Meet the indie-folk duo, Percival Elliott! They just released via Huffington Post the single “Forever.” It’s a compelling and poignant song and it features the bands signature style of string arrangements, retro vocal harmonies and hard hitting piano melodies. Percival Elliott have performed to sold-out audiences on a national UK tour with UK charting artists, as well as having collaborated with the likes of Fatboy Slim.
Percival Elliott is based in the south coast of England. Formed by the belief that true friends can create something meaningful, Olly Hite and Samuel Carter-Brazier united to grace audiences with their poignant lyricism and neo-nostalgic melodies and have since been captivating listeners at sold-out shows across the UK.
Titled in memory of Hite’s great grandfather, Percival Elliott, born in 1883 was an inventor who created one of the first ice-cream emporiums in Brighton. After discovering a dusty box of trinkets in the back of Hite’s family attic, the untouched time capsule unveiled Percival Elliott’s mysterious inventions, engraved ice-cream paraphernalia, haunted photographs and time honored war medals. The revelation of these long-forgotten hidden treasures became embedded within the duo’s imagination and musical creativity and thus Percival Elliott was reborn.
“Forever” is the first single to be released off the duo’s upcoming album Save Your Soul. Inspired by the likes of Jeff Buckley, The Beatles and Father John Misty, “Forever” is a gracefully heartfelt and atmospheric song about eternal love. Hite reveals, “Forever is about a chance meeting with someone. Sparks and butterflies, even if it’s just for a second, that feeling can last forever”. The use of yearning lyricism seamlessly blended together with Hite’s celestial vocals and Carter-Brazier’s soothing guitar, “Forever” succeeds in crafting a song of compelling honesty and authenticity.
The duo are known for their signature style of hard hitting piano melodies, rhythmic guitars and retro vocal harmonies, all underpinned by a string quartet. “Forever” illustrates the band’s desire to create music that makes the hairs on your neck stand up, “We want to make the listener feel alive” Hite expresses.
Percival Elliott’s successes to date include a national tour with numerous UK charting artists, as well as collaborating with the likes of Fatboy Slim. Percival Elliott are now ready for the next chapter of their musical endeavour with the highly anticipated release of Save Your Soul due early 2018.
Connect With Percival Elliott Here:
Learn more about Percival Elliott in the following All Access interview:
Happy New Year! Thanks for your time for this All Access interview! Where does this interview you today? What is one song that you are loving right now? What is a song that you both disagree about loving right now?
Olly: Happy New Year from our leather wing back chairs situated by an open fire!
hmmmmmmm I’m still in love with My Sharona by The Knack. It is and always will be a classic
Sam: Thanks for having us! I’m loving ‘Sweet relief’ by Kimbra, it’s got a real cool Vulfpeck vibe going on. Sounds like she’s been influenced by a lot of Stevie Wonder. I loved her work with Thundercat on her last album.
Havana by Camila Cabello is an ear worm, one of those guilty pleasure tracks we both
So first things first, what are you most excited about for this year? Did either of you make New Year Resolutions? Care to share any of them with us?
Sam: We’re both extremely excited to get this record out. We’ve already started on the next release. New Years resolution is to pilot a Zeppelin.
Olly: I think my new years resolution is to build a Zeppelin for Sam to Pilot. Then that’s our next tour transportation sorted. I can then leisurely sit back sipping on my pint of old pride watching the world go by.
How did this group first come to be? Can you recall the moment when you both thought you could be in a band together? Was it hard to come up with a name that you both thought fit your sound and who you are?
Sam: We met in a parking lot, I was buying coffee and cigarettes Firewood and bad wine long since gone. (I think I may have stolen some lyrics from somewhere….)
Olly: Sam used to deliver me little notes through the post threatening to steal my biscuits unless I started a band with him. I had to create music with him for the sake of my bourbons and ginger nuts.
Sam: See my plan worked; now I have all the biscuits and a fantastic writing partner. Funny how things work out!
Olly: Well our man Percy (Percival Elliott) was my great grandfather and he had the most amazing facial hair. He owned a sweet factory from 1900-1920 and would travel across the country in his horse and cart selling sweets, toys and coffee beans. He loved old clocks and musical instruments. He would go missing for days. The family folk law suggests he was a believer in time travel. That’s what my grandma remembers. In the 1920’s he moved to the south of the UK to set up one of the first ice cream emporiums in Brighton UK, in Weston Road.
How do you think this band has been influenced by the city you are both from? How does that particular music scene affect you both?
Olly: We both live by the sea, so our influences come to us with the changing tide. Sometimes you find a message in a bottle and other times it’s a dried up starfish. You gotta role with those waves.
Sam: Portsmouth and Brighton are amazing places for music. It’s like the buildings sing sweet songs of the past, the wind whistles through the streets and the rain ruins beautiful street art, what’s not to love about living by the seaside. Sometimes if you listen carefully you can even hear Percival working away in his workshop on Western Road (Brighton).
