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  • Sugarmoon

Wrapping Up 2020

Well, that’s it. We’ve finally reached the end of this horrible stinkin' year – and good riddance to it!

To be fair to it, 2020 started out pretty great for us!

Following a sold out Sofar Sounds in January, and a brilliant gig at the Ropewalk in Feb (below), we had four festivals booked across the summer (Inglefest, Bath Party in the City, Priddy Folk Festival and Elderflower Fields), gigs at The Fringe and Cloak and Dagger in Bristol, as well as a Wee Welsh Tour in the planner.

It’s tiresome to keep saying it, but obviously that was all put on hold and all our best laid plans turned to dust (dramatic metaphor mixing there).

Despite these setbacks though, we managed to make a whole heap of progress through the year, which we’re actually really proud of.

Biggest has to be recording and releasing our first single and EP, The Only One, making a cool video and getting quite a bit of attention off the back of it.

We do think the song itself garnered a bit more meaning to everyone as we were all cooped up in our homes over the long hot summer missing one another – where we all had the inclination to float away to fond memories, to the sea and warm sun beating down on our necks. So thanks to everyone for your support, even if it was shamelessly exploiting your loneliness.

Massive thanks also to Joe Garcia from Joe’s Garage in Bristol, who squeezed us in literally the day before lockdown in March to get crucial parts recorded and for mixing the record. We <3 it!

We’ve also been lucky enough to have been selected to be supported by MAS Records. A development scheme that boasts Robert Plant and Karl Hyde as patrons, MAS has been helping us stay active as a band in lockdown as well as planning for the future – including getting us free rehearsal time in the gorgeous Factory Studios, and even more studio support in 2021. Cheers guys!

What’s new for 2021?

Drawing a very thick and permanent line in Sharpie under 2020, we’re hoping that 2021 will see the return of gigs and festivals – especially later in the year – so we can get back to doing what we love best.

But we have some exciting plans for the first few months anyway:

Single release: Autumn Leaves – 29 January 2021

Keep an ear out in the new year for our next single, which we recorded entirely in lockdown. Its haunting melody is (in our opinion) one of Ryan’s finest creations, and will lull you into a comfortable sort of melancholy as the days finally start growing longer again.

We also have a music video for it, made from the same set of footage as The Only One, making it number 2 in a three part trilogy. The third will be released later in 2021.

Mystery single and animation release: March 2021

We’re working with an incredibly talented and lovely Bristol animator, Harriett Bradbury, to produce a beautiful paper animation for one of our songs – funded by the Arts Council.

We can’t actually believe how great it’s looking, and we’re so excited to share it with you!

We’re being all mysterious about it for dramatic effect, but those of you who have seen us play will know exactly which song it is. If you haven’t, all will be revealed soon enough! (ooo0000ooo)

A word from the ‘moons

As we’ve all been separated for so long, here’s a quick overview of what each of us have been up to:

What's Ryan been up to?

Ryan has been working on some new songs in between binge-watching Hell’s Kitchen and reading, currently climbing the literary mountain that is Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. He also managed to play a gig in October, on bass for Bristol songwriter Jake Morgan.

What's Sophie been up to?

Knitting mostly. What with everything going on in the world, plus having been made redundant and mourned the passing of Buffy, her family’s cocker spaniel, 2020 has been pretty effin crap. In knitting, Sophie has found a kind of inner peace (though anyone nearby when a stitch is twisted or dropped may think otherwise). Like every year, she’s resolved to practice more in 2021, and looks forward to playing again with Sugarmoon and the Bristol Community Big Band (which has also been on enforced hiatus) and making some loud noises once more.

What's Joe been up to?

After having surgery on his shoulder, Joe's been recovering and is getting his arm fit and fighting again ready to take on some even more slappin organ solos in 2021. We hear he's been challenging random people for arm wrestles, if anyone's in the neighbourhood (Covid-safe of course).

What's Ollie been up to?

The only band member to be pretty consistently crashing on with gigs (NPI), Ollie has been drumming for a local dance class, as well as playing in a street band he concocted over lockdown. We'd like to think it's made up of a ragtag gang of street dogs and cats, but he assures us it's actually his talented neighbours. We're not jealous at all!

What's Dave been up to?

Judging by our last call, not sleeping much! Dave welcomed his second froglet into the world back in October, so he's been busy taking care of them, and just generally being a swell dad! We can’t wait to meet her, and for the time when we can drag him out for late nights again. (*Strangled noises of dissent from a very tired Dave*)

Anyway, that’s all from us! We hope you have a lovely Christmas, festive holiday or plain old December, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing and hopefully see you all in person on the flipside.

Love ‘n’ (socially distant) hugs

Sugarmoon xxxx

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