ETHEMIA MYSTIFY WITH NEW RELEASE ON COMMON GROUND BY PETER MANN
Swindon-based recording studio, Crescent Records, releases the EP, ‘Common Ground,’ from Cirencester’s acoustic duo, Ethemia on June 21.
The pair, Michaela Mott and Berny Poulton, have been under the guidance of producer Damon Sawyer, and studio owner, James Richings, for close to two years now, the duo’s initial remit being an album.
However, as things transpired, and a natural bond, or ‘Common Ground’ was formed with Damon, it was decided to slow things down a little with a now eagerly-anticipated EP, the four track masterpiece, which has been recorded, mastered and produced In DSD, is led by the single, ‘Real Love.’
Entrusting not only their music, but their lives, in both each other, and others, even the story behind the cover of ‘Common Ground’ releases a ‘Quirk of Fate,’ it coming down to a tarot reading which Berny had been given.
“As the cards were being shuffled one fell on the floor, face down,” began Berny.
“I was asked if I wanted to include the card in the reading.
“Our first album was called ‘Quirk of Fate,’ so I trusted it would be right.
“Sure enough the face down card turned out to be a Queen, highly energetic and not prone to shy away from a challenge.
“The description fitted Michaela, my musical partner, perfectly, so it appeared the tarot reading was actually for Ethemia and not myself.”
Looking at the cover of Ethemia’s impending EP, there is the portrayal of the duo on one side, a gentleman on a stool on the other, and a solitary tree, through an archway, in the distance.
That, Ethemia describes, comes down to the ‘Three of Pentacles’ whilst the solitary tree is the ‘Maisie Tree,’ a soulful memorial to Michaela’s young niece who succumbed to cancer.
“It’s a true likeness of her special tree,” explained Michaela.
“My niece had conveyed should we ever need to be close to her after her death, we should sit beside it.”
The spiritual side to the duo certainly shines through, feelings which Damon, the master producer at Crescent Records, found only too true and, for the pair in question, it’s a bond as strong as they come.
“The main tarot card also depicted a third person,” explained Berny.
“A stonemason standing on a bench and holding a mallet and chisel, his skill made sure each block was cut perfectly.
“We knew this third person instantly; it was Damon, who, for 18 months had taken the building blocks of our songs and helped us hone them into something greater.
“To us that tarot reading had emphasised that total commitment and being on the same page would turn dreams into reality.”
Containing a fuller sound but without losing any heart or essence of previous offerings, ‘Common Ground,’ consisting of Real Love, Changing Patterns, Let it Rain, and Love Crime, contains the fragile vocals of Berny combined with the strong, melodic sound of Michaela.
“We’ve a compatibility, the two of us, Damon, James, even Rob, it all connects up,” added Berny.
“It also ensures that everything is ready to go.
“It’s all about making things work and we’re blessed, not only to write these songs, but to share them with other people.”
“We started doing all this as an album, because of a dream,” added Michaela.
“But, when meeting Damon, we decided to work on an EP instead and you can see the passion right there which definitely changed things.
“A transaction of song occurred between us and Damon and he had belief in us from the start.
“Everything with this is real and has a deep meaning to it.”
TOUR DATES AS FOLLOWS
June 30 CB2; Cambridge
July 2 Civic Centre; Trowbridge
July 6 Café Kino; Bristol (with support from Rob Richings)
July 8 The Hollybush; Witney
July 20 House Concert; London
July 22 Stables Sessions; Milton Keynes
July 25 The Star; London
September 13 Chapel Arts Centre; Bath (supporting Davey Dodds & Friends)
September 14 St Pauls Church; Starcross
September 16 Cheese & Grain; Frome (supporting John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett)
September 17 Sofar Sounds; Oxf