Portsmouth has an ace music scene; We are very lucky to have amazing artists like Marley Blandford, Jerry Williams, COAX and Kassasin Street.
Let’s talk about your single, “Forever.” Where did the inspiration for this track come from? How do you think it prepares listeners for your upcoming album, “Save Your Soul”? How did you go about choosing it to be the lead single of this collection?
Olly: You know when time just stops when your eyes meet someone else’s. That’s what ‘Forever’ is about. A split second where you can’t feel your legs and your heart stops.
Sam: ‘Forever’ is our fairy tale, a fable based on love and perfection. Not even time can erase the deep yearning for love.
There are moments when you jam out a track in the studio and the hairs on your arms stand right on end. That’s what happened when we wrote this one. It had to be the single.
What are some other songs on the album that you are excited to share with people? Can you talk about how a few of the other tracks came to be? Typically, how do you go about writing your songs?
Olly: Our next single is called ‘Betty’. It tells the story of a fatal addiction to social media and substance abuse all bubble wrapped and tied up with an upbeat bow. We usually jam out ideas write them on parchment then send the demos via carrier pigeons, although I think Amazon may have snapped them up as delivery vessels.
Sam: Yes ‘Betty’, looks to be the next release. It’s a full on Supertramp, Queen and Beatles tribute. It’s our sex, drugs and ice cream cone track.
We have a song called ‘Captain’, which is based on the hammer house of horror book called ‘Cat from hell’ by Lynn Truss. Our song tells the tale of a Cat who captains a ship seeking adventure in the big wide world, but does this cat have a hidden agenda?
How do you think the songs found on “Save Your Soul” compare to anything else that you have released before? How has your sound and style continued to grow and change year after year?
Olly: We don’t seem to stick to a structure of writing. Sometimes I will write something on piano or guitar. Sam will send me demos of him on bass, guitar, uke or African drum, depends totally on what he’s been up to at the weekend or if he’s visited his spiritual shaman.
Sam: I think we’re always growing and evolving musically. Olly has the natural ability to pick melodies from the heavens. My guitar licks are grown off the earth. Even now after the record has been completed we’re still changing elements of the songs for live.
I’ve got to ask what it was like collaborating with Fatboy Slim? How did that arrangement come to be?
Olly: I was invited to jam at this old abandoned warehouse on Brighton port. I was chucked into an unmarked van, bag over my head and made to sign over all my rights to biscuits (again). When the van arrived I was in a mad-house circus, full of vintage studio equipment and analogue toys. You would never know who’d be at the port. Not just musicians, there were artists, models and party people. Some sessions went on for days on end. We became known as the BPA. The Brighton Port Authority. A loose limbed jamming outfit with some incredible musicians. Norman Cook was the Chairman and ring leader. We never planned to make a record but over the years a box was found with these missing tapes. Norman put it out on his own record label (Southern Fried Records.) The album title was “I think we need a bigger boat” Its a great record, Go Check it out.
Where are some of your first shows in 2018 going to be? Where can people see Percival Elliott perform next?
Olly: Our next show is Icebreaker festival in Portsmouth. This festival is rad. It celebrates all things musical in the Southcoast.
Sam: We’re currently in talks with Chesney Hawkes about a couple of show’s but these are top secret. 😛
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What would be a dream collaboration for this group?
Olly: Elton John, Hans Zimmer or Vivaldi these chaps are whizz kids on the keys.
Sam: I would have loved to have worked with Jeff Buckley, Nick Drake or David Bowie, all sadly on another spiritual plane but who knows one day our paths may cross. I would love for us to work with Sylvia Massey, to me she is one of the most amazing music producers around.
While this may be difficult to answer, where do you think you are both happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording music or elsewhere?
Olly: You can’t beat the feeling of the unknown before hitting the stage. It’s like peering over a cliff face or staring a tiger in the eyes, exciting and petrifying at the same time. If only I could bottle and sell that feeling. ‘Percy’s stage fright the wonder tonic’.
Sam: I was born inside a mixing desk (Long and complex story). The studio is my home from home. I love locking myself in a dark room with only instruments and good friends for company. Oh and a big pot of coffee, lots and lots of coffee.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
Olly: How could the world not influence you, leave the phone at home, there’s a whole beautiful world out there to draw influence from.
Sam: The press and social media seem to have become the political equivalent of a day care centre where certain political leaders feel like they can chuck insults like toys at other kids minding their own business. We have an empire built on insults and self-justification, change is coming in this never-ending political seesaw ride.
We did write a track named ‘Penniless But Powerful’ which sums up our view on the world. Unfortunately it didn’t make the record but there is a live version on Youtube. Music is changing gradually to meet the ever-changing state of the world.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Olly: I hope people can find themselves in our music and that it inspires them to go on and do amazing things.
Sam: I hope people interpret the song in their own way and/or mishear our lyrics.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?
Olly: Love each other!
Sam: Eat lots of fruit and Veg!