Rowan Coupland is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, originally from Bath, UK. He has travelled all over the world and is currently based in Berlin.
Having started out like so many fledgeling musicians, tinkering at home with 4 tracks and cassette recorders, Rowan’s prodigal musical ability was recognized when he became part of the legendary Brighton scene within a scene, the Willkommen Collective, alongside many luminaries such as The Leisure Society.
Having left the UK permanently in 2010, Rowan has been travelling and touring across Europe and in Canada, and has self-released a string of lo-fi folk masterpieces, showcasing his exceptional voice, and his remarkable musical talent as expressed via harp, piano, all kinds of guitars, clarinet and all manner of found objects. Very much now a part of the ever vibrant Berlin music scene, Rowan’s new album, Circuit, was recorded in and around the city, at home, and in a shuttered Altbau cafe, during the summer of 2015. The album is out this Friday 27 October, listen in full below:
The tracks were co-engineered by Nel Graba of Rita Records and feature contributions from Martha Rose on violin, as well as beautiful piano contributions from Sr. Charli on The C^n^di^n wholeearth ^lm^n^ck. Parts of the record were also done in a nearly one-take recording session in the church of the village of Grüneberg, Brandenburg. Assisted by Chad Matheny (Emperor X) Opening and Cycling To Your House were recorded pretty much as live in the ancient church.
In terms of his inspirations for the album, Rowan singles out the collaboration between Richard Dawson and Rhodri Davies, which, as he puts it “resonates with my own harp/song approach”. He goes on to cite his love for John Cale’s music as an inspiration, “as well as his amazing contributions to the Velvet Underground he also produced beautiful wonderful pop music as a solo artist, lyrical and weird.” Other muses include Scott Walker, Anne Briggs and Shirley Collins. His lyrics explore his adventures traversing the globe, self-exploration, his scattered family roots and his relationship with his craft.
The album artwork and accompanying book were designed by Vancouver-based artist Eva Dominelli, the pair met through the Vancouver arts collective NPODW, and Eva used her incredible vision to bring the music to life on paper.
Aside from his work with Willkommen Collective and his solo music, Rowan has also sung with the renaissance madrigal group Garland Hearse, performed with folk singer Mary Hampton and guested with Gamelan Gita Asmara, a Gamelan Orchestra in Vancouver. Rowan continues to tour the world and will launch the album with concerts in Bristol and Berlin in October, with a UK tour planned for Spring 2018.
Photo Credit: Linus Kallinn via Pindrop Publicity