Two Ways Home are Isabella Mariee and Lewis Fowler. The Alt-country duo have built up a loyal fan base and they recently released their third EP, ‘Closest Stranger’ which features four brand new songs, including co-writes with Logan Brill, Demi Marriner and Adam James. GIGsoup caught up with them in London.
Welcome, it’s great to see you again. Last time I saw you was in Bristol, at Colston Hall. You were playing at the River Town Festival. What are memories of that?
It was really great. We got there a day early and saw Sarah Darling. She set the tone. We realised straight away it was going to be a great gig. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but it was one of the best places and the audience was really friendly and seemed to enjoy it.
What’s coming up next gig wise?
For the last year we have been hosting a night in London called ‘The Round Up’. We have just re-launched and changed venue. We’ve moved to the Colonel Fawcett in Camden. It’s a bit bigger and the first date there is on 8 Feb. It’s Nashville style songwriters in the round event with Liz McClarnon, (Atomic Kitten) Mark Sullivan and Issy Walsh. All equally awesome! Every month we’re going to have an act recommend by Talent Bank, a new booking agency we’ve started working with. We’re also hoping to go in tour in May.
You recently released a new video ‘Outlaw’ tell us a bit about that.
We’re actually really excited and happy about how the video turned out. Basically we directed the whole thing. It was a big project. The funny thing with music videos as that they can sometime cost as much as the whole EP! We were working with a guy called David Cloud, he’s been with from the start. We love working with him because he’s great at capturing what we want. We flesh out the ideas, go to him and work out how we can do it.
When we recorded the tracks for the EP ‘Outlaws’ had a very different flavour. It had a bit more production, lots of layers and harmonies. It’s about wealth. We place too much value on material wealth. We want the new car, the latest clothes and think all these items might make us happy, more popular or whatever. But actually, the concept is that in a way these items are controlling you. The tag line of the chorus is ‘You own diamonds like a queen, but they rule you like a king.’ You may have all this wealth, but actually it has more power over you than you have over it.
Tell us you approach song writing for this new EP
‘Outlaws’ and ‘Push and Pull’ were the only ones we wrote solely as us. We got much more co-writing with acts from both the UK and America. We loved the social aspect of it and being pushed and pulled in different directions.
‘Closet Stranger’ was written with UK artist Demi Marriner and it was one of our first ever co-writes. It was good experience. Isabella had the original tag line. We fleshed out what that meant to us. It’s about being in relationship and being really close with somebody, but actually, how well did you really know this person? It was quick write and just flowed.
‘Don’t give up on me tonight’ was written with Logan Brill. Luke, who does our press, put us in touch with her when were in Nashville. He said ‘Ok, tomorrow you’re going to Warner Publishing to write’ It was really exciting to go to an actual ‘writing room’ and she’s really easy to get on with.
We had a few ideas and Logan just started to sing ‘I’ve had good days and bad days’. We got the chords and were singing in three part harmony. Normally that comes later, but we just jammed through and wrote the whole song in the session.
The idea came about because sometimes you can just feel lonely when you go on tour. The song is basically about saying to someone I hope you’ll wait for me, I’ll be back, but, it might take a while.
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Tell us about your experience of Nashville.
We have been three times. The first time we did some touristy things, but made some really close friends that we still talk to on a regular basis. The second trip we did ten writes in seven days. We were just exhausted.
Actually, cramming so many in we had this dilemma where we were writing in the morning, then we had about half an hour to get to our next writing session. We were struggling to fit meals in. So, I can remember going into a Burrito place and we went up to the front with our guitars and everything, rushing, thinking we’ll have a quick burrito and then be out.
But, the staff said ‘Tell you what, we’re having a really slow, boring day. If you play us a song, we’ll give everyone in the queue free burritos.’ So we bust out our guitars and played a song called ‘Just for Now’, which was one of our upbeat songs. We played to a sea of camera phones and true to their word, everyone got free burritos! It’s just testimony to how lovely the people of Nashville are.
Quick fire Question
Wine or Whiskey: Isabella: Wine: Lewis: Whiskey!