Ivy & Gold
Not Had Enough
Not Had Enough is available via:
The E.P., Eye of the Storm, is available through:
RELEASED: 28 April 2014
℗ 2014 84 World Limited
Eye of the Storm– 9.7
Love Is a Sacrifice- 9.6
Not Had Enough- 9.7
Standout Track: Not Had Enough
The eye-catching duo fuse bygone English and U.S. sounds with cutting edge and modern wonder. In a music scene where you either get beauty and soul, or passion and mystery- Ivy & Gold provide both, with noble aplomb. These distinct London-based seraphs are sure to be huge future festival leaders.
IT is quite a rarity to come across a duo whom provide…
such a weight of emotion, beauty and gravity- without resorting to a hailstorm of guitar and percussion. In the U.K., there are quite a few duos; yet a great deal of them offer Grunge/Indie/Blues Rock sounds- few mix Pop and Electro together with 1970s Rock and Blues. Ivy & Gold subsume various influences and styles into their palette; mix it together with a stunning and vibrant original identity- the results have been stunning audiences, critics and reviewers. I shall investigate the duo more; but first, a little biography:
Jamie Davies – Producer/Keys
Rachel Wilkinson – Vocals
“Ivy & Gold are an electro / pop duo from Broxbourne, Herts, consisting of Rachel Wilkinson and Jamie Davies. Bonding over a shared love of Mike Snow, Fleetwood Mac and Ellie Goulding, the band set out on a journey to write their own hit songs. Their debut release came in the form of ‘Awake’ a 4 track digital EP, released in early 2013. Having played various support shows around the capital, the band headed back in the studio ready to unleash their next batch of songs. These new tracks will be launched over the course of the year, as a series of digital EP’s, in conjunction with their boutique store and limited edition merchandise range.”
Those with keen ears and (musical) may recognise the band moniker- it is the title of a Bombay Bicycle Club track (from their album, Flaws). It is a wonderful song title, and an even more perfect name for a duo- it sums up their luster, talent and qualities. In addition to being fans of the Crouch End Indie Rock quartet, the duo have a fond appreciation of the past. Tori Amos, Fleetwood Mac, Jeff Buckley and Incubus are amongst their lists of idols- as well as current-day idols such as Laurel (a musician I recently surveyed), London Grammar and Ellie Goulding. The back story of Ivy & Gold implores you to smile and sigh. There was no surruptitiousness or Hollywood luck; just two like-minded souls bonding over a shared love of some wonderful musicians. There are so few modern acts influenced by the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Tori Amos, so our well-educated two-piece come as a huge surprise- and they manage to incorporate elements of the aforementioned into their melting pot. Rachel Wilkinson must rank amongst the most beautiful and stunning women in the world, and in terms of voices, hers has few equals- possessed of a divine strength, power and tenderness. Jamie Davies is an assured and bold producer; one whom is no maverick, but is capable of adding ambition and wonderful atmosphere to the duo’s music. You can hear the close friendship and understanding between Wilkinson and Davies. It is clear that they are consumed by music and all it offers; concerned with little else, this impassioned and fevered adoration blends magnanimously into their striking templates.
If you are a fan of current-day queens such as Florence Welch, Adele, Hannah Reid and Ellie Goulding, then Wilkinson’s voice and projection will please the heart and mind. There are embers of each in her tones, yet it would be incongruous and remiss of me to lazily compare her with others. If you look for conviction and raw etherealeness; potent and spellbinding allure and beauty, then Wilkinson’s voice will compel you. The stunning production quality and mesmeric compositions separate Ivy & Gold aside from their peers- yet this is not to say that they alienate themselves from those whom prefer classic and vintage sounds. There is as much history and retrospection as there is urgency and modernity; tablueaxs depict wounded hearts and disenchanted souls; whirlpools of dislocation and hope intersect, and the London-housed pair possess an impressive range of artillery in their armoury. Essentially, if you are seeking music that overwhelms and entrances, then seek out the gilded twosome.
Before I review the featured track, I will get one thing out-of-the-way: the issue of London Grammar. In spite of the duo being fans of Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman, too many reviewers have too directly compared the acts. It is true that both are fronted by staggeringly divine women; boasting immense vocals and detailed compositions- that is where the comparisons end. Ivy & Gold are no bandwagon jumpers; no tribute act or second-rate equivalent- they acknowledge shades of the Nottingham act, yet employ it as a point d’appui. Not Had Enough beckons us in with delicate and soothing notes; a subtle interplay of electronics and piano give way to our heroine. A fire is burning her down; the voice has duskiness and coffee tones; weighed down by the circumstances of life, Wilkinson in a reflective state of mind. Perhaps recounting the cessation of a relationship, a message is directed (to her former suitor): “Gone/You left me like a ghost.” In the early stages there is a ready-for-the-clubs feel; a driving force that possesses a toe-tapping and metronome beat. With an authoritative composition (that put me in mind of Mezzanine-era Massive Attack and Little Earthquakes Tori Amos), you cannot help but to be sucked into the song. Our heroine prophesies that “We fall and fall again“; drowning in confusion and lost desire, her voice is powerfully direct- but instilled with heartache. The percussive and electronic components are kept restrained but persistent; never encroaching on the vocals, a huge subconscious weight is added into the mix- one that not only augments and supports the central voice, but adds a modicum of fear, tension and tear drops. Backed by Davies’s compelling mandate, Wilkinson beautifully twists her voice; letting it rise and present a paucity of smile; before dipping into the soul- and letting a sensitive and impassioned side come through. Natural forces, dark scenes and harsh weather are all employed to give definition to our heroine’s anxieties. When she sings “There’s no escape to bring me round“, you not only sense the conviction and meaning in the words, but picture her vividly- enveloped in a harsh wind, her mind is turning and the whites of her eyes clearly come into focus. Although the subject of solitude and dissipated love have been surveyed multitudinously, Ivy & Gold bring something new to the party; a sense of optimism amongst the shadows. The chorus- as well as being one of the most infectious you will hear all year- possesses an upbeat and fist-pumping sense of rebirth; Wilkinson’s voice swings and rallies- she is a woman who has not yet been defeated. That said, it seems that this ‘pattern’ of events is a compunctive malaise (“I’m addicted/Locked in on my own“); as the song reaches its half-way mark, Wilkinson’s voice hits it emotional peak- the full extent of pain and reality come through. One cannot help but to be impressed, not only by the range and snake-like shift in the vocals, but the power that comes through- our heroine can go from a high-pitched belt to softer whisper in a matter of nanoseconds. Whomever has caused our lead so much regret and sadness, has not defeated her (it seems that “it carries on“). As the track comes to its conclusion, key phrases (the chorus in particular) are re-introduced, and an emotional firestorm of percussion, electronics and keys is whipped up. When reflecting on the track, a number of aspects strike your mind. Wilkinson has some tints of modern-day golden voices such as Hannah Reid and Florence Welch, yet I feel that something distinctly fresh and improved is offered; Wilkinson’s voice is a lot more addictive, nuanced and rich than these dual idols. Instilled with hints of past mistresses (Tori Amos and Bjork), the abiding impression is of a majestic sound that is all her own- and shall be inspiring a lot of up-and-coming singers as well. Davies’s production is perfectly balanced and impressive; he allows the voice to shine with crisp clarity, yet does not negate the importance of the composition. Each segment and thread is beautifully presented and represented, and the song- as a result- is packed full of movement, emotion and layers. Not Had Enough is a song dedicated to (but not exclusively reserved for) those whom feel as Wilkinson does and have had similar experiences. It is a cut that will draw in hungry club-going feet; score beach sunsets and seduce car stereos- as you roll down a sun-kissed road. With its mix of emphatic and introvertedness; honest and bracing diligence- few will resist its allures. A fitting and hugely memorable coda, it is deeply impressive how confident and authoritative Ivy & Gold sound so early on- and it will fascinating to see how they evolve and grow.
It would not be hyperbolic to suggest that Ivy & Gold have a rich future ahead of them. They are a rare and sought-after commodity; a fact that is already being recognised throughout London- and the entire U.K. before too long. Having surveyed (their debut E.P.) Awake, it seems that the duo become more confident and galvanised with each ensuing release. It is judicious to assess Wilkinson and Davies on their own merits, rather than lump them with another act (Not Had Enough shows how intentful and determined the duo are). With heady emotion, encapsulating beauty and sexiness; as well as multi-coloured and evocative sonics throughout, it is testament to two humans intent on remaining in the public consciousness for many a-year to come. Eye of the Storm builds upon this, and displays an abundance of wealth- that which can be appreciated by everyone. The title track and Love Is a Sacrifice have introverted and reflective cores; bolstered, augmented and inflamed by Wilkinson’s enticing vocals- as well as Davies’s musical and production brilliance. New material and movements are imminent, and it is clear that Ivy & Gold are busy creative minds; inspired by positive feedback and a shared musical tastes, it seems they will be huge names to watch. They are tantalising audiences across the capital, but should brace themselves: the entire nation will want to see them in the flesh. It may still be early days for them; many pens mention London Grammar too frequently, yet I am convinced of one thing…
THIS essential duo are going to surpass the Nottinghamshire trio, very soon indeed.
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