Part of Gateshead Jazz 2020
‘A shape-shifting sound’ – Kevin Le Gendre.
Archipelago take audiences on a journey through chaos, freedom, joy and darkness, fusing cinematic improvisation, jazz and experimental rock inspired by free jazz musicians through to alt-folk songwriters in a compellingly innovative brew.
Fronted by composer/saxophonist/clarinetist/vocalist Faye MacCalman and completed by John Pope (Bass/FX) and Christian Alderson (Drums/Percussion), Archipelago formed out of the North East of England’s burgeoning new music scene in 2016 after crossing paths in ‘mutant funeral jazz big band’ The Midnight Doctors.
Supported by BBC Introducing and selected as a highlight from Latitude Festival 2019 for Tom Robinson’s BBC6 Music show, they were described as a ‘truly remarkable unit’ by NARC Magazine.
Faye MacCalman takes influence from artists ranging from Joni Mitchell to Don Cherry to PJ Harvey, creating shimmering waves of sound that change rapidly from one song to the next, as Archipelago move between instruments and electronic effects that create illusions of several musicians, before peeling back to their raw trio form.
Releasing their debut album ‘Weightless’ in 2017, Archipelago have played extensively across the UK, demonstrating their boundary pushing ethos on stages ranging from jazz festivals, indie rock all dayers, to tiny DIY spaces. In 2018 with the support of Help Musicians UK they created and ran ‘BETWEEN WAVES’, a residency-gig series for female-identifying artists to make new music with Archipelago.
In their uncompromising inability to fit into one genre, Archipelago create an unforgettable musical experience.
‘Vibe all of its own. Listen!’ – Steve Lawson.