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Beloved Auckland ensemble Fables (Finn McLennan-Elliot) have released their debut EP Portraits  through brand new folk label Second Hand Records.

Fables produce a gentle and heartfelt indie-folk sound. Jess Bailey was taught by the Mackenzie Hills of the South Kaipara, dredged in the waters of Muriwai beach then hung out to dry in the plum trees at home. This imagery is littered throughout the band’s wistful lyrics. Jess’s velveteen voice intermingled with a collection of strings, harmonies and percussion should find you quite at home.

Fronted by songstress Jess Bailey, Portraits brings together musicians that have been part of the Fables family since its inception. Long standing collaborator Laurence Diack plays cello, and Victoria Vigenser lends her vocals and bodhran. Peter Guidera plays drums and James Geluk (The Frank Burkitt Band) brings his double bass. Special guest Chris Dent (Albi and the Wolves) sprinkles some tidy electric guitar and the odd harmony on first single We Could Be All. Original fiddle player Pearl Hindley returns to play on oldest song ‘How to be Comfortable’, and Cameron ‘Dusty’ Burnell (The Frank Burkitt Band, Anxiety Club) adds mandolin and electric guitar.

Portraits began as an idea to record a live 4 track EP that then gradually evolved into a hearty body of work. Although 7 tracks could be enough to warrant album status, front woman Jess is adamant that the term “Experimental Project” – EP for short, sums up the endeavour perfectly. 

Started in the Wine Cellar with long-time supporter Rohan Evans behind the desk and it was finished in Fables own home. Scott Seabright recorded three tracks and the seven-track EP was mixed and mastered by family friend Steve McGough at Stebbings Studio. Many of the parts were recorded in the old villa they call Casa del Aroha in Sandringham, Auckland. Portraits became a family affair as Jess’ sister, Bianca Bailey sang harmonies and partner and manager Finn McLennan-Elliott added clarinet.

Fables celebrate this new record with an extensive tour of the country in September and October, performing with friends and in some of their favourite towns around the country.

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