Jordan Coaker and Kirsten Rodden-Clarke both say that from the first time they sang together, they had something special.
The two met singing in a vocal ensemble, and they’ve been making music together pretty much ever since.
“We’ve been singing together for so long that I think it’s been a natural development,” Rodden-Clarke said.“We know each other’s voices so well that we can just sort of follow each other. We’ve been told that at times it’s hard to tell who’s singing what.”
Together, Coaker and Rodden-Clarke make up the duo Quote the Raven. Taking their name from Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, the pair’s simple folky sound has touches of country and trad mixed in, and their lyrics are filled with themes of nature and the natural world.
“Most of the songs reflect how we’ve felt at certain times in our lives,” said Coaker. “The changing of the seasons, howling winds, and raging storms, are all things that can relate to human emotion, and helps set the tone of the song.”
Coaker is also active with St. John’s rockers Waterfront Fire, but he said that both groups are creative outlets for him.
“Funny enough we’ve been playing together longer than Waterfront Fire, but [Quote the Raven] has kind of taken a backseat to the other things happening in our lives. I think both projects are two separate entities, and the members of each are super understanding,” he said.
“There’s something really freeing about not having to limit myself to a genre or writing style.”
Quote the Raven released their first album together in May, and Coaker said his experiences with Waterfront Fire informed the recording process for the duo’s Misty Mountains EP.
“After working with Robert Kelly for Waterfront’s First Light, we decided to work with him again on this project,” said Coaker.“He wanted to take a different approach with this album, so the majority of the album was recorded without a click track or headphones – just the two of us, a guitar, and lit candles.”
Rodden-Clarke also credited producer and engineer Robert Kelly for shaping the sound of the record. “Robert has such a great ear, and his ideas kind of took it to the next level. It’s turned into something so much bigger than we ever thought it would,” she said.
In addition to the duo’s performances, Misty Mountains features guest musicians Aaron Collis, Pat Moran, and more, and Rodden-Clarke said they made important contributions to the record. “The artists that played on this album are incredibly talented. They came in, listened to the songs, and recorded it within a few takes. It was really cool to watch it evolve,” she said.
Quote the Raven will set out on their first short tour together in mid-June, hitting venues in central Newfoundland. For more information on the tour and the duo’s future dates, visit quotetheravenofficial.com.