When one of the biggest names in your chosen field asks you to work with him before you’ve even released your own debut album, it’s an offer that’s hard to resist.
And so it was for Wildwood Kin (sisters Emillie and Beth Key, and their cousin Meghann Loney) when fellow Devonian Seth Lakeman asked them to play a major part of what became his critically acclaimed 2016 album Ballads of The Broken Few album and tour.
‘We’ve been massive fans of Seth since we were young and when we were starting out we listened to his music a lot,’ says Emillie.
‘To get a message from him to say he wanted to collaborate with us, it was a crazy moment and we were all very excited. We met up with him and he told us his vision for this next project he was working on – he wanted a quartet of vocals with him, all stripped back and just him on his fiddle, and with the producer Ethan John. It was really exciting for Seth, and really exciting for us to work with them. It was quite different.
‘When we started working with him we were still quite a new band so it got us out in front of a lot of people, and we grew a lot in confidence playing in bigger venues and to bigger audiences.
‘While we were doing our own stuff, to be involved with this as well was a really cool opportunity and hopefully gained us some new fans.’
The roots music trio released their own debut Turning Tides last month via the newly relaunched Sony imprint Silvertone.
Coming from musical families, they were introduced to lots of Americana and folk early on.
But the band only came together on a whim when the young women were still trying to decided what to do with their lives.
‘We’ve all grown up singing together with family and just as a hobby really,’ says Emillie. ‘It was around the time that we were deciding what career paths we wanted to go down. Meg had just finished her A-levels, I was doing my exams, and Beth was just starting her A-levels. One evening we were all together, I was stressing out about exams, Meg was on a gap year not knowing what was going to happen next, and we all just kind of said as a joke, how amazing would it be to sing and play music for a bit? We thought why don’t we just give it a try, do some open mics, almost treat it like a gap year sort of thing, have a break from school and exams, and write our own music, which we’d never really done before.
‘We weren’t expecting it to be a more permanent thing. But it snowballed from there, and it hasn’t really stopped, which is awesome.’
After a busy summer including slots at Glastonbury, Radio2’s Festival In A Day at Hyde Park and their first trip to the US for Americana Fest in Nashville, they’re now heading out on their own headline tour.
The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth
Wednesday, October 4