New album for Morcheeba founders
Skye Edwards and Ross Godfrey (along with Ross’ brother Paul) spent the late ‘90s at the top of the trip-hop heap. As UK trio Morcheeba, they perfected the alchemy of hip-hop beats, downtempo backdrops and soulful vocals, turning it into something that resonated with both mainstream audiences and club kids.
Morcheeba’s 1998 high-water mark, “Big Calm,” went platinum in multiple countries and introduced them to fans around the globe.
But by 2003, trip-hop was already an antiquated term and Edwards was out of the band. The Godfrey brothers continued on, featuring singer Daisy Martley on 2005’s “The Antidote,” and a host of vocalists on 2008’s “Dive Deep,” but things were never the same.
After a chance meeting in 2009, the trio reunited and recorded two more albums together. Despite his strong presence in the studio, Paul Godfrey rarely toured with the band. And after 2013’s “Head Up High,” he called it quits for good.
Although Edwards has continually maintained her solo career (she released her fourth album last year), and Ross Godfrey formed the band Little Mountain with his wife, Morcheeba has reunited (sort of) once more.
Although they can’t use their old moniker, Edwards and the younger Godfrey have teamed up for a new project called SKYE & ROSS. Their eponymously titled debut album is set for a Sept. 2 release.
DiscoverSD recently spoke with Edwards by phone, from a tour stop in Washington D.C., about this new chapter of her old band.
Q: Is this feeling different and familiar all at the same time?
A: Well, the live side doesn’t feel different at all. The last few times we toured, Paul hasn’t been there. Since we reunited, and even before that, we always had someone stand in for Paul. But recording the new album was different because Paul always co-produced and wrote lyrics. Ross is producing and I’m writing lyrics and melodies this time.
Q: With both of you also doing other projects, what made you decide to start something new again together?
A: When Paul resigned from the band, Ross and I knew that we wanted to press on. So we decided to move forward as Skye and Ross.
Q: What kind of game plan did you have going in?
A: Initially, we thought we’d make it really acoustic. The song “Clear My Mind” on the new album is acoustic fingerpicking. That was the start, the first song we wrote. But the songs lead you in different places. We started thinking things like, ‘This would sound great with live drums,’ and it grew from there. And that’s something we’ve almost never done. All the other albums, at least the ones I was on, were started with beats. The songs on the Skye & Ross record all came from something that began on guitar or piano.
Q: With your husband and son playing in the new band, as well as Ross’ wife, you keep the “family band” tradition in play. Was that planned or did it just turn out that way?
A: It’s quite funny how we’re all quite interlinked. Ross’ wife was actually one of the Morcheeba singers on “Dive Deep.” And my husband, Steve, was actually in a band that opened for us all the way back on the “Big Calm” tour. Even Paul met his wife because she came on tour to look after my children many years ago. There are all kinds of funny links and connections. (Academy Award-winning director) Steven Soderbergh told me he made his wife a mixtape with a Morcheeba track on it a few years ago and Ross ends up working on a movie with him. Those links are everywhere.
Q: Is it too early to ask if there will there be a follow-up album?
A: No. There absolutely will be. Ross and I are always working on new ideas. There’s definitely more music coming from the two of us together.
Scott McDonald is a writer, on-air personality and consultant with 15 years of experience in the San Diego music scene. He has interviewed hundreds of artists, from the legendary to the underground, for print and television.
Skye & Ross
9 p.m. Saturday
Belly Up Tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach
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