Downes Braide Association (DBA) announce the release of their long-awaited new album Celestial Songs on 8thSeptember. Following their previous critically acclaimed studio albums, Celestial Songs will be the fifth DBA studio collaboration for Geoff Downes (keyboards) and multi award-winning songwriter Chris Braide (vocals). The album will be released in 3 formats: CD, 2LP and Box Set.
DBA also launch the first single from the album Clear Light – listen to the song and watch the video here:
Celestial Songs marks another musical leap forward for DBA. “As we were writing the songs for the album, they started to become thematic in emotion and feeling,” says Chris Braide, “more classic rock than the predecessor ‘Halcyon Hymns’. The songs were about life and death, time, love, nostalgia, spirituality. Very DBA in fact.”
“I know that Chris really likes the depth of chord sequences that I put together,” Geoff Downes explains. “This particular collection just really grabbed him and he got it up and running very, very quickly, so I was really pleased about that.
“There’s a lot of variety on the album, too. We were aiming to get quite a bit more dynamics into this album because there were some very quiet pastoral moments. I think it makes it a more interesting listen for people to get their heads around and enjoy. I hope people will appreciate it and get behind it, not just the songwriting and vocals but the overall instrumentation and musicianship is very high on this album.”
The high quality of musicianship is because of the exceptional core of musicians with which DBA have surrounded themselves including Andy Hodge (bass), Dave Bainbridge (former Iona guitarist and keyboardist), and Marc Almond who adds a brief vocal appearance.
“It’s very useful having this core of musicians that are ready to enhance our music,” agrees Geoff Downes. “Andy Hodge is very much an integral part of this unit. When we send him stuff to play, he has incredible feeling and creates a more interesting bass part than we could have thought of ourselves.
“Having Dave Bainbridge with us has added another dimension to the DBA-sound and I’m very happy with that. Dave’s got his own stamp and that’s something that we appreciate having on board.
“Marc Almond makes a cameo appearance on ‘The Darker Side Of Fame’ and Marc and Chris’s voices blend really well. It tells a story, a theme that a lot of people, and a lot of musicians, can relate to – certainly musicians that have had any kind of success. The lyric is very poignant, whilst you have all the glory, the accolades and the adulation, it can go away and you’re left with nothing. It reflects life in general, I think, as people go through all kinds of ups and downs throughout their careers and throughout their lives.”
The closing track cements DBA’s prog credentials as Chris Braide explains. “What happens to love when we die? ‘Beyond The Stars’ was a tune that began in 2015 and really shaped the way the artwork was to develop. Something bigger than us, something astral and heavenly, it grew from a 3-minute ditty to an 11-minute epic.
“That’s what the song Beyond The Stars is really asking. Celestial Songs was a title we came up with in 2020 and Roger (Dean) made it manifest in his wonderful sleeve painting. A beautiful, heavenly, rainbow sky full of stars.
“DBA’s music has always been about the big questions, the beauty of love and the tragedy of loss, but always with hope, I suppose. ‘Celestial Songs’ is the latest chapter in that series. I hope people enjoy listening to the album as much as we enjoyed writing it and making it.”
You can pre-order all formats of Celestial Songs here:
CD version: Downes Braide Association: Celestial Songs, CD Edition – Cherry Red Records
2LP version: Downes Braide Association: Celestial Songs, Vinyl Edition – Cherry Red Records
Box set version: Downes Braide Association: Celestial Songs, Deluxe 12″ Box Set Edition – Cherry Red Records
Celestial Songs Track Listing:
1. Look What You Do (6.17)
2. Clear Light (5.00)
3. Keep On Moving (6.36)
4. Darker Side Of Fame (3.56)
5. Hey Kid (3.28)
6. Will To Power (6.23)
7. Heart Shaped Hole (9.06)
8. Dear Petra (3.56)
9. On The Run (5.09)
10. Goodbye To You (Sister Shame) (7.30)
11. Beyond The Stars (10.19)
(Total running time: 67.40)
All tracks written by Chris Braide and Geoff Downes except Keep On Moving (Chris Braide/Francis Dunnery/ Geoff Downes) and Goodbye To You (Sister Shame) (Chris Braide/Andy Partridge/Geoff Downes)
Produced by Chris Braide and Geoff Downes
About Downes Braide Association
Downes Braide Association was formed as a studio-based project by Geoff Downes and Chris Braide and has previously produced four studio albums: Pictures Of You (2012), Suburban Ghosts (2015), Skyscraper Souls (2017) and Halcyon Hymns (2021) and a live album Live In England (2019). The project draws on Downes’ and Braide’s rich musical heritage to create a delightfully accessible brand of progressive rock.
Keyboard wizard Geoff Downes was thrust into the limelight with the worldwide success of Video Killed The Radio Star in 1979. The single topped the charts chart in 16 countries for The Buggles duo of Geoff and Trevor Horn (vocals, bass guitar). They briefly joined prog legends YES before Downes became a founder member of the supergroup Asia with YES guitarist Steve Howe, ELP drummer Carl Palmer and the late John Wetton (vocals, bass guitar).
The Wetton-Downes composition Heat Of The Moment became a world-wide hit in 1982 heralding many years of success for Asia with their FM radio-friendly brand of rock. Downes later rejoined YES in 2011 and remains with the band alongside Steve Howe.
British singer-songwriter-pianist Chris Braide has recently returned to UK shores after many years based in California. He enjoys enormous success writing and producing music for film scores, advertising campaigns and working closely with artists including Sia, Lana Del Rey, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Paloma Faith, Britney Spears and Marc Almond.
An Ivor Novello award-winner and Grammy-nominated, Braide has recently won a BMI Pop Award in Los Angeles for co-writing Sia’s Unstoppable, her eighth US Top 40 hit after making a surprise, and long, rise to the top having been released in 2016, becoming the biggest selling single in the USA.