Following the recent release of their singles ‘In The Arms of December’ and ‘Latchkey’, folk-pop duo Memorial announce details of their self-titled debut studio album out April 29th through Lucy Rose’s Real Kind Records.
Speaking about the new album, they said, “The album was a joint therapy for us, there would be no songs if we didn’t create a sacred space to talk openly and honestly without prejudice. In the process we were able to reach the depths of our heartbreak, family issues, loneliness and friendship and Cathartically wrenched them into 12 songs. We’re unbelievably proud of the outcome. It’s our first album, a truly monumental thing for us, it felt like we were working towards it before it was even a possibility, so the fact it’s finally here is mind blowing. We poured everything into it and can’t wait to put it out into the world and share it with you.”
Accompanied by the lead single ‘Dialtone’, this release looks to mark the beginning of a new phase within their friendship, written shortly after the pair moved to separate parts of the country. Highlighted throughout the stunning new video, directed by Jack Lilley and Jaime Harding, we see the duo come to terms with their now separated situation and find an even stronger connection within it.
Speaking on ‘Dialtone’, they said, “Dialtone was written after we’d moved a long distance away from each other. We’d worried about the impact it could have on our friendship. It just so happens that in that year or so we’d both endured some drastic changes in our lives, but the distance created a pathway for more meaningful communication. We called when we needed to and we visited each other at the most important times. If anything it brought us closer together as we realised we could actually depend on each other. It all sounds cheesy, but it’s what the song is about and it’s important to recognise how important some people are to you.”
While adding about the new video, “We had a great time doing the video for this. Once again we found ourselves outside in attire not suited to the time of year. It’s the first time our video has had a storyline. It was conceived and directed by Jack Lilley and Jamie Harding. We communicated through tin cans and string and the string had always been tight, when it goes loose something is wrong. Jack traversed various parts of Bristol in vintage pyjamas to try and find Ollie to find out what’s happened and restore communication once more. We left Bristol, in love with Bristol and can’t wait to go back.”
Ollie Spalding and Jack Watts had been best friends for years before they ever played music seriously together. They’d both been in various other outfits but until one Halloween when all their friends were partying, they thought to book a rehearsal room and give it a go. The magic between the two was instant.
“It was like a cathartic release for us,” remembers Watts. “We booked a rehearsal room just for a laugh. We thought, ‘Let’s just see how it goes…’ It was so much more fun than anything else we’d done. We were both thinking, ‘How the hell have we not done this before?!?’ It just felt like: Wow, this is truly ourselves.”
Like most good mates, the pair had long shared similar tastes and reference points when it came to music. More importantly, that long held friendship and the trust that came with it meant that they could be completely open and honest with one another when it came to writing songs together.
“We have this ability to be completely open with each other,” says Spalding. We never take offence to anything the other has said. We talk about things with each other that are really private because we’re really good friends. Which means that now we can write about them. It’s like therapy in a way.”
“We’re not just good acquaintances, we hang out together all the time so a lot of the experiences we go through, we go through together” adds Watts. “If someone is in turmoil or going through something that was really tough at the time, because we’re writing together, you’ve got two views on it. One person can be in it and having all these emotions and the other person can be seeing it from the outside and can have a bit more clarity or a difference of opinion. When you mix those together it makes a really interesting viewpoint.”
Though the impetus of many of these songs was one of pain, of love lost and of struggling to find yourself in the world, thanks to the unique emotional and music lexicon the pair have forged together, really, at the end of the day, Memorial’s debut is an album about friendship and the hope it brings.