August and After (UK)
Genre: Classically inspired Indie-Folk
Band Members: Ned Mortimer (vocals, guitar, piano), Vedantha Kumar (vocals, guitar) and Jordan Bergmans (viola, piano, vocals)
Location: London, England
Discography (Albums): Embers (2013) Cascades EP (2016)
Record Company: Independent
August and After craft hauntingly beautiful songs with thought-provoking lyricism, rich vocal harmonies, and layers of classically inspired orchestration. Following an extended residency at Ronnie Scott's and sold-out tours across Northern Spain and Italy, they have returned to London to record follow-up material to their debut album, Embers.
Ned Mortimer and Vedantha Kumar began weaving together their voices and guitars in Cambridge, drawn together by their mutual love of songwriting and entertaining crowds. After moving to London, they met violist Jordan Bergmans, who made them a playlist of her favourite classical music - the boys then proceeded to court her for several months before eventually persuading her to share her rich viola lines. Thus, the unique classically-inspired indie folk of August and After was born...
Their lyrics are poignant and philosophical, drawing on significant places, people and moments from their past, with the arrangements echoing subject matter in a variety of novel ways. The nostalgic storytelling of The Orchard transports the listener to Ned's childhood, culminating in an soaring climax of strings and piano; The Jailbreak Song, a playful tale of a charity hitchhike to Brussels, features their fans doing train announcements in foreign languages; and the hauntingly touching lyrics of 'Gleam Behind the Ghosts' express Vedantha's yearning and self-realisation within ethereal choral vocals.
The band's sincerity shines through in their live performance, in which they are as engaging as their songs are thoughtfully crafted. Their model boat, HMS August and After, is sailed round the crowd and filled with themed messages, while they tell their fans the stories of their songs with a trademark charm and wit. Their openness is further reflected in their artistic collaborations, including rising folk star Sophie Jamieson's guest vocal performance on Waltz for Marie (as played on BBC 6 Music), and Alice de Barrau's beautiful animation for Set Sail.
With the recording of album number two in progress and the first single 'Wolves' released in June 2015 at a 'sell-out' launch at Cecil's, London Bridge, very exciting time are ahead for Ned, Vedantha and Jordan. 'Wolves' currently has over half a million plays on Spotify.
In March 2016 they released their 'Cascades' EP. Further recognition followed as they were nominated in the BMA Unsigned music award as Best Country/Folk act. 2019 looks another great year for the band as they look to release a new album and expand their band sound. Onwards and upwards for this very talented trio.