The new album from The Jellyman’s Daughter, ‘Dead Reckoning,’ takes its title from a navigational term the Edinburgh-based duo feel that, when applied to the human spirit, is analogous to navigating our way through life, and how we progress (or otherwise). This theme permeates the 10 songs on the new record in different ways, ranging from the overwhelming sense of bleakness imbued by many world events in recent years to more personal experiences of steering a course through relationships and journeys both physical and emotional.
Emily Kelly (vocals/mandolin/guitar) and Graham Coe (vocals/cell/mandolin/guitar) have created material that blurs the boundaries of genre, incorporating the vocal harmonies and distinctive cello playing that define The Jellyman's Daughter, while adding a 16-piece string orchestra on some of the tracks, in other virtuosic banjo, weighty double bass and sombre fiddles, as well as presenting the duo in their raw, intimate form. 2018 will see The Jellyman's Daughter touring in the UK, Europe, Canada, and the USA in support of the new album, with the album's vinyl launch proposed in the second half of the year.
After making each other's acquaintance in Edinburgh in 2011, the pair soon found a love for playing music with each other, staying up into the wee hours making home recordings. The duo's debut album, released in late 2014, established them as something fresh and exciting. Reviewers unanimously remarked upon the originality in Emily and Graham's song-writing and arrangements, while they enjoyed the sweet closeness of their vocal harmonies, as well as Graham's unconventional cello playing.
The new album represents a substantial step forward in the maturity of the songs, arrangements, performances, and production. Featuring prominently is banjo player Jamie Francis (of Radio 2 Folk Award nominees Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys) and double bassist Paul Gilbody (KT Tunstall, Adam Holmes & The Embers), while Toby Shaer (Cara Dillon, John McCusker) provides fiddle on two songs. Graham himself wrote the arrangements for the 16-piece string orchestra, while Edinburgh-based composer Luci Holland conducted the ensemble during recording.