We recently caught up with the band Two Reasons Why, made up of the talented duo Lucy Williams and Joe Baker. Dabbling in a mix of acoustic, folk and pop, these two are definitely worth a listen, and with the release of their EP Abbey Sessions, we were definitely interested in picking their brains on their inspirations and processes. We talked to Joe about recording in a church, the Lord Mayor’s Charity Gala and travelling to get gigs.
By Kate McHugh
How did you guys form the band?
The band was formed when both of our previous bands split up. I continued to write songs but really needed a singer as I’m really not a good singer, so I messaged Lucy and we got together had a few practices and here we are now.
For anyone who hasn’t listened to your music before, how would you describe it?
I would describe us as having folky roots but embellished with a powerful soulful voice pushing us into a more poppy sound. Probably somewhere between Glen Hansard and Gabrielle Alpin
Do you have any specific influences? On your Facebook page you mention Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard, Gabrielle Alpin. What do you like about these?
I like the honesty of the music. I find it all very down to earth and you can believe what they are singing about. You get the feeling they have really laboured over what they have created and have worked hard to get what they have achieved.
What other musicians are you into?
Me and Lucy vary greatly in our influences. She wings more towards Beyonce, Pink and Michael Buble, whereas I prefer my singer/songwriters like Ed Sheeran and Justin Vernon.
You were the winners of the wild-card spot for the Lord Mayor’s Charity Gala. How did that feel to win and know you’ll be playing at The Barbican?
It felt amazing! We honestly didn’t expect to win so really didn’t think too much into it until we got the phone call to say we were playing. It is by far the biggest venue we have ever played so really are excited to play!
You’ve recently performed in Leeds in St Marks church. What was that like as an venue? Do you have a favourite or ideal venue?
It is my new favourite venue! To have somewhere so beautiful and yet sound so amazing and be so well organised it really is a rarity these days. Everything was considered when turning the church into a venue and it really shows because the sound is truly great.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest EP, Abbey Sessions?
Abbey Sessions was recorded live in Selby Abbey. We understand that a lot of a band’s advertising is done on the internet these days and is by far the most effective way to reach new listeners so we wanted to be able to capture the whole thing on camera so we could show people exactly what it was like while we recorded. We needed somewhere fairly amazing looking with the right acoustics and where better than a church? We are really happy with the results as it looks and sounds great! All the videos are up on Youtube.
On your single Foxes Den you are accompanied by some other musicians. Have you ever considered expanding your permanent line up or will it remain a duo?
It’s a difficult one really. We love the sound of the full band with drums and strings etc. but find the majority of the gigs we play just really aren’t suited to the full band noise, plus it is a lot easier just having to coordinate two musicians as opposed to the five or six we would need for the full band. I think we just enjoy how simple everything is at the minute.
What plans do you have for the future?
Play more gigs. Write new songs. The standard really. We just enjoy doing what we are doing so do it for ourselves more than anything else. If the opportunity was to come along where we could do what we do on a more professional level we would definitely take the chance but we are happy doing what we are doing for now.
You write a lot of the songs. What’s your process and inspiration?
I get most of my inspiration from my friends and what’s going on around me at the time. Every song I write has a meaning behind it which I try hard to hide in the song. It means a lot of people don’t get what my songs are actually about. I like that, though, ‘cause it means the songs can be interpreted in different ways as each person sees fit.
Process-wise, there isn’t one really. It happens differently every time depending on the song and its structure. I then take it to Lucy and she gives it that special twist only she can do.
What’s your opinion of the York music scene?
I love theYorkmusic scene! It has a silly amount of incredibly talented musicians who all know each other and get along. I don’t think it is the city to make a name for yourself, though. It’s a little quiet gig wise. To do that I think musicians have to travel further afield to busier towns and cities.
Any further words for the readers?
We are currently in the studio recording our next single It’s Enough and are hoping to have it out in the coming months, so keep an eye out for that one!
Abbey Sessions by Two Reasons Why is available on Bandcamp now.