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Dawn, the debut EP from Painted Sky

Dawn - to be released by The Old Barn Productions on 1st August 2020, is an EP from the progessive folk duo Painted Sky.


I’ve just been listening to ‘Dawn’, the debut EP from ‘Painted Sky’ due out on 1st August 2020. Delightfully clean and straightforward arrangements, lacking nothing in fullness, finely showcases the talents of this superb, up and coming duo. I don’t often give five stars to anything but this EP definitely gets five stars from me.

Painted Sky have only recently emerged onto the UK folk scene, but they have already made a lasting impression with their progressive acoustic sound. Siblings George Brandon (guitar/vocals) and Holly Brandon (fiddle/vocals) have been playing together for as long as they can remember. Recently both have worked on independent projects, with George performing solo and Holly perhaps best known for being one quarter of transatlantic folk band, The Magpies. But the siblings have always been drawn back to each other’s playing and their lifelong musical history is reflected in tight-knit instrumentals and harmonies.

Painted Sky have played live shows around the UK, with festival highlights including performances at Towersey Festival, Edlefest and Thame Town Music Festival. They will release their debut EP - Dawn - later this summer. A showcase of their live act, Dawn thoughtfully balances the duo’s traditional English roots with original material and interweaves exquisite instrumentals with captivating storytelling.

The EP opens with Northumbrian murder ballad, The Two Sisters, a tale of jealously and sororicide, told with poignantly exposed sibling harmonies underpinned by driving rhythms and soaring fiddle. Another homage to the duo’s traditional roots is an honest yet distinctly contemporary rendition of the famously tragic Barbara Allen. Although rooted in Celtic music, the duo draw on a range of influences, with hints of bluegrass as they segue into John Reischman’s Salt Spring in The Red Bee Set and reimagine Simon Riopel’s foot-tapping Quebecois fiddle tune L’Air Mignonne to create a borderless synthesis of contemporary folk. Originally hailing from Berkhamsted, the duo celebrate the extraordinary tale of a local legend in Peter the Wild Boy, the eponymous feral child and spectacle of the 18th Century upper classes. This self-penned anthem closes the EP in a climactic showcase of the timeless storytelling, stomping rhythms, ethereal harmonies and effervescent fiddle that characterise Painted Sky.