Crowd Company, the critically acclaimed 8-piece funk soul outfit, has confirmed details on their upcoming album Stone & Sky, due out October 20th on the newly minted indie imprint Vintage League Music (VLM), founded by Soulive’s Alan Evans. The eleven-track album is also produced by Evans at the infamous Iron Wax Studio in Millers Falls, MA and will be available on vinyl, CD, and digitally. Three 7-inch vinyl singles will also be released featuring songs from the upcoming album and distributed by Fat Beats.
Stone and Sky beautifully captures the UK based premier funk/soul band, Crowd Company. The band is a combination of organ, horns, three singers – Rob Fleming, Esther Dee and Jo Marshall, and a lot of funk. The different voices all lend a singular vibe to each track, almost like you’re at an intimate, live performance and the band will catch you in a tight groove that won’t let go.
Stone and Sky was recorded in Massachusetts at Iron Wax Studio and produced by Soulive’s Alan Evans. After gigging around Europe for two years supporting their debut, Now or Never, the band felt their unit was strong enough to get back in to the Studio. “This album was really about capturing a ‘record’ of who we are as a band at this moment. There are 4 principal songwriters on Stone and Sky, mostly working in teams of 2. Each brings something a little different and yet it fuses into an overall sound of the band.”
The band mates were all fans of Alan Evans, the drummer from the soul/funk/jazz trio Soulive, and were thrilled when he agreed to produce the album based on 4 demos he’d heard. Recording commenced in April 2017. “We wanted to find a studio and engineer that recorded in the old-school way, but with some modern production sensibilities blended in. We wanted a Producer and an environment that was relaxed and that inspired us. As we looked around, we realized we really wanted to go to Iron Wax, and work with Alan. Much of the music was recorded live in studio, capturing a feeling of energy and spontaneity.”
Lead single, “Saw You Yesterday” has a real 60s soul funk vibe, with catchy hooks and a finger snap chorus. Producer Evans added percussions and backing vox to this track. “Take Off the Crown” starts like the beginning of a 70s Blaxploitation film, complemented by amazing vocals and an infectious chorus. “Can’t Get Enough” is a powerful, cinematic soul ballad that feels big and emotional, and “Soar” features 3 part vocal harmonies with a nod to New Orleans bluesman Allen Toussaint. The mid section’s trumpet solo and ethereal harmonies lead to a mind-altering solo from the band’s horn section.
A commitment to each other, the music and their audience, is what makes Crowd Company stand out from the pack. They are all in, all the time, never wavering in their love of what they do. “We are so happy with Stone and Sky, it really captures who we are. Sonically, we love the way it sounds, song-wise, we worked hard on the writing and it feels like a really rich set of tunes. This album connects to our first release, but significantly evolves the sound and approach of the band. We love vintage soul and funk, but we bring a modern take to it.”
Crowd Company is renowned for bringing a raw energy and dynamic vitality to their live shows, with the spontaneity to ‘jazz up’ (pun intended) their songs live. The band has drawn accolades from their musical peers and have shared the stage with the likes of George Porter Jr. from The Meters, Daptone’s Saun & Starr, Alan Evans Trio, The New Mastersounds, and popular US funk outfit the Monophonics. You can catch their London record release party on October 18th at The Scotch of St James (More info and tickets can be found at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/