The Acfields

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The Acfields

One is good, two is better seems to be the motto of The Acfields. The songwriting partnership of brother and sister Dan and Hannah Acfield, The Acfields’ colourful blend of folk-pop and alt-country is hitting all the right notes.
After so much success as individual musicians, what was the driving force behind beginning the collaboration?
It can be a bit lonely making music as a solo artist. Plus, it just made sense – we were both doing the same thing so why not pool our talents? We’d come to realise that when we played together people loved it even more than when we were solo. The only thing that was holding us back was that we lived in different cities. We still do, and it’s not the perfect arrangement, but we make it work.
Was the process of creating your music difficult given that you are based in different states? How was this achieved?
It can be a challenge. When writing for the album, we had a fortnightly deadline to write a new song and we’d email material to each other. That worked well. Sometimes we got together specifically to just write – we stayed in an old house on the river at the Gold Coast and wrote ‘The Years’ this way. We also write our songs separately and then work out arrangements together. It’s a bit different for every song.
How is your collaboration different from your individual music and individual style?
I guess it’s a bit of a blend. Obviously we have the capacity to harmonise our vocals and that’s a big part of our sound. Hannah tends to bring a bit more of the alt-country sound and I’ve got a bit more of a indie-rock background, but as time goes on it’s all become a bit mixed up and I don’t even know who brings what to the table anymore!
What did you draw from when writing songs for the album? What was your driving inspiration?
It’s interesting now looking back at what we’ve created and it provides an interesting snapshot of what was going on in our lives at that point. Two of our grandparents died just a few months apart from each other: both were amazing people and writing for us was part of a process of honouring them and dealing with grief. For Hannah, some of the songs relate to cutting ties with an ex. I wrote songs for my children and wife to express love and as snapshots of special moments.
We also both wrote songs based on incredible stories that were shared with us from other people in our lives. It comes for all over the place! For musical influences, your guess is as good as mine.
How much impact did the crowdfunding campaign contribute to the creation of the debut album and how did you find the experience?
The crowdfunding campaign was crucial really to getting it all done. We wouldn’t have been able to make this album like it is without the amazing input of our crowdfunders. That simple.
What has the response been like from your peers and critics?
To the album? Our crowdfunders were sent out an early copy and the response so far has been awesome! Each person has a different favourite song so it’s nice to see that people can connect to the album rather than the individual songs. Our publicist tells us that everyone that has listened to the album is providing great feedback, so we’re happy with that.
What can fans expect from this album and the upcoming shows?
Our shows and the album are really a mix of storytelling, peppered with light-hearted sibling banter. Acoustic folk with a slight alt-country vibe and beautiful harmonies.
When&Where: Babushka Bar, Ballarat – October 4; Ararat Hotel, Ararat – October 9; and Martians Café, Deans Marsh – October 11