When Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey, two-thirds of the UK trip-hop group Morcheeba, reunited to create a new group called Skye & Ross, it wasn’t just the duo that came together for their self-titled debut album. They brought their families into the mix.
According to Ross Godfrey, he and his brother, Paul, who was the other third of Morcheeba’s original lineup, had a falling out a few years ago and he doesn’t see them working together in the future. But Skye & Ross brought in Skye’s husband, Steve (bass guitar), Skye’s 19-year-old son Jaega (drums) and Ross’ wife Amanda (backing vocals) to play on Skye & Ross, which has a Friday, Sept. 2 release date.
“It was really good fun. We obviously love our families so it was great working together,” Godfrey said. “But the other side of it was that it was probably just easier that way because they live in our house. So when we’re recording it’s easier to shout to my wife ‘Come and do some backing vocals’ than try to organize some sessions to bring in different singers. But we’re all very lucky that all members of our families are talented musicians.”
Ross said that Skye & Ross is somewhat of a “transmutation” of Morcheeba. The duo grew out of the Morcheeba’s touring together over the last several years since Edwards rejoined the group in 2010. She left the group in 2003 and released solo work, but remained under the same management as Morcheeba, which led to a chance meeting with the Godfrey brothers in 2009 that eventually led to her reuniting with the her old bandmates.
“When we finished the last Morcheeba tour we started writing some songs. They were just acoustic, folky tracks initially. Then the album slowly built itself up. We added beats and orchestras and it was a very natural process,” Godfrey said. “And by the time we finished it, it was just the two of us, so we just decided to release it under our names and to go out on the road and that was about it.
“But we still have about the same live band as Morcheeba and we’re going to play about ten old Morcheeba songs and five new tracks from the new album. So it’ll be kind of a mix of the old and new.” Skye & Ross are bringing their mix of old and new to the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Aug. 25.
Skye & Ross sounds like a natural evolution for the group from their Morcheeba days, given that the evolution does not include the more hip-hop inclined Paul Godfrey. The songs are less influenced by that genre of music, but the mood and tone of the records are similar to what Morcheeba released.
“I think it’s slightly more organic. It’s more live. There’s a lot more live instruments,” Godfrey said. “And I also feel like there’s not as much hip-hop influence. There’s no scratching. There’s no rapping and the guitars are much louder. You can hear the guitars, which is really nice.”
The duo released a second song from their self-titled album, “How to Fly,” on Friday, Aug. 19 (the first song they released is called “Light of Gold” and was released on July 1). It’s a standout on the record because it’s slightly faster paced and densely layered with sound. Godfrey said that Edwards’ lyrics on the record were inspired by the birth of her daughter.
“I think…[Skye] was inspired by the fact that she just had a baby,” Godfrey said. “So she was like willing her young daughter to live and stay alive and be strong.”
• For more information about Skye & Ross, visit facebook.com/SkyeandRoss.