Dark Dark Horse is the collaboration of producer and Maybeshewill member Jamie Ward and singer James Stafford. A combination of Jamie’s Eric Satie meets New Order atmospheric electronics and James’s warm world-weary voice.
The band’s genesis lies at the end of a bleak winter European tour where Jamie found himself band less and deflated after departing from Kyte.
“I’d always been a bit player musically. Either playing drums or engineering or just something a little outside of the limelight. I was feeling pretty burnt at that time so spending hours shaping these few little ideas I had became a bit of cathartic experience. I hadn’t really played them to anyone, I guess out of fear of people finding my first foray into composing wanting but then I met James though recording his band Kids in Cars. I found myself really moved by the way he sang and drawn to his lyrics. I felt if I could get just get him involved then maybe what I’d been crafting could have some legs.”
After a series of tentative weekend recording sessions the duo began to find their feet, eventually feeling ready to share their collaboration.
Initial tracks gained praise from the likes of Jen Long (Radio 1 – blog feature), The Communion records blog (Track of the week), Tom Robinson (BBC 6 Music – airplay and interview) and Chris Martin (Amazing radio – single of the week). Ladbrokes bizarrely even gave the band odds to win the Mercury Prize.
A series of remix commissions followed with acts including Tall Ships, LITE (Japan), Fossil Collective, Maybeshewill and Rose Elinor Dougal (Mark Ronson/ex Pipettes) reviving imaginative atmospheric re-workings.
To realize their music live the duo asked Joe Norledge and Robin Southby (Maybeshewill) to join the band.
After a few performances locally the band found themselves being invited to support the likes of Mono, The Twilight Sad, Clock Opera and Fossil Collective around the UK. Headline and festival slots ensued with two notable events including a headline slot at Communion Records prestigious London Communion and a spot on the Drowned in Sound stage at summer sundae Festival.
The band release their debut album ‘Centuries’ on Function Records on 27th May.
“The songs are very intense and make you think about the past, the present and the future. You will remember things that happened when you were young – the time you were in school, the places you saw with your parents & your friends, your first kiss and all your childhood-dreams. Then you will think about who you are now and who you will be in some years. Suddenly the music stops – and you press play again.”
11th April – Bodega, Nottingham w/ Fossil Collective
12th April – Jericho Tavern, Oxford w/ Fossil Collective
15th April – The Musician, Leicester w/ Fossil Collective
16th April – Portland Arms, Cambridge w/ Fossil Collective
24th May – Handmade Festival, Leicester