“Cracking sound, magic. Very impressed” Doug Welch, BBC Radio Kent Folk Show
“Heart-breakingly poignant [and] liltingly nostalgic… Joanne Doolan has a beautiful voice that puts one in mind of June Tabor or Maddy Prior” – Kent Jazz Folk
The calming waves. Historic buildings. Folklore. All of these inspirations from the Kentish coastal town of Deal have influenced the creation of folk band Open Water’s second album ‘Above The Waterline’ originally released March 25th, 2023.
“From March 2020 we started writing material for our second album. It helped us through those tricky times. Rather than dwelling on the uncertainty of the situation, we were inspired to write hopeful, uplifting, often ‘spiritual’ music that would unite all. The music has the ability to heal and uplift.” – Open Water
The 11-track project’s lead single ‘Summer Cries’ perfectly shows off the band’s gentle, yet powerful, talent. Layered acoustic guitars provide a warm bed upon which lead vocalist Joanne Doolan’s comforting voice lays upon. The single’s accompanying music videos sees the group perform the song in the Kentish woodland as Joanne explores the space. The video is an absolute showcase of the beauty of the band’s music as well as the nature surrounding Deal.
The rest of the album follows in much the same suit, taking inspiration from the musicians’ surroundings.
“We have been greatly inspired by Deal’s beautiful coastline, historic buildings and Folklore. There is a song on the album, ‘Lone Tree Hill’ inspired by a gruesome tale of a soldier posted at Dover Castle. Another song ‘The Tinker’ was inspired by Richard’s Grandad who made dolls house furniture. Other songs ‘Summer Cries,’ ‘I Trust The Road,’ and ‘Rainbows End’ embrace the human journey, letting go of the ego and following a simpler path, ‘Winter Bride’ is a heartbreaking story of a lady, who pregnant, was left at the altar. ‘Mabinogion’ is Jo’s ode to her birthplace, Wales.” – Open Water
The album nearly wasn’t possible following a devastating loss of Joanne’s voice in 2017. The artist underwent a vocal surgery to remove two cysts on her vocal cords, a surgery with no guarantee of success. Thankfully, with an amazing surgeon and rehabilitation team, her voice is better than ever. She is able to pass on this gift as a singing teacher today.
Guitarists Jeff Alexander and Richard Doolan originally met 27 years ago as Jeff was Richard’s first guitar teacher. Richard and Joanne are partners and have 2 children.
Above The Waterline is available across all platforms now.