Tracey Browne and Raevennan Husbandes joined forces after meeting at a week-long musical residency, curated by The Unthanks at Manchester’s ‘Band On The Wall’ in February 2012. They carried on the collaboration over a series of weekends in Manchester and Lowestoft, meeting to co-write a batch of songs that have culminated in the album ‘East by North West’.
Tracey and Raevennan harnessed the collective power of their fans through a Kickstarter project, to fund the pressing of the album to CD and 12″ Vinyl once they had finished the recordings. Both solo artists carving their own paths in music, their collaboration as a duo is much more than the sum of its parts.
Co-written, co-produced and independently released by the pair, ‘East by North West’ is a true accomplishment – without a label, agent or manager it has been featured on BBC Radio 2 (The Folk Show – ‘Coming Home’) and BBC Radio 6Music (Tom Robinson’s mixtape – ‘As Good As News’).
As with any creative endeavour, it has not been made in a bubble. Although Tracey and Raevennan wrote the songs, engineered the recordings and played most of the instruments, the guest musicians on the album have added something very special and having Seadna McPhail (chief engineer at Airtight Studios) run his ears over the mixes was invaluable. Having the space and time to create in the studio was thanks to the generosity of Alan Lowles at Airtight, which is one of the loveliest, friendliest musician-run studios in the UK.
The album was officially launched at The Carousel Sessions, Mike McGoldrick’s night at the Chorlton Irish Club in Manchester, on February 22nd 2015. Mike played an excellent flute part on ‘Coming Home’, blending perfectly with Simon Lewis’ exemplary cello parts on the recording. They were lucky enough to have Mike guest at the launch gig – but otherwise it was a stripped-back, acoustic duo show, featuring Tracey and Raevennan singing harmony vocals and playing acoustic guitars, tenor guitar and dobro respectively.
Tracey and Raevennan are hoping to release some live footage and recordings from the album launch gig, so watch this space!