By Tyler Ody
LONDON DUO O&O ARE ‘A SPARK AWAY FROM FIRE’ IN NEW SINGLE
The uplifting, Americana-leaning song tells a tale of longing - out to stream now
London-based, Israeli-American folk duo O&O - Obadiah Jones & Orian Peled - have shared their long-awaited new single, ‘A Spark Away From Fire’, following their return to the city’s live music scene last month with a full band show at the Sound Lounge.
Listen to ‘A Spark Away From Fire’ here.
Touted as one of the artists to watch in the UK music scene since the release of their Truth Comes Out EP in 2018, with major streaming playlist placements across Apple Music and Spotify, and festival appearances including Country to Country, Cambridge Folk Festival, Black Deer, AmericanaFestUK, when live music was brought to a halt last year the duo were determined to stay busy.
Since then, the last twelve months have seen O&O land their first TV sync on RTÉ’s hit series The South Westerlies and strike a deal with EMI Production Music, while total views on their YouTube channel - where they hosted ‘Sunday Social’ live streams throughout 2020 - are approaching 2 million, along with increasing engagement for their acoustic videos on TikTok, with the most popular among their videos approaching 100k views.
As they sifted through ideas for new music to follow the early success of their EP, multiple standalone singles, collaborations, and reimagined versions of the fan favourite ‘Dancing On The Floor’, Jones was inspired by a line in Madeline Miller’s novel The Song of Achilles. The duo loved the phrase and the potential meaning packed into those five words.
“Most of our relationship songs up to this point have been based on our personal experiences,” they explain. “While working on these lyrics, however, we dreamt up a storyline of two people being unfaithful to their respective partners. Their conflicted feelings about the affair create this duet. The fire is their passion for one another, but also the inevitable destruction of their relationships.”
‘A Spark Away From Fire’ is out now, with more new music on the way in 2022, and a UK tour in the works for April/May.
Kicking off their career with an impressive run of festivals and live appearances including C2C: Country to Country at the O2 Arena, Cambridge Folk Festival, Wood Festival, Buckle & Boots, The British Country Music Festival, the inaugural Black Deer, and AmericanaFestUK, along with live BBC radio session performances across the country and the release of their 2018 debut EP Truth Comes Out to a hugely positive critical response, it’s safe to say London based duo O&O have begun to make their mark.
As Colorado-native, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Obadiah Jones, and Israeli vocalist, Orian Peled, share: “The dream of a career in music led us both halfway across the world to the classrooms of Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA), where we met for the first time.” While performing together in various projects during their three-year course, O&O established their deep connection as a songwriting partnership and were awarded the unique opportunity of a one-on-one songwriting session with Sir Paul.
“Upon graduating and with student visa expiration dates looming, we knew there would be no country where we could both live and work together,” Obadiah recalls. Determined to overcome the bureaucracy, they found an unlikely solution – to live and perform on cruise ships. A six-month stint in the Caribbean ultimately led them on a two-year journey, performing for thousands, honing their distinct sound and learning their craft, while touring far reaching parts of the world, from Alaska to the Greek Isles.
This long and winding road led the truly international act to their current home, London, where they are quickly becoming a mainstay in the fast-growing Country and Americana music scene in the UK. Although relatively new to the London live circuit, O&O have already made their presence felt, with support slots for artists including Australian Music Award nominees, The Germein Sisters, and a number of club and festival appearances. Their live set showcases the duo’s distinctive, close-harmony sound with an Americana flare; Fleetwood Mac meets The Civil Wars.
Following the release of three standalone singles including ‘Traveling’, ‘Some Days’ & ‘Tears In The Rain’, with videos premiering on major US sites The Boot & The Bluegrass Situation and coverage in the pages of magazines like Maverick and Songwriting, the duo’s debut EP Truth Comes Out was released in 2018, followed by singles ‘Here We Are’, ‘Dancing On The Floor’, ‘Leave It ‘Til Tomorrow’ (feat. Laura Oakes) and ‘When It Comes To Love’.
Their popular YouTube series featuring collaborations with other emerging artists was given the nod of approval from James Taylor himself, who shared their cover of ‘Sweet Baby James’ (with singer/songwriter Joe Martin) on his social media channels. Recent guests include Darling West and Jess Thristan.