Downes Braide Association (DBA) have released their new album entitled Halcyon Hymns, and the latest single from it, called Today. The album will also be released as a white vinyl double album on 26 March. Halcyon Hymns is the fifth DBA collaboration and follows their previous critically-acclaimed studio albums Pictures of You (2012), Suburban Ghosts (2015) and Skyscraper Souls (2017). The duo have also released Live In England (2019) recorded at their first ever concert at Trading Boundaries, East Sussex, in 2018.
Following two more successful and enjoyable evenings at Trading Boundaries in February of 2020, Geoff Downes returned to Wales and his projects while Chris Braide returned to LA and struggled to find motivation with the unfolding events in a world of lockdown. Inspiration would return following a call from a close friend. “Marc Almond suggested I ‘get stuck into another DBA record’ to lift the malaise,” said Braide. “Somehow It was hard to muster any enthusiasm for it. We had all been so upbeat at the recent shows and now here we were in a collective, creative void. It’s odd the way inspiration strikes though and it never ceases to delight and surprise me when the muse comes to play and it can happen at any time and without warning. I opened up a folder of new DBA ideas Geoff had sent to me a while back and which I’d listened to briefly and had made a note to do something with them at a later date. I can’t say why it happened but one day in the studio as I listened to the bits and pieces of ideas suddenly the songs started tumbling out as if by magic. I’m not exaggerating or being melodramatic. These new songs sounded like personal reflections, they just wrote themselves. It was so easy, so enjoyable and so meant to be. Like a gift.”
A few words from Geoff: “It was so great to witness Chris’s creativity making my fundamental ideas come alive. He took the bare bones of melodies, harmonies and textures I sent him, and somehow crafted these into something way beyond my expectations or imagination.”
Halcyon Hymns features contributions by Marc Almond (ex-Soft Cell) and David Longdon (Big Big Train). The CD/DVD package also includes video footage of legendary artist Roger Dean’s painting sessions as he creates the album cover artwork for Halcyon Hymns together with lyric videos for three tracks from the album.
Halcyon Hymns track listing:
01. Love Among The Ruins
02. King Of the Sunset
03. Your Heart Will Find The Way
04. Holding The Heavens
06. Warm Summer Sun
08. Hymn To Darkness
09. She’ll Be Riding Horses
10. Late Summer
Disc 2: DVD
01. Roger Dean Painting Sessions
02. Love Among The Ruins
03. Your Heart Will Find A Way
Latest single Today is an anthemic celebration of life and making the most of what we have, here and now, something we have all come to appreciate in these unprecedented times.
“Today Is about being in love with a moment that can never last,” says Chris Braide, “and treasuring the feeling that fleeting moment, brings. The lyric is truly from the heart.”
Geoff Downes adds: “Today is DBA’s 21st Century take on the romance of spending a perfect day with someone you love. Here’s to more perfect days – today, together and beyond.”
Geoff Downes (keyboards, programming) and Chris Braide (vocals) are joined on the album and Today by Ash Soan on drums, Andy Hodge (bass) and Dave Bainbridge who provides a particularly tasty guitar throughout the track. Today sends out a positive message while the infectious melody promises to make this a radio delight.
About Downes Braide Association
Downes Braide Association was formed as a studio-based project by Geoff Downes and Chris Braide and has now produced three studio albums: Pictures Of You (2012), Suburban Ghosts (2015) and Skyscraper Souls (2017) and a live album Live In England (2019). The project draws on Downes’ and Braide’s rich musical heritage to create a delightfully accessible brand of progressive rock.
Keyboard wizard Geoff Downes was thrust into the limelight with the worldwide success of Video Killed The Radio Star in 1979. The single topped the charts chart in 16 countries for The Buggles duo of Geoff and Trevor Horn (vocals, bass guitar). They briefly joined prog legends YES before Downes became a founder member of the supergroup Asia with YES guitarist Steve Howe, ELP drummer Carl Palmer and the late John Wetton (vocals, bass guitar).
The Wetton-Downes composition Heat Of The Moment became a world-wide hit in 1982 heralding many years of success for Asia with their FM radio-friendly brand of rock. Downes later rejoined YES in 2011 and remains with the band alongside Steve Howe.
British singer-songwriter-pianist Chris Braide has recently returned to UK shores after many years based in California. He enjoys enormous success writing and producing music for film scores, advertising campaigns and working closely with artists including Sia, Lana Del Rey, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Paloma Faith, Britney Spears and Marc Almond.