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Brand new Rough Trade signing PicaPica is the brainchild of lucid singer-songwriters Samantha Whates and Josienne Clarke, whose Appalachian-tinged acoustics are spiked with radiating harmonies.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 20 Nov 2017
  • min read
Who? PicaPica is the brainchild of lucid singer-songwriters Samantha Whates (right) and Josienne Clarke, backed by multi-instrumentalist Adam Beattie and Grammy, Mercury and MOBO Award nominated producer and bassist Sonny Johns.

What? Appalachian-tinged acoustics spiked with radiating harmonies.

From where? Originally Southern Scotland and Sussex, now London.

What’s the story? Samantha and Josienne have been bumping into each other on London’s cosy folk circuit for some time now.

Both masters of sepia-tinged storytelling and whimsical acoustics, it was only a matter of time before they made the leap from stage-sharing to songwriting.

Working together as PicaPica for the last couple of years, their ideas have gently percolated around a love of transcendental melodies and earthy music.

Away from the limelight, they’ve filtered sixties’ West Coast pop, soaring indie and pastoral English folk into a stark musical template that packs a hefty emotional wallop.

Coming at the same song from different angles, their voices weave in and out of each other, harmonies and melodies curling round Adam and Sonny’s backing like a warm hug.

Now signed to Rough Trade, PicaPica are preparing to take flight in 2018, with live dates and an album on the way – all preceded by the stellar four-track EP Spring & Shade on 8 December.

Be sure to hunt it down and keep hold of it tight – it’s a real gem.

Sounds like? Emmylou and Linda through the hazy filter of early morning London.

Predicted to? Redefine the meaning of harmony with their debut LP.

Must hear? Small Time/Secret

Pre-order Spring & Shade here.

Upcoming live shows
17 January - The Slaughtered Lamb, London
21 Feb – Paper Dress Vintage, London
22 March - The Green Note, London
25 April - The Old Queens Head, London