‘Back To The Centre’​ by The Other Way. Harmonizing Jazz, Folk, and Soul

"When we recorded this, my son had been seriously ill. He’s fine now and was recovering then, but due to this I was about to burst into tears during the recording, which I think you can hear in my solo"
19 April 2024

Bristol’s jazz-fusion project, The Other Way, shares their latest single, Back To The Centre, teasing their debut album, Learning to Be, out May 3rd, alongside their Cheltenham Jazz Festival performance.

Their music seamlessly blends jazz intricacies with folk and soul elements. Led by Rowan Porteous, a multifaceted talent known for his trumpet prowess, composition skills, and environmental activism, the band comprises a diverse lineup: Elly Hopkins on vocals and guitar, Billie Bottle on keyboards and vocals, Guillaume Ottaviani on bass, and Emma Holbrook on drums.

Back To The Centre epitomizes the band’s expansive musical spectrum, intertwining expressive jazz instrumentation with folk