Ten years or so ago the world might have missed out on acts like Folk/Soul trio Arcelia. Thanks in part to the digital emancipation of artists and a core fan base that refused to let them go, the net has gently snared a trio of pure heart and warmth, utterly at ease with their own cochlear tattoo. There’s no posturing or pretense – just three honest artists, joining forces and singing their lives. Three very different voices melded together in a concoction of chocolate, whisky and honey, and a dash of cajon, with a shake of piano, cello and 6 metal strings to boot. The result is a barnful of pure, harmony laden, acoustic songs that climb up and out of the roof, towering over the landscape below. The record has invited some superb early reviews, but Arcelia are one of those bands that really catch the firefly live.
Simon Foster is no stranger to the music business, with a CV that includes some serious company – George Michael, Zucchero, Natalie Imbruglia – and of course, The Flying Pickets – with whom he has been a member since 2004. He has a voice that can in one syllable be Vesuvius, the next a gentle mountain spring; a voice that led to one London promoter describing him as being like “Joe Cocker and Van Morrison gloriously bellowing into the horn of Valhalla, while Peter Gabriel hums along…”
Chief songwriter Gavin Alexander has had his brushes with the big boys too. It was his knack for weaving Paul Simon-like numbers that led to Chris Difford (of Squeeze fame) inviting him to join a host of named writers and take part in his annual songwriting retreat; a relationship that soon flowered into some supports with Chris, and ultimately to Arcelia joining the likes of The Strypes and Steve Nieve (The Attractions) in playing at Chris’s wedding.
Teresa’s voice is gently weaved with a thread that might have been borrowed from Clannad or The Corrs. A silk scarf between the glorious merino wool of the other two, Tree boasts a history in the National youth Jazz Orchestra, and a life in a parallel universe where she voices a host of characters in kid's TV animations such as Octonauts, Thomas & Friends, Thunderbirds, Amazing World of Gumball et al. There’s a warmth and ease that she brings to the trio that is clear for all to see live – no wonder people are so keen to invite them into their living rooms. With fans amongst illustrious peers like Fairground Attraction’s Mark Nevin (who referred to them as ‘delicious’,) a new single out; a Mojo cover mount; a new record on the way; and a host of upcoming shows and house concerts penciled in, 2015 promises to be a corker.
“Wonderfully warm harmonies” - MOJO
“Beautiful songwriting, gentle acoustics - and HEART" - WOW Magazine
“Mighty Voices… one poignant song moved me to tears…” - Folk In The Barn
“A perfect example of the less is more mantra in operation" - Fatea Magazine
“Riveting, emotive and beauty-filled… a life affirming and memorable performance… " - Feed Me Music/100 Club
“…the vocals across the tracks stand out as something special…the blend of harmonies lift the songs to another level… acoustic mood music of the highest order…" - Folk & Roots
“…a very honest record created out of a genuine passion for music…” - Female First
The new single from the current record, ‘Petal’ was released in February on Arcelia’s own label through iTunes and Spotify, and 2015 sees them embarking on a series of House Concerts as well as conventional venue dates.