Who? Ferris & Sylvester
A bit about: This BBC Introducing-backed duo released their first single, Save Yourself, in mid-2017 and have been going from strength to strength ever since. Having met as solo acts, Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester now share a small flat in Streatham Hill (the inspiration for their freshly released EP, Made In Streatham), and there is a clear city influence woven into their clever yet catchy country-folk songs. They have an echo of the familiar but there is more than enough originality to keep things interesting. Far from flying under the radar, this unassuming pair picked up a number of accolades towards the end of last year, including nods from Rolling Stone and the Unsigned Music Awards. If you don’t know, get to know.
What to say: “In a world dominated by Trap & Trump, the delectable harmonies of Ferris & Sylvester are a musical oasis”
The formula: First Aid Kit + (Joni Mitchell x Civil Wars)² + Mumford & Sons/2 + Laura Marling
The releases: After a spattering of singles throughout 2017, their debut EP, Made In Streatham, is out today (Friday 2nd February 2017).
Live: Opening for George Ezra at Shoreditch Town Hall was a fitting glimpse of things to come for Ferris & Sylvester. They are warm, charismatic and full of the kind of confident energy not often associated with this genre. Playing as a support act is difficult at the best of times, not least under the banner of someone of Ezra’s popularity, but the respectful hush over the audience as they dribbled into the venue was testament to Ferris & Sylvester’s magnetic appeal. They made what could easily have been a daunting cavern of a venue feel intimately cosy. Ferris & Sylvester made a lot of new friends that night.
Their arrangements are smart, too. It’s easy to forget there’s only the two of them on stage, thanks both to their energetic presence and the rich sound they manage to produce. Sylvester masterfully takes on the roles of guitarist and percussionist simultaneously, whilst Ferris to’s-and-fro’s between a number of different guitars and basses. It felt like a privilege to have seen them raw and stripped back, before they inevitably start touring flanked by a backing of flawlessly talented session musicians. There is clearly spades full of well crafted musicianship between the two of them. Oh, and they both have impeccable voices, which helps.
See them yourself: 6th February at the Omeara, London