DOWNES BRAIDE ASSOCIATION Announce new album Halcyon Hymns

CD/DVD Released on 5th February

Downes Braide Association (DBA) announce the release of their new album Halcyon Hymns. The CD/DVD is out on 5th February 2021, and 2LP White Vinyl edition on 26th March 2021. 

The first track to be taken from the album, Love Among The Ruins, is out now:

Halcyon Hymns will be the fifth DBA collaboration and follows their previous critically-acclaimed studio albums Pictures of You (2012), Suburban Ghosts (2015) and Skyscraper Souls(2017). The duo have also released Live In England (2019) recorded at their first ever concert at Trading Boundaries, East Sussex, in 2018.

Pre-order Halcyon Hymns: CD/DVD https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/downes-braide-association-halcyon-hymns-cd-dvd-edition/

2LP White Vinyl:  https://www.cherryred.co.uk/product/downes-braide-association-halcyon-hymns-limited-edition-2lp-white-vinyl/ 

Following two more successful and enjoyable evenings at Trading Boundaries in February of 2020, Geoff Downes returned to Wales and his projects while Chris Braide returned to LA and struggled to find motivation with the unfolding events in a world of lockdown. Inspiration would return following a call from a close friend.

“Marc Almond suggested I ‘get stuck into another DBA record’ to lift the malaise,” say Braide. “Somehow It was hard to muster any enthusiasm for it. We had all been so upbeat at the recent shows and now here we were in a collective, creative void. It’s odd the way inspiration strikes though and it never ceases to delight and surprise me when the muse comes to play and it can happen at any time and without warning. 

“I opened up a folder of new DBA ideas Geoff (Downes) had sent to me a while back and which I’d listened to briefly and had made a note to do something with them at a later date. I can’t say why it happened but one day in the studio as I listened to the bits and pieces of ideas suddenly the songs started tumbling out as if by magic. I’m not exaggerating or being melodramatic. These new songs sounded like personal reflections, they just wrote themselves. It was so easy, so enjoyable and so meant to be. Like a gift.” 

A few words from Geoff: “It was so great to witness Chris’s creativity making my fundamental ideas come alive. He took the bare bones of melodies, harmonies and textures I sent him, and somehow crafted these into something way beyond my expectations or imagination. ‘Love Among The Ruins’ is one of the many examples on the album of his rare genius at work.”

Love Among The Ruins is a delightful and uplifting love song, reflecting memories and tributes of a long lost halcyon time in life. The first track to be taken from the new album, Love Among The Ruins, is out today 4th December.

Halcyon Hymns also features contributions by Marc Almond (ex-Soft Cell) and David Longdon (Big Big Train).

The CD/DVD package also includes video footage of legendary artist Roger Dean’s painting sessions as he creates the album cover artwork for Halcyon Days together with lyric videos for three tracks from the album.

DBA Release second Lyric Video for Skin Deep featuring Marc Almond from Album Scyscraper Souls

DBA (Downes Braide Association) release the second track from their recently released album Skyscraper Souls. Skin Deep featuring Marc Almond. The track is available now from iTunes or as part of the album.

Guests on Skyscraper Souls include Marc Almond, Andy Partridge (XTC), David Longdon (Big Big Train), Matthew Koma, Tim Bowness and Kate Pierson.

Chris Braide has worked with a multitude of artists including Marc Almond (featured on this track), Lana del Ray, Paloma Faith,
David Guetta, Beyonce & Sia the list is endless.

Geoff Downes has played keyboards with The Buggles, Asia and YES.

Transparent Blue vinyl – LP www.tinyurl.com/DBA3vinyl
 

CHRIS BRAIDE & GEOFF DOWNES – DOWNES BRAIDE ASSOCIATION – SKYSCRAPER SOULS

The new album by Super-duo Geoff Downes & Chris Braide, known as the Downes Braide Association (DBA),  Skyscraper Souls is out now through their own label X2X Records via Cherry Red.  This is their 3rd collaboration and follows their two previous critically-acclaimed releases Pictures of You (2012) and Suburban Ghosts (2015).

