This month, Paul Dunton talks about the rise of local duo Worry Dolls, who are making a name for themselves around the world
Zoe Nicol and Rosie Jones are best friends and are the creative music force behind Worry Dolls who are making serious waves across both sides of the pond. Their unique sound is inspired by an array of alternative, folk, Americana and country inﬂ uences whilst retaining a very English identity.
The purity of their vocals, stunning musicianship and enchanting lyrics marks them out as breath-taking live performers. At every gig I have seen them perform (as a dedicated fan, I have seen a great deal)! they seem to cast a spell on the audience – you could literary hear a pin drop because of the spine-tingling atmosphere they effortlessly create.
Zoe and Rosie met at LIPA university in Liverpool where there were both studying songwriting and music and often found themselves paired together at open mics, lectures and student sessions. Rosie joined Zoe’s band then known as Zoe Nicol & The Worry Dolls, where she would accompany Zoe on mandolin and harmony vocals. Whilst both had their own songwriting projects at LIPA they soon realised that they had a real chemistry writing together and spent more time working on songs which only strengthened their ﬂourishing friendship.
Towards the end of their LIPA degree, both their own projects came to a natural end and they decided to form a new duo known simply as Worry Dolls with the intent of equally sharing songwriting duties and everything else from income and outgoings to gigs and making recordings.
After uni, they spent several months writing and rehearsing together developing their sound and style. Zoe took up the banjo to add a further element to their live sound which between them comprised mandolins, guitars and stomp box all weaving around their beautiful harmonies and joint lead vocals. The duo would often travel back and forth from their respective homes in Kent and Devon to ensure they could regularly practice.
Fast forward to the winter of 2014 and they decided they should travel to Nashville, Tennessee in early 2015 as they were both heavily inspired by many artists and music that hailed from the city that is known as the home of country music. This proved to be a wonderful trip as in the lead up they had been gigging relentlessly but had not been writing very much. In the ten days they were there, the duo wrote eight new songs, played several gigs and met many wonderful musicians and producers.
This proved to be the springboard for a return trip and in September of 2015, they returned for a three month visit and recorded their ﬁrst full studio album. The album entitled Go Get Gone is truly wonderful and offers a combination of Rosie and Zoe’s beautifully crafted songs and features a selection of co-writes with Jeff Cohen who has worked with The Shires. Other co-writes include Joe Doyle and Ben Glover who has worked with Gretchen Peters.
I have known Zoe and Rosie for many years now; they are both deeply talented musicians and genuinely lovely people. They have always adopted a totally professional work ethic and deserve every success that comes their way. It is very exciting to see their careers develop so positively and it surely won’t be long until they are a household name on both sides of the Atlantic. Fans won’t have to wait long to get their hands on the new Worry Dolls album as they will be ofﬁcially launching Go Get Gone at Trinity Theatre on January 28th which marks the start of their forthcoming UK tour.
Support on the night comes from local acts The Tringham Sisters Isabella Coulstock.
Tickets are £10 and available from www.trinitytheatre.net.
Find out more about Worry Dolls at www.worrydollsmusic.com