Six years ago, Dane Lloyd and Taylor Jones met at a rugby club charity event which lead to a musical collaboration. The idea struck to go busking in Australia for the summer and eventually the duo secured work performing at tourist resorts. The duo credit this boot camp experience — performing for hours, seven days a week for six months, occasionally to ‘challenging’ audiences, as preparing them to become working musicians. Upon returning to Wales the pair used the money they’d earned to self-release an EP which eventually led to them appearing on the The Voice UK.
Although Into The Ark didn’t win the grand prize, within weeks of The Voice ending, the band sold out a UK Tour and were offered several great support slots. The duo spent the summer of ’17 performing at festivals and headlining Velvet Coalmine in their hometown of Blackwood. Into The Ark also spent time on the road with their Voice mentor Tom Jones, not only as a support act, but joining the Welsh superstar during his set to duet on two songs each night.
This summer, Into The Ark are back performing at festivals while also starting work on their debut album. First however, they will be touring North America supporting their mentor-turned-cheerleader Tom Jones beginning May 1st in New York and ending in at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver on June 2nd.
Ahead of their debut album, the band have announced the release of the Valencia EP which will be available on June 22nd through Blackwood Records.
Recorded earlier this year in Valencia with Dani Castelar (Paolo Nutini/Emeli Sande), Into the Ark released first track ‘No Place Like Home’ from the EP on April 6 – a live favourite – which pays homage to their home of Blackwood in The Valleys of South Wales.
Recording the EP at a residential studio in the hills and orange groves above Valencia, was like a dream come true for the duo.
“We’d never spent proper time in a studio before, working with one producer,” says Dane. “The aim was to keep our sound as raw as possible, and that’s what Dani did. A lot of the songs were recorded live, old school, sometimes in one take. We had guests come in to jam, including some Spanish drummers. It was an incredible experience!”
Mastered by Pete Maher (U2/The Killers/Noel Gallagher/Lana Del Rey) and written by Dane and Taylor, the ‘Valencia EP’ is the perfect start to 2018 before they head back into the studio to finish of their debut album –due for release later this year.
The second track ‘Caroline’ which was released on April 27 is a rich soulful track that sours with Taylor’s heartfelt vocals and Dane’s swooning harmonies. This is followed by a track they wrote together whilst busking in their teens ‘Better Than Never At All’ on June 15.
Tour Dates supporting Sir Tom Jones
1 Bardavon Opera House – Poughkeepsie, NEW YORK
2 Sands Centre, Bethlehem, PENNSYLVANIA
4 Bergen Arts Centre, Englewood, NEW JERSEY
5 Foxwoods Casino, Mashantucket, CONNECTICUT
6 MGM National Harbor, Oxon, MARYLAND
9 Hippodrome, Baltimore, MARYLAND
11 Opera House, Detroit, MICHIGAN
12 House Of Blues, Chicago, ILLINOIS
13 House Of Blues, Chicago, ILLINOIS
16 Smart Financial Centre, Sugar Land, TEXAS
17 Majestic Theatre, San Antonio, TEXAS
19 Paradise Cove, Tulsa, OKLAHOMA
21 The Pavilion, Irving, TEXAS
24 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA
25 Fantasy Springs, Indio, INDIO
26 The Bowl, Santa Barbara, CALIFORNIA
29 The Masonic, San Francisco, CALIFORNIA
30 The Mountain Winery, Saratoga, CALIFORNIA
1 Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WASHINGTON,
2 Queen Elizabeth Theatre, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA