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Downes Braide Association / new album Halcyon Hymns

Downes Braid Association / Halcyon Hymns

Fourth album from Geoff Downes and Chris Braide

Downes Braide Association (DBA) is a collaboration between keyboardist Geoff Downes (of Buggles, Yes and Asia fame) and singer-songwriter-producer Chris Braide. The pair came together back in 2012 and have just released their fourth studio album, Halcyon Hymns.

Based in LA, Braide has written/produced for many artists including the likes of Lana Del Rey, Sia and Freya Ridings and most recently worked with Marc Almond‘s on his 2020 album Chaos and a Dancing Star. Probably like many, he admits that he “struggled to find motivation with the unfolding events in a world of lockdown.”

However, armed with fresh new DBA ideas provided by Geoff Downes, Braide got to work on crafting the songs that make up the finished 12-track album.

Downes says:  “It was so great to witness Chris’s creativity making my fundamental ideas come alive. He took the bare bones of melodies, harmonies and textures I sent him, and somehow crafted these into something way beyond my expectations or imagination.  ‘Love Among The Ruins’ is one of the many examples on the album of his rare genius at work.”

The buzz phrase is “accessible progressive rock” but you can judge for yourself by checking out ‘Love Among The Ruins’, above.

Certainly the cover art doesn’t shy away from the prog leanings, being instantly recognisable as the work of the legendary Roger Dean, and in fact a behind-the-scenes look at Dean’s painting sessions for this work can be found on the bonus DVD included with the CD edition of Halcyon Hymns (no gags about watching paint dry!) which also features some videos.

The CD/DVD set is out now but a limited edition double white vinyl of Halcyon Hymns will be issued on 26 March 2021. DBA hope to play live later this year.

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Downes Braide Association

Halcyon Hymns - CD+DVD edition

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Downes Braide Association

Halcyon Hymns - 2LP white vinyl

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CD

01. Love Among The Ruins
02. King Of the Sunset
03. Your Heart Will Find The Way
04. Holding The Heavens
05. Beachcombers
06. Warm Summer Sun
07. Today
08. Hymn To Darkness
09. She’ll Be Riding Horses
10. Late Summer
11. Remembrance
12. Epilogue

DVD

01. Roger Dean Painting Sessions
02. Love Among The Ruins
03. Your Heart Will Find A Way
04. Today

14 responses to Downes Braide Association / new album Halcyon Hymns

  1. Scrivs says:

    loved it until the vocals came in, it then got very cheesy

  2. AndyB says:

    Sounds to me like a late-’80s hair-metal power ballad. It is catchy, but sounds kinda dated. Don’t mean to offend anyone who thinks it’s great!

  3. Paul Wren says:

    There is very little that is “prog” about this, let alone accessible prog.

  4. DiscoDave2000 says:

    Those opening few measures immediately made me hear Landslide by Fleetwood Mac. I revisited Asia’s debut album a few weeks ago and really enjoyed hearing that after quite some time. Will definitely give this a full listen. Thanks Paul.

  5. Tom Walsh says:

    Can anyone help me out with the actor and piece they are reading at the start? I know the voice…it’s driving me mad.

  6. alan hansen says:

    DBA’s “Skyscraper Souls” had guest-work that was SO minimally utilized so as to make those guest appearances less than cameos and ultimately almost completely insignificant.

    i LIKE DBA albums, i just don’t LOVE them.

    • Shawn says:

      I agree! I was tricked into buying “Skyscraper Souls” as an introduction to DBA. While I’m a fan of Geoff Downes and the projects he has been involved with, I haven’t returned to SS or explored any other DBA album because I was so ticked off that the guest artists were so utterly invisible.

  7. MelodicMusicIsTheBestMusic says:

    Superb really nice and melodic I love this song, I knew about this new album release as I follow Geoff Downes music from his times in Asia and the Icon (Wetton/Downes) other side project that is sadly no more since John Wetton passed away in 2017…Anyway this their 4th album seems to be their best one yet…Thanks Paul for giving this release some much needed promotion on here because it’s well deserved.

  8. Aaron says:

    Also out soon is the Arc Of Life album – a new band made up of 3 current member of Yes..

    Jon Davison, Billy Sherwood, Jay Schellen + Jimmy Haun

  9. Willy says:

    Mmmm a change of direction for Roger Dean there… :-)

  10. Chris Squires says:

    That’ll get an extended listen later Paul, indeed this would have slipped by un-noticed without this post.

    Whoever transferred that cine film for the video needs to be shot though. It’s appalling, unless it is meant to be bad, then fair-dos.

  11. ian scott says:

    very nice and thanks for highlighting. Would not have heard this otherwise

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