Based in London and hoping to leave their mark on the American rock scene is, Narrows Plains, an acoustic-indie trio consisting of brothers, Stuart Connick (drums/back-up vocals) and Roger Connick (bass/back-up vocals) along with long-time friend, Charlie Ferriday (guitar/vocals). They have set out to gain success across the pond in the U.S. as they have in their native UK. Stuart and Roger have known Charlie for around thirteen years, but it wasn’t until about 4 years ago that they got together. They all played in different bands at varies points even visiting each other’s universities and playing open mic nights at pubs whenever they could find time. It wasn’t till the Christmas of 2011 while looking to record songs they’d had written while at University that they would come together. They recorded what would become their EP, Somewhere In Between. That fateful opportunity that started out with the intention of simply being an experiment would cause them to decide to form Narrow Plains due to “really enjoying working together and being pleased with the quality of the music production”.
The formation of their name, Narrow Plains is quite straightforward. As Roger stated, “We just really liked the sound of ‘The Narrows’ and ‘The Plains’ but we didn’t want to be another ‘The’ band. In the end we decided to put the two words together and settled on Narrow Plains.” Part of what’s been coined as “the new acoustic/folk movement” Narrow Plains does not see themselves as folk musicians in the traditionalist sense. They considered their EP, Somewhere In Between, to be an evolution of traditional folk music as “they took the core component of the songs written by Charlie on an acoustic guitar and supported it with an electric bass, drums and backing vocals while keeping folk as the main ingredient.” They have continued to evolve since 2011 as songs are now written collectively with a much more alternative/indie feel. As Roger put it, “I guess our drum kit symbolizes the Narrow Plains sound in that we blend a traditional folk cajon (used as a bass drum and toms) with modern hi-hats and cymbals.” Similar to acts that are part of their movement and that they look to for inspiration such as Mumford and Sons and Noah and The Whale, Narrow Plains enjoys simplicity in their music. For them it doesn’t take distorted guitars and heavy drums to make a song sound great. Since they first began they’ve matured both in their music and as a group.
Their songwriting and technical knowledge has improved with Roger discussing, “We seem to work better as a team now and have learned to be more efficient with time. We’re much quicker to agree how long a chorus or a verse should be and whether there should be an interlude or not.” Their musical process has also changed going from Charlie primarily writing the songs to everyone going through their own individual process in different ways. Their songs draw on inspiration from their “past and present relationships, be they romantic, family or friendships while trying not to make songs too specific so that people can relate their own situation to them in a meaningful way”. They’re hoping to share more of those experiences with fans in the US in the upcoming year as they’ve only had the opportunity to play a couple of gigs in the US. They’ve always seen a warm reception from their fans regardless of what side of the Atlantic they are on.
With Somewhere In Between having been released 4 years ago, Roger discussed that their new album will showcases, “much more soulful vocal and instrumental parts, more experimental vocal harmonies, additional instruments while staying true to our singer/songwriter roots.” As much as American Rock has been an influence on their life and sound, Narrow Plains is working to leave their own mark on the US Rock scene.