Interview: Allison Mareek & Stephen Giry

We love your song “Crystal Chandeliers & Burgundy”. We understand that the song is a cover. What made you decide to cover this song? And how did you approach it?
Thank you so much! That’s right, the song is a cover of a song written by Jack Wesley Routh that was made famous by Johnny Cash. Jack Wesley Routh who happens to be Johnny Cash’s son-in-law. We have always been in love with this song, especially since it is one of the lesser-known ones in Cash’s repertoire. So after having played it in so many gigs these past few years, it just made sense for it to be the first single out of our upcoming covers EP.

We tried to keep the integrity of the song, as we always do with our covers, but we wanted to take its very country vibe down a notch. We slowed it down slightly, changed the lead guitar pattern to suit our style better and added our usual vocal harmonies. We are also using this EP as a ladder towards our new record and new sound, so the addition of an old piano and organ in the background was also something that we wanted to do. It gets us one small step closer to that new ‘us’.

If you had to describe your sound, how would you do so? Furthermore, what artists (or other sources) do you cite as influences?
Our sound is currently evolving towards a more mature, more faithful to all our tastes – version of us. But what truly characterises us in our opinion is our vocal harmonies and the way our voices can blend together. We have often been told that our voices fit each other perfectly and frankly, we’ve tried harmonizing with other people, and it just isn’t the same!

In our quest for that new sound, we have been listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac. Their flawless style and the eclecticism of their sound is something we truly aspire to these days. We have also been listening to a lot of Robert Plant’s solo work as we would love to incorporate his world music touch and energy to our future tracks.

The song also has a music video. What ideas went into creating this? Were there any plans for this, or a story it hopes to tell?
So, the story behind this music video (and the whole EP really) was to try and make everything ourselves. Since we started this project during the second lockdown, we geared up and decided to record the song ourselves in our little home studio. We mixed it and only sent it over to EQUUS mastering for a professional finishing touch. In that same spirit, we filmed the whole music video on our Iphones, using an Instagram filter that mimics the effect of an old Super 8 camera. We did the editing as well and basically tried to use this video to illustrate a bit of our feelings following our move back from Paris to London (we stayed in Paris for 10 months because of coronavirus). The black and white middle section of the video was actually filmed in Paris this winter while the rest of the video was filmed in early spring back in London.

What have been career highlights so far? And what is on your bucket list that you’d want to achieve?
The release party for our first album ‘Drifting Ashore’ was definitely a big highlight. We had worked tirelessly since our successful Kickstarter campaign to finally sell out the Café de La Danse, a Parisian venue of more than 250 people. As completely independent artists, this was definitely a big achievement and a memory we will not forget.

There’s only one thing on our bucket list really: being able to play many, many more gigs and to bring our music to as many new people as possible.

If you could be the main support for any living artist, who would that be for and why? Alternatively, what would be your dream live booking?
That’s a tough question as there would probably be more than a few! In line with what we said earlier, it would probably be Robert Plant, that would be absolutely amazing. But also, Jason Isbell, Neil Young, The Milk Carton Kids, Bruce Springsteen and so many more if we’re dreaming big!

What artists have you been listening to? Additionally, who should others be listening to?
So many lately! Actually, the best way to find out since we have quite different tastes in music is to head over to our Spotify artist page and check out our two playlists: Allison’s Playlist and Stephen’s Playlist.

And for those not on Spotify, I have been listening to a lot of the new generation of amazing songwriters that are Lizzy Mc Alpine, Eloise, Laufey and of course Billie Eilish. And Stephen has been listening to Kelly Joe Phelps, Roy Buchanan, Tinariwen, Little Willie John and more.

Allison Mareek & Stephen Giry: Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Twitter


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