INTERVIEW: THE BROTHERS GILLESPIE | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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This album is partly inspired by the grace of life in troubled times. Things can look pretty troubled from the inside at times, but there’s something really good about the world.”

Northumbrian singer-songwriters The Brothers Gillespie have combined emotive lyricism, beautiful musicality and unique harmonies to explore the magical touch music has on the soul within their newest album, The Merciful Road. James and Sam shed some light on the harmonious musical journey which resulted in the album’s creation. “We actually recorded the entire album by ourselves,” Sam explained. “It’s a collection of songs which in a loose way feels animated by a kind of spirit or vision.”

It’s also an album inspired by the serenity of nature paired with sacred childhood memories; self-recorded on the banks of the river Tweed where their Grandma had lived, James recalled a feeling of magic throughout the process. This influence can especially be heard on Albion; a love song dedicated to their beautiful homeland. The delicately intertwining harmonies and thoughtful words evoke the organic imagery that so inspired the duo.

as long as there’s relationships being woven and interconnections being deepened, then that’s magical

By taking great inspiration from the 1960s folk revival, the brothers often formulate their melodious concoctions through both established and spontaneous musical techniques. From improvised guitar lines to emotive lyrical phrases, Sam described the songwriting process as: “A bit like sketching on a pad, but with sound.” These personal touches manifest profoundly within the album’s second track, Wingrove Road; a song celebrating the colourful streets of Fenham through the eyes of childhood. “It feels good to honour the location and experience of growing up there through music,” explained Sam. “It brings a glow to me every time I perform or listen to it.”

As a form of deeper musical affinity, both James and Sam adore the intimacy of particular venues, from performing on a houseboat in Bristol to a circus in Paris. No matter where the gig takes place, for the duo the importance resides in the relationship established with their audience. “It could have many different forms,” James explained, “but as long as there’s relationships being woven and interconnections being deepened, then that’s magical.” This desire to uplift is apparent throughout the entire album, as their music conveys powerful stories in order to raise spirits. Sam explained: “I think there’s a fundamental feeling of wanting to put courage in the heart to stand together with people.”

The Merciful Road displays a powerful combination of inner reflection, appreciation and positivity, portrayed through the resonant power of music, resulting in an album which perfectly embodies the initial vision of songs inspired by the grace of life in troubled times.

The Merciful Road is out now. The Brothers Gillespie perform at The Globe, Newcastle on Friday 8th April.


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