Both members have an immense body of work.  Chris Braide is a British singer, songwriter and producer, now based in LA, who has written and produced songs for Beyonce, Lana del Rey, Paloma Faith, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, David Guetta, Sia, Afrojack & Marc Almond… to name a few.  Geoff Downes is the prog legend who has played keyboards in The Buggles, Asia & Yes… he co-wrote the hits Heat of the Moment and Video Killed the Radio Star.

Skyscraper Souls is a more traditional progressive/classic rock/band album than their previous material, but retains a strong pop aesthetic and features many great guest contributions, including Marc Almond, Andy Partridge from XTC and Kate Pierson from the B52s.   The front cover artwork is by Roger Dean his graphics are also featured on the lyric video for the title track. Watch it here:

The idea for the album started as a series of sketches Geoff had been working on after a break from touring last year. By the time he returned from the road he directed the subsequent pent-up energy into composition and the ideas literally poured out.  As a kid, Chris had always loved expansive pieces like Close To The Edge and Tubular Bells.  While he is a huge pop fan and has written multitudes of pop hits for pop stars, his heart has a special place for those big studio epic productions.

On this album, Downes & Braide were joined by drummer Ash Soan (Trevor Horn, Squeeze, Faithless, Del Amitri, Adele, Cee Lo Green, Will Young, Robbie Williams & Gary Barlow and many more) and bassist Andy Hodge.  Chris says, “Having such an amazing rhythm section really brought the songs to life. With previous albums we always used drum machines and samples. There is so much warmth and movement in these recordings. They breathe!”

The fact that their ‘association’ has always had to fit around their extensive commitments has never dulled their remarkable musical creativity.  This album went a step further and was co-written remotely – at no time were the pair ever in the same room!  Chris explains, “Geoff would send me folders full of stuff such as the magnificent piano pieces which turned into Glacier Girl and Prelude. As soon as I heard the chords I was writing lyrics like a mad man and before long the album started to materialize.”  Geoff adds, “The ideas themselves were in a very rough format, but with the melodies & basic harmonies. Chris started playing around with these, and often, they came back with some radical changes, but Chris was always very conscious to retain my original idea”

 The pair feel Skyscraper Souls is their strongest album to date, which is no mean feat!  This album contains constant motifs and themes that recur and flow throughout.  Keeping strong melodies to the fore they have created a wonderfully interesting soundscape.

Track list as follows:

  1. Prelude (ft Andy Partridge – XTC)
  2. Skyscraper Souls (ft Kate Pierson – B52s)
  3. Glacier Girl (ft Andy Partridge)
  4. Angel On Your Shoulder (ft Matthew Koma)
  5. Tomorrow (ft David Longdon – Big Big Train)
  6. Lighthouse (ft Tim Bowness)
  7. Skin Deep (ft Marc Almond)
  8. Darker Times (ft Andy Partridge)

Outside of DBA Downes and Braide remain in high demand.

Geoff has been pretty much flat out touring the world with Yes and Asia for the last few years. Any breaks have been filled up with other projects, including putting together some new Buggles ideas with Trevor (Horn).  He is also writing film and library music.   Yes are soon to embark on their 50th Anniversary tour so busy times lie ahead!

Chris has been writing music for movies in LA, the most recent being a new animation called LEAP.  He wrote UNSTOPPABLE for the Olympics with the artist SIA and has co-written and produced the new single for DJ Robin Schulz.  He also wrote and produced a new Marc Almond album, due out next year as well as Marc’s next single Embers.  He produced a single for Elle King for a big ad campaign featuring Kendal Jenner, and is currently scoring a movie soundtrack at his studio in LA.  He has written a song for Trevor Horn called Sky Show for an animation he was working on. With more new ventures, Chris has had no break this year, but wouldn’t have it any other way.