Meet the London duo crafting emotional folk pop songs.
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With harmonies guaranteed to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand straight, it’s hard to believe that London duo Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester, aka Ferris & Sylvester have only been making music together since 2017.
Latest track Flying Visit sets the scene with a bright acoustic guitar and Issy’s Nashville-twanged soft vocals. As soon as Archie’s harmonies join in, the track’s emotional resonance elevates. It’s as though the pair are singing directly to, rather than with, each other.
Flying Visit perfectly exhibits the connection that two musicians can have working as a duo, something rarely seen in modern pop music, and not too dissimilar to the musical relationship Ally and Jackson have in A Star is Born (although hopefully less destructive). That said, the authenticity on display here feels deeper than on screen.
The duo’s story starts at Camden’s beloved but unassuming Spiritual Bar. A young Issy Ferris is playing weekly shows at the venue’s folk night, whilst Archie Sylvester’s blues band headline Saturday nights. Despite performing on the same stage every week, the pair didn’t meet until the Ferdinand Street venue’s booker Raf decided to introduce them.
The chemistry between the duo was immediate, and they set off working on their debut EP Made In Streatham. Recorded in the Kitchen of a South London flat with no budget, the release put the duo on the map with the likes of The Guardian, Rolling Stone and Mojo quick to praise the release. Made In Streatham also hit No.14 on the Spotify UK Viral Top 50 Chart.
Still putting out music on their own Archtop Records label, the pair have continued to release material throughout 2018 and 2019, with the singles (I Think That You Look) Better In Yellow, Burning River, Sickness and latest track Flying Visit.
Live is where the pair find themselves most at ease. They’ve played over 100 shows together since their formation, including a well-received set at BST Hyde Park supporting Eric Clapton. The band have also appeared at festivals such as Wilderness and Glastonbury during their career to date.
Now – at the time of writing – Ferris & Sylvester will hit the road this autumn, for a run of headline dates as they continue their rise as one of the most exciting new artists emerging from the UK.
More essential tracks
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