|Friday 24 March 2017 @ 09:00pm : -
Worry Dolls are a tenacious female duo born out of the joint talents of Zoe Nicol and Rosie Jones, who met in Liverpool when they were 18, both on their chosen path of becoming solo singer songwriters, and both falling under the spell of ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’. Rosie joined Zoe’s band as a mandolin player and backing vocalist and their great chemistry and love of harmony led to them starting a contemporary bluegrass band playing Nickel Creek, Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch songs together. Paired by their teachers for an opportunity to have their songwriting critiqued by Paul McCartney, they were inspired to start co-writing, and could now be described as an almost telepathically linked songwriting force.
Serendipity brought Zoe and Rosie together at an open mic whilst both studying music in Liverpool. Both redheads with guitars, they discovered that they had, unbeknownst to each other, been to the same hippy camps when they were young and sat around the same campfire. They also discovered that they could fight like crazy over songwriting, but regardless, they had become musical soul mates and so, after uni, they set off together making music as Worry Dolls. It was a new sound, blending the tender urgency of Zoe’s Irish-influenced voice with the fiery integrity of Rosie’s vocals and rhythmic guitar. Zoe transferred her fingerpicking skills to ukulele, followed by Earl Scruggs-style banjo, motivated by players like Emily Robison (Dixie Chicks) and Winston Marshall (Mumford & Sons).
They were drawn to London, where they spent the best part of a year sleeping on couches, obsessively co-writing and performing, and all the while developing a burgeoning cult following. Worry Dolls harnessed this period of transition and channelled it into two EPs, with their second release “Burden” evidencing a sound that was beginning to shed its starry-eyed innocence, and give way to a more acerbic and mature artistic voice.
After a summer of grafting on the festival circuit, they made the decision to quit their day jobs & lives in London to fly to Nashville and record their debut album. They had a strong vision for the record even before it was fully written. The most important creative anchor was to stay true to their English roots and to work with people who could elaborate what they already had. It didn’t take long for personal recommendations to pair them with producer Neilson Hubbard, a veteran of East Nashville’s music scene with an ear for successful collaborations & a strong focus on vocals. It was soon obvious that the chemistry was mutual.
‘Bless Your Heart’ is the first single taken from their forthcoming 2017 debut album, co-written with Wild Ponies. It was the first song they wrote in Nashville. They’d been in town for a couple of days and were picking up the southern slang, including “Bless Your Heart” – which they were told can be used to point out to someone that they are being a complete idiot. They wrote Bless Your Heart as advice to the new girlfriend of an Ex. It’s about warning her, speaking from experience, that he isn’t what he seems – but wishing her the best of luck with him. It is available on all outlets via Bread & Butter Music.
“The brilliantly quirky duo Worry Dolls – a super-shiny beacon of joy in a dreamland far, far away from the persistently ‘regular’ sound of folk that’s flooding the charts right now” ~ The Huffington Post
"A wam and infectious sound" ~ Bob Harris