Angeline Morrison (The Mighty Sceptres, The Ambassadors of Sorrow) and Nick Duffy (The Lilac Time, Bait) became We Are Muffy after working together on an album of cover versions. Or were they cover versions? When they took on Lonnie Donegan’s skiffle hit ‘Don’t you Rock me Daddy-O’ they suddenly found themselves engaged in the interplay between Tradition and the Individual Talent, as T S Eliot might have put it. Entranced by Odetta’s version of the same song – one of many going by the name ‘Sail Away Ladies’ – they wrote a variant of their own, keeping the overall format but mutating the music and setting the lyrics in their hometown of Birmingham. It was at that moment they became a songwriting duo, and they rather liked it. It wasn’t just the shared musical influences and city of origin, it was the shared opinions about recording techniques, music theory, ideal room temperature and bamboo socks. The Charcoal Pool is a collection of the first songs that ensued from this collaboration.
New single ‘Frosted Candy,’ with its stop-motion animated video by Tom Hillenbrand, is a hymn to the trancelike state inspired by the exotic names of makeup colours. As a child, Angeline would spend hours in the local chemist at the end of her road, carefully reading the unlikely colour-names, which seemed to cast a spell on her. A Midnight Lake eye pencil gave way to a Wild Pearl lip gloss, which in turn uncovered an entire range called Frosted Opal. The makeup, along with the curious imaginings conjured up by the names of the colours, opened a gateway into the alluring mysteries of the world of grown-ups. The video shows pots, jars, bottles of makeup dancing in formation, and fragmented in kaleidoscopes of imaginary colour, symbolising the fantasies of delight that the makeup inspired, and the mists of nostalgia invoked by writing about it.
We Are Muffy Live Dates
You may have already heard We Are Muffy on BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing and BBC Radios 2 & 3. They can be found at various festivals during the summer months. Catch them if you can, they are quite shy.
03/05/18: Chintz Symposium, Falmouth, Cornwall (with Rosie the Crow).
20/05/18: Gyllyngvase Beach Cafe, Falmouth, Cornwall.
19-22/07/18: Folk on the Lawn Festival, Tintern, Wales.
27/07/18: Port Eliot Festival, St Germans, Cornwall.
The Charcoal Pool is released July 20, 2018, via Tapete Records
Photo Credit: Barry Cooper