All good things are worth waiting for: With that you could describe the story of VARLEY. The three musicians Claire-Ann Varley, Joschka Bender and Matze Heising know each other for quite a long time now, but it took equally long until they finally ended up in that constellation to team up and make music together. And to get to that point, a lot of things had to come and go.
Claire -Ann has been surrounded by music from very early on in her life. Growing up in Dublin, she got in touch with the local music scene through her father, who played guitar in various bands. Being raised with folk, blues and the heritage of old traditionals, she soon picked up the guitar for herself and began to fiddle around with first chords and melodies. It didn‘t take long until she wrote the first songs of her own.
During her studies in music she met Joschka. The two of them played together in several bands, recorded EPs and were touring in Ireland, Germany and Belgium. Sometimes their ways would part to get together for something new later on. Through Joschka she also met Matze, the two of them founded the Electro-Pop Duo Catze. But up until that point none of them could find that extra something in the music they were doing, that kept them together and going.
Intrigued by the idea of getting in touch with electronic sounds in music and incorporating these new and exciting soundscapes into her own songs, she decided to move to Berlin. By now Joschka and Matze lived there, too. „There were all these young and interesting artists coming up, who added something to their music, that I hadn‘t heard before. I‘m thinking of Bands like Bon Iver, London Grammer, Daughter or The XX. And I wanted to explore that in my own music, too.“, Claire-Ann says.
In the summer of 2017 the trio then started to play shows as VARLEY in the bars and on the rooftops of Berlin to get a feel for the new songs and sounds. Soon they decided that it was the right time to make first recordings. Moving all their instruments and mobile-studio equipment to a shed in the countryside, they spent two weeks on arranging, recording and finalizing their debut-EP „Roamer“.
In the melancholic title-song, which will be out as a first single on February 16th, the band manages to make music that is deeply rooted in a classical singer-songwriter and folk background but at the same time never sounds dated. Claire-Ann‘s vocals are embedded in warm acoustic guitars, mellow synths, earthy drums and ethereal pedal steel guitar sounds. Fitting to the band‘s history, the song explores the topic of finding and losing each other and by that making new beginnings.
„Bubble Up“, the second single sound lighter and more open. Musically like a mixture of Boy and Oh Wonder the content of the lyrics is in contrast to the sound: Self-doubt, social anxiety and insecurity are the topics of that song.
On the whole EP there is always that certain dash of nonconformity with the rules of these genres; a darker take on the whole thing, at times more quirky end eerie than you‘d expect, then again taking a turn into the more straight realms of music; but never losing the common thread that is connecting everything: Songs, that also work with just acoustic guitar and vocals.