The Epstein are an alt-folk/indie-rock band based in Oxford, UK who are gearing up to release their new double a- side single Lay Me Down/Grand Canyon on Friday 25th November. Following this and previous single Finally Forgive, the band will give a full UK release to third album Burn the Branches in March 2018. Lay Me Down is accompanied by a video made by AV artists Bat Halliday, Sarah Mona and Ryan Quarterman, which is intended as a pastiche of vintage ’80s VHS and public access television in the vein of absurdist comedians Tim & Eric.
The forthcoming Burn the Branches album meanwhile sees the band depart somewhat from the widescreen country/Americana sound of previous album Murmurations and explore harder-edged atmospherics while retaining singer-songwriter Olly Wills’ undeniable talent for melodic hooks. Released as a pair, Grand Canyon and Lay Me Down capture two very different aspects of the band’s current musical palette, a sonic world that takes in the hard -rocking, full- throttle approach of acts such as Wilco and TheNational alongside the lyrical clarity of artists like Bright Eyes and The Low Anthem.
Discussing the new single, Olly says “We feel there’s a great contrast between these twosongs, as well as a huge amount of heart in both of them”. The Epstein have long been a band that tackle the classic themes of love and loss, and of all the musical greats to broach the subject, who better to cover than American legends The Magnetic Fields? Watch here
“The album that Grand Canyon comes from (69 Love Songs) is a work of genius,” Olly enthuses, “andStephin Merrittcould be seen as a modern-day Oscar Wilde”. On the subject of Lay Me Down, meanwhile, bassist Huck Astley sees it as “epic rock comingfrom a rootsy place – we really admire how My Morning Jacket tread that line so well.”
Having toured extensively in Europe, particularly in The Netherlands and Germany as well as across the UK, The Epstein have built an impressive fan base on both sides of the Channel. At home, they’re an integral part of the ever-burgeoning Oxford roots/Americana scene, alongside luminaries such as Ags Connolly, The August List,The Great Western Tears, and The Knights of Mentis . Burn the Branches was produced by Richard Neuberg (ViaRosa) at Strawhouse Studios, Oxfordshire and mixed by George Shilling (Stornoway/Frank Turner).