Burr Island - 'English Roses'

  • 2 min read

From the UK’s West Country, Burr Island are duo and best friends, Tom England and Oskar Porter. After garnering support from Mark Radcliffe at BBC Radio 2 for their second single, ‘Nunney Town’, Burr Island dive into more political waters with their third release, ‘English Roses’.

Having harnessed a core following round the Glastonbury type fields of yore, Burr Island have brought comparison to the iconic Simon & Garfunkel, however, their originals and equally introspective lyrics bring new meaning to that golden era of San Francisco ‘happening’ hippie spirit, as channelled through their beloved West Country, as they take you on their own Burr Island; an intimate, melodic journey and state, in search of meaning and humane value.

‘English Roses’ is a folk song about xenophobia and how growing up in small towns, the duo saw the insidiousness of unconscious racism, notably during Brexit when there was so much hostility in the air. “You only grow English roses, calling the other flowers weeds”. Now, with the government forcing this cruel rhetoric again, with ‘STOP THE BOATS’, aiming to divide us once more, Burr Island look to remind us that there is an inherent commonality among humans.

Recorded at Kundalini Studios in Devon and produced by Steve Cradock (Ocean Colour Scene/Paul Weller/The Specials/P.P. Arnold), ‘English Roses’ encases its politically charged lyrics in a sentimental and warm vintage sound, which builds from its poignant beginnings to powerful and thought-provoking heights. It’s a classic sound but with the duo’s perfect heartfelt harmonies echoing important social and political issues of our modern era.

The West Country pair grew from strength to strength in 2022 with several headline shows. In September, they supported Steve Pilgrim & Paul Weller at Union Chapel in London, before embarking on their biggest venture yet, a UK December Tour supporting Ocean Colour Scene, playing at multiple O2 Academy venues and music halls. They’ve since supported Tunde (Lighthouse Family) on his UK tour and will head out with Ocean Colour Scene for more dates this August.

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