Get To Know – Memorial

We Say…

Based out of Brighton, Memorial are the folk-pop duo of Ollie Spalding and Jack Watts, who were friends long before they were musical collaborators. One Halloween, when all their friends were out partying, the pair decided to book a rehearsal room just to see what happened, and what started out as a semi-joke quickly found a life of its own, as the two friends found a creative joy they’d never experienced in other musical outlets. Sharing not just many similar musical notes, but many similar life experiences, the pair quickly found both radio plays and a record label in the shape of Lucy Rose’s Real Kind Records, and this week Memorial will share their self-titled debut album.

For their debut album, Memorial set out to stretch themselves, aiming to create something more sonically dynamic than their early folk-pop sketches. That boundary-pushing also stretched into the lyrics, the pair seeking to create, “a sacred space to talk openly and honestly”, as they explain, “in the process we were able to reach the depths of our heartbreak, family issues, loneliness and friendship and Cathartically wrenched them into 12 songs”. Particularly wonderful is the recent single Honest, a slice of plaintive indie-folk in a similar vein to Andy Shauf or The Acorn, a song about witnessing a friend in a distressing place and attempting to inspire hope and self-worth in that person. Elsewhere, Amy is a beautifully unadorned number occupying a similar space to Lomelda, while Midpoint dials up the harmonies and banjos in a way Sufjan Stevens or Iron & Wine would surely admire. Songs of friendship, hope and acceptance, Memorial’s debut album is a fitting tribute to the bond its creators have formed, more than a band, this is a partnership, and a very special one at that.

They Say…

Photo & Header Photo by Sequoia Ziff

FTR: For those who don’t know who are Memorial?

Memorial is two best friends dealing with whatever they’re going through via songwriting. Literally where most friends would have a chat and hang out, we’d do the same but pour all that stuff into a song. It’s always been a rewarding coping mechanism for us, alleviating the weight of things into something positive. Sound wise we’re massively inspired by alternative folk and 70s laurel canyon vibes.

FTR: What can you remember about your first show? 

We were bricking it! We’d been doing live streams throughout lockdown which offers a weird sheltering safety, being in your own comfortable environment. So it was nerve wracking performing in front of real people for the first time as Memorial, But it was beautiful and we were lucky to introduce our songs in a time where people were thankful for the return of live music. 

FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form? 

I think we both found the most powerful kind of solace in music. Like some songs could be more comforting than a friend at times or be the only place where our feelings were understood and so it seemed natural that music was the first place either of us went to to try and express ourselves. 

FTR: What can people expect from the Memorial live show?

A nice warm evening filled with songs that probably remind you of loads of different points in your life. And most likely a lot of oversharing from us! 

FTR: What’s next for Memorial?

This is literally just the beginning for us. Our Album is out 29th April. So sharing that as much as possible is gonna be a large part of what’s next. We’re definitely album people as well, we really love the idea that songs have been crafted into a listening order by the artist and the general experience of sitting with one album for a long time because of its impact as a whole, is such a powerful thing and so we’ll likely be working on album number 2 also. We’re always trying to push ourselves creatively, so who knows where we’ll end up! 

They Listen To…

Leonard Cohen – Famous blue raincoat

Hovvdy – Blindsided

Lomelda – Brazos river

Pinegrove – Rings

Simon & Garfunkel – Wednesday morning 3am

Memorial’s self-titled album is out April 29th via Real Kind Records. For more information on Memorial visit

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