ALTERNATIVE folk/pop duo, Hester and Holly Rose, joined two other bands from Manchester for the release of new record label ‘Playing with Sound’ at the Night and Day Cafe on Friday night. Quays News entertainment  reporter Rachel Foy caught up with the pair…

The duo formed in February last year after Holly quit her scholarship in a dance school and Hester moved to the UK from Ireland.

The pair had known each other for two years before they decided to collaborate and write music and then tour around Berlin and Europe.

Hester and Holly Rose

On the release of their new single ‘Promise’ (out now), Hester explained how lyrics aren’t necessarily related to them but have a cold and harsh meaning.

“The story is something we made up, about a prostitute who falls in love with a guy she meets on the streets and is fantasising over how he can save her.  It’s about the harsh reality of life and unfortunately it’s all just a dream of hers and none of it is real.

“The lyrics aren’t actually related to us but a lot of artists will tell you ‘we’ve wrote the song and it means so much to us’ and a lot of the time it’s the opposite.

“They write the song and then create a meaning towards the lyrics afterwards. And generally it will mean and relate a lot more to other people than it actually does to them.

“When we write a song we find catchy bits, piece it together and work on it for a couple of weeks whilst producing it in a bedroom and then find a meaning to it.”

The duo previously produced music in their homes rather than use a producer, however this time they went professional.

“We worked with Dan Swift, who worked with the likes of Snow Patrol and Passenger, and at one point he had us both singing over and over in a studio along with a huge gospel choir. The single wouldn’t be what it is without Dan one hundred per cent and we’re very grateful for his help and guidance; he is such a great guy.

Sometimes we do prefer to produce our music in the comfort of our homes, it’s easier and relaxed but we definitely needed a professional sound as we’ve now released the single on iTunes and it’s available to buy and download now!

“The professional sound is more of what we want to create now; we’re currently in a transition from folk and acoustic. We want to branch out to more genres as we both have different influences, so my taste is mainly influenced by Passenger and Ed Sheeran, where as Holly’s is more The XX,” explained Hester.

The duo decided to change after they went on a busking tour around Berlin and will be off to do another in Finland over the summer, but this time on public transport.

“The last tour was so hot! We could do something we love, grow, survive and build up an amazing fan base. We left last July for Berlin and went around selling all of our CD’s that we had ordered as well as busking and just generally that kept us afloat. Ultimately our decision came from the reaction we had when we were busking.

“In a venue people expect good music, but when we were on the streets we were able to see what the public and fans liked in terms of our material.”

Hester and Holly’s next tour will be around the UK for 23 days of touring universities, and then they’ll be off to Finland for another busking challenge, so keep a look out for them in a city near you!

By Rachel Foy

You can download the duo’s single ‘Promise’ on their official website…  

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