There are some acts that come along onto any music scene who can change its outlook simply by playing beautiful music.

One such act is Kent act Arcelia.

Arcelia (pronounced Ah-KELL-ia – which means ‘treasure chest’ in old Spanish!) is Gavin Alexander, Teresa Gallagher and Simon Foster.

Slowly building a following after releasing their debut album “Wrap your bones” in 2014, they have individually spent time honing their separate crafts before coming together.Gavin, who is the main lyricist for the band, is a graduate of the Newcastle college of music whose songwriting has been described as being like in the same league as Eddi Reader and Roddy Frame by WOW magazine.His works have graced the soundtrack to the Studio Ghibli animated series “Ronja, The Robber’s Daughter” as well as being covered by other acts.

Teresa’s voice will be familiar to millions, as she was the voice of Mater’s computer in the Disney/Pixar movie “Cars 2” as well as being a much sought after voice-over artist.Beginning her musical career with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, she has a voice that has a haunting, Celtic lilt, reminiscent of both Enya and The Corrs.

Simon will also be familiar to many as a member of the legendary acapella group The Flying Pickets.

The three are regularly joined by Martin Elliott on bass and Perry White on piano.

With a very “British” yet soulful sound that is certain to woo audiences at home and abroad, they really are a treasure chest worthy of the name.Rarely, if ever, have I heard voices so perfectly manage harmonies in the way these musicians manage, and I’m not alone;

“Arcelia’s combination of voices creates a subtle, soulful folk-tinted sound, filled with a richness and intensity you can almost feel… one of those albums you’ll listen to again and again.”

FolkWords, ALBUM of the MONTH

“…fulfilling soundtrack to the Summer ” –  Fatea

Their latest offering is the track “Lucky Man” from their EP “Pick up the Pieces”. Gavin wrote about how lucky he was to live as a relatively free man in the UK. The band then recorded it in their own 200-year-old barn studio in early 2019 featuring guest musician and friend Melvin Duffy (First Aid Kit, Squeeze) on pedal steel guitar and dobro. The song was written about the time of the EU referendum in 2016.With a video (Below) shot in Scotland during the summer, the band are looking to cement their reputation as one of the most in-demand support acts, having been on the road with the likes of Scott Matthews, Oysterband, Boo Hewerdine, Michele Stodart and Maddy Prior.

Perthshire company Mousehole Films to created a video to capture the local wildlife around the areas where they played, celebrating not only the track but the beauty around them and the wildlife conservation work that goes on in Scotland.

The rest of the EP is filled out by a hauntingly beautiful acapella version of the Paul McCartney track “Blackbird” from The Beatles White Album, Wasn’t Enough, written jointly by Gavin Alexander and Cat Bloomfield, a song inspired by a mutual friend who realised her long term relationship was over, People Like Me, again, a Gavin track about greed and finally Pick up the pieces, a song of loss, the grief that goes with it and the strategies you put in place to cope. They are back out on tour in 2020, and I highly recommend making the effort to see them in the flesh.

Published by @RochFolk

Folk music and fringe theatre critic and reviewer.

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