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  • DBA - Celestial Songs First Single Clear Light

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    th Jun 2023: Downes Braide Association (DBA) announce the release of their long-awaited new album Celestial Songs on 8th September. Following their previous critically acclaimed studio albums, Celestial Songs will be the fifth DBA studio collaboration for Geoff Downes (keyboards) and multi award-winning songwriter Chris Braide (vocals). The album will be released in 3 formats: CD, 2LP and Box Set.

    Celestial Songs marks another musical leap forward for DBA. “As we were writing the songs for the album, they started to become thematic in emotion and feeling,” says Chris Braide, “more classic rock than the predecessor ‘Halcyon Hymns’. The songs were about life and death, time, love, nostalgia, spirituality. Very DBA in fact.”

    “I know that Chris really likes the depth of chord sequences that I put together,” Geoff Downes explains. “This particular collection just really grabbed him and he got it up and running very, very quickly, so I was really pleased about that.

    “There’s a lot of variety on the album, too. We were aiming to get quite a bit more dynamics into this album because there were some very quiet pastoral moments. I think it makes it a more interesting listen for people to get their heads around and enjoy. I hope people will appreciate it and get behind it, not just the songwriting and vocals but the overall instrumentation and musicianship is very high on this album.”

    The high quality of musicianship is because of the exceptional core of musicians with which DBA have surrounded themselves including Andy Hodge (bass), Dave Bainbridge (former Iona guitarist and keyboardist), and Marc Almond who adds a brief vocal appearance.

    “It’s very useful having this core of musicians that are ready to enhance our music,” agrees Geoff Downes. “Andy Hodge is very much an integral part of this unit. When we send him stuff to play, he has incredible feeling and creates a more interesting bass part than we could have thought of ourselves.

    “Having Dave Bainbridge with us has added another dimension to the DBA-sound and I’m very happy with that. Dave’s got his own stamp and that’s something that we appreciate having on board.

    “Marc Almond makes a cameo appearance on ‘The Darker Side Of Fame’ and Marc and Chris’s voices blend really well. It tells a story, a theme that a lot of people, and a lot of musicians, can relate to – certainly musicians that have had any kind of success. The lyric is very poignant, whilst you have all the glory, the accolades and the adulation, it can go away and you’re left with nothing. It reflects life in general, I think, as people go through all kinds of ups and downs throughout their careers and throughout their lives.”

    The closing track cements DBA’s prog credentials as Chris Braide explains. “What happens to love when we die? ‘Beyond The Stars’ was a tune that began in 2015 and really shaped the way the artwork was to develop. Something bigger than us, something astral and heavenly, it grew from a 3-minute ditty to an 11-minute epic.

    “That’s what the song Beyond The Stars is really asking. Celestial Songs was a title we came up with in 2020 and Roger (Dean) made it manifest in his wonderful sleeve painting. A beautiful, heavenly, rainbow sky full of stars.

    “DBA’s music has always been about the big questions, the beauty of love and the tragedy of loss, but always with hope, I suppose. ‘Celestial Songs’ is the latest chapter in that series. I hope people enjoy listening to the album as much as we enjoyed writing it and making it.”

    You can pre-order all formats of Celestial Songs here:

    CD version:
    2LP version:
    Box set version:

    Celestial Songs Track Listing:
    1. Look What You Do (6.17)
    2. Clear Light (5.00)
    3. Keep On Moving (6.36)
    4. Darker Side Of Fame (3.56)
    5. Hey Kid (3.28)
    6. Will To Power (6.23)
    7. Heart Shaped Hole (9.06)
    8. Dear Petra (3.56)
    9. On The Run (5.09)
    10. Goodbye To You (Sister Shame) (7.30)
    11. Beyond The Stars (10.19)
    (Total running time: 67.40)
    All tracks written by Chris Braide and Geoff Downes except Keep On Moving (Chris Braide/Francis Dunnery/ Geoff Downes) and Goodbye To You (Sister Shame) (Chris Braide/Andy Partridge/Geoff Downes)
    Produced by Chris Braide and Geoff Downes​

    Downes Braide Association - Clear LightSONG: Clear LightALBUM: Celestial Songs (2023)ARTIST: Downes Braide AssociationReleased by Cherry RedArtwork by Roge...
    "We all gotta climb mountains!" - Jon Anderson 2003

  • #2
    Song is decent. Video is dreadful. There are typos in the lyrics. Braide is clearly singing “what is this thing” and the video says “what is this think”.
    “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth


    • #3
      Started off happy today!
      Dave is filling a lot of space with his guitar. One quick listen before off to work.


      • #4
        I wonder if both Braide and indeed Almond were inspired by Whatever Happened to the Teenage Dream by Marc Bolan. Obviously I not seen the lyrics but thematically they would appear similar, both have sung the song.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Frumious B
          There are typos in the lyrics. Braide is clearly singing “what is this thing” and the video says “what is this think”.
          Probably AI transcription.
          my labor of love (and obsessive research)


          • #6
            Originally posted by Frumious B
            Song is decent. Video is dreadful. There are typos in the lyrics. Braide is clearly singing “what is this thing” and the video says “what is this think”.
            Henry and I went back and forth about this. The font by Dean has a terribly ambiguous "G". It really is "what is this thing." 😯

            Hope this helps. 😉

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            Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 06-30-2023, 12:13 PM.


            • #7
              Yeah, the font is just strange. The video is not super interesting, but I’m assuming they made it much more cheaply than the recent Yes lyric videos. InsideOut has a larger video budget than DBA’s label, presumably.


              • #8
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                Now. First impressions of tracklist.

                67 mins of music. OK. Not shortchanged there. 11 songs. Couple of epics. Heart Shaped Hole at 9 odd mins must have multi-movements

                The DBA DNA as explained by the boys rings true. We're gonna get vulnerable, mature songs about love and loss, wistful nostalgia contrasted with a yearnin' for hope and clearer light 😉

                Now obviously video is a pound shoppe version. As I have said Roger really stretches a friendship with his "G" font. And it is so good to see the word "tarnish" in a pop song. Great tune and Chris' falsetto lines are pure "chef's kiss". The vibe I get is that perhaps young Chris lived by the seaside, near a lighthouse. Really drills down on it. Crashed ships. You are a lightbeam. A prism of glass. Etc.....

                Am officially excited. The guitar is strong. Geoff ably supports as usual. Am intrigued if he makes any orchestral soundin' passages, as that may be a hint in how he'll approach playin' MttS Live with YES.

                Now hopefully this hobby band plays a few dates around the UK. Large theaters. Grow their fanbase.
                Anyway Midnight Sept 8 can't come fast enough....😉


                Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 07-03-2023, 12:20 PM.


                • #9
                  Clear Light is packed full of goodies. I imagine it’s Ash Soan on drums, again, and he is doing a lot of fills. Geoff’s famous textures are there with his combination of sounds, where you can still here different things within, even after your hundredth listen. Really a lot going on in just that little song. Some great phrasing, choruses and time changes there, too. Chris really is a cut above being a great producer, and he’s got the hooks down . Looking forward to hearing more of Andy Hodge on bass , the guy is a virtuoso, on the rest of the album, too, if he is playing. Dave Bainbridge? On guitar is going to kill it, again, on this album, too, I can tell, putting his personal touch and feel on various string instruments.

                  To be honest, I don’t know how much is Geoff, and how much is Chris in their collaboration if, well, everything ( and certainly the others just add to the epic goodness here) with his playing and production tricks and sounds ( looking forward to hearing if his boys will be helping out on this one,too ), and Geoff certainly has his arranging, and bring a stickler for sounds, arrangements and production, too. And, I really don’t care. I would imagine that it varies from idea, to songs, to albums. All I know is that more often than not, when it comes to writing and putting things truly together, Geoff seems to work best with a collaborative effort involving familiarity with someone he knows, and has done a lot of messaging, talking and working with. Geoff really shines and puts the love, and what he does best into these type of projects.

                  Btw, I have been listening a lot to Asia’s Phoenix and starting listening to Omega, again. Both two very well done albums, with a ton of collaboration and production value there.
                  Last edited by luvyesmusic; 06-30-2023, 04:46 PM.


                  • #10
                    Just listened to Clear Light and yeah its a vibrant little number, very enjoyable! I hope Geoff is a bigger contributor to the next Yes project, as well (I love MTTS, but its nice to have variety in album styles).
                    The Definitive YES Albums

                    -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
                    -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
                    -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-Mirror to the Sky-


                    • #11
                      This could fit perfectly on Halcyon Hymns... or Skyscraper Souls or....


                      • #12
                        TRACK TALK THROUGH : CLEAR LIGHT

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                        On DBA's FB page. Short and sweet but still illuminatin'!


                        I NEVER FELT SCARRED
                        Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 07-03-2023, 11:21 AM.


                        • #13
                          Who is the vocalist? I swear I’ve heard him somewhere.


                          • #14
                            I believe it was mentioned somewhere that Francis Dunnery has a song on the album where he takes the lead vocals.

                            I only knew a little about Frank to be honest as a musician, but just read up on him. Difficult family life that caused him to be independent at a young age. Other pressures and issues. Moved to Vermont and trained horses for a living for a bit. Very interesting man, and life.
                            Last edited by luvyesmusic; 08-02-2023, 07:24 PM.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by patrickq
                              Who is the vocalist? I swear I’ve heard him somewhere.
                              The vocalist on Clear Light is Chris Braide.


                              YOU ARE MY MIRROR TO THE SKY