Berlin-based duo Rufus Coates and Jess Smith create dark, atmospheric acoustic folk.
Drawing on the storytelling traditions of their Irish heritage, Coates and Smith write hymns to the shadow side: haunting murder ballads that rise, fall, simmer and brood – the sound of folk if it descended into the underworld and returned with the blackened truth.
2019’s single Christ Cross, featuring guest vocals of Wallis Bird, and the acclaimed Cut Us All Open, arrest uncompromising attention: on record and in the flesh.
Live, Coates testifies like an old world baritone preacher as barefoot Smith’s harmonies crescendo with spine-curdling passion – electrifying vocals that traverse the primal into ravishing, exorcist-style affliction.
Since 2016, the duo have magnetised a cult following along the European touring circuit, becoming loyal mainstays of their home scene in Berlin as members of the city’s coveted underground label, Famous Gold Watch Records.
Simultaneously masterful and affecting, there’s beauty in the depths here – all the more rousing up close and personal.
‘Not for the Gallery’