neither are in any great hurry, with their songwriting process originally found spent solo, several hundred miles apart in Brighton and Manchester. Voice memos zipped across the internet, all half thoughts and feelings seeking the other’s encouragement. ‘Moth To A Flame’ is the first song they finished together, and it set the tone for what they started working on next. A barometer to judge the rest of their introductory output by. It’s a career not even one song deep, but already they’ve got Lucy batting for their side, US alt-country queen Courtney Marie Andrews offering them tour support, and bags of enthusiasm between them all suggesting that, just maybe they’re on to something here.
Moth To A Flame is softly hushed, a melee of gentle acoustics studded with the coo of distant trumpets. It’s the sort of thing that Sufjan Stevens makes light work of and to much fanfare, yet it’s a sound so timeless that it’s a wonder there’s nobody new out there doing this already. Perhaps its generational, and the notion of taking a step back and letting your head take an aural massage is soon to be discovered once again.
Memorial state: “Moth To A Flame was an accident. This song was kickstarted by two random things; a book and a new tuning. Jack was travelling a lot and wanted something to read on his way home for Christmas, and bought Stig Dagerman’s A Moth To A Flame. He messed around with some open tunings to varying degrees of success. He never finished the book because it was left on a plane by accident after just a few chapters, but despite that it was probably bought to facilitate the starting of this song in the first place. It’s about wanting something so badly despite knowing it will hurt you but you accept the pain and live with it. We’d both been on a weird journey, emotionally, and could empathise with each other. It was almost a sort of joint therapy for us both, writing and finishing it.”
Speaking on the band, Lucy Rose states: “I’d known about Jack and Ollie, who make up Memorial for some time, through my producer Tim Bidwell who had worked with them. Tim had told me he was going to produce their debut album and during the process, he sent me some songs and asked for some feedback. There was one song that jumped out to me, ‘Moth To A Flame’. It was March 2020, in our first lockdown and I was in my music room and the song transported me. I felt like I had gone back in time to being a teenager, remembering what it was like to really ‘feel’ music for the first time. I felt so immediately, deeply connected to the song, I was thankful that it had reminded me why music was so powerful. The lyrics were heart-breaking and full of a lifetime’s worth of insight, I was amazed that the boys were only 24 and 25. I wondered what right they had to understand the loss of love so purely and be able to explain it so clearly.
“I got back to Tim and explained how that song was in my opinion the key to their ‘sound’. The other songs didn’t stand up to the beauty of this one. The boys bravely scrapped the other songs and continued to write. At that point I was invited into the creative circle with Ollie, Jack and Tim and ended up co-producing the album. My first production role on someone’s record that wasn’t my own and it was a brilliant, inspiring and unforgettable time.
“At that point I knew I wanted to pursue our working relationship and bring Real Kind Records into the picture to release the album. As a solo artist, I watch the relationship that Jack and Ollie have with great envy. To have a creative partner who knows and understands you so well, and is able to help you write about life’s twists and turns with so much empathy and care. That really is something.
“There’s something truly remarkable about the musicianship and deep lyrical understanding of life that make Memorial a band not to be ignored, but a band to be held tight and be thankful for.”