For the last ten years, I’ve been very lucky to regularly get the chance to speak with keyboardist Geoff Downes. A founding member of The Buggles and Asia, since 2011 Geoff has been on his second tour of duty as a member of Yes, which is, as regular Biff Bam Pop! readers have probably figured out at this point, my favourite band.
Since 2012 our conversations have mainly been about Yes, but our latest discussion covers a whole new world entirely – Halcyon Hymns, the fourth studio album from Downes Braide Association, Geoff’s collaboration with producer Chris Braide, whose work with Sia, Lana Del Rey, Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and many others has made him an in-demand songwriter and producer. Halcyon Hymns finds the duo working with an outstanding line-up of musicians on an album that feels instantly fresh and of the moment, while still sonically appealing to all the fans that Geoff’s pedigree invites to the table. Adorned in an (unsurprisingly) gorgeous cover created by the legendary artist Roger Dean, Halcyon Hymns from Downes Braide Association is something that’s gotten lost in our world of streaming – a fully formed album.
On the phone from his home in Wales and with me in Toronto, Geoff and I had a great chat about Downes Braide Association (DBA), including what inspired and influenced the two artists for their new album. We also talk about the beauty of listening to vinyl today, as well as the ten 10-year anniversary of Geoff’s return to Yes. And yes, the mysterious new album from the band that is currently taking shape is also a topic of conversation. You can listen to it all below.
Thanks to Geoff Downes for his time and Billy James at Glass Onyon PR. You can find out more about DBA at their official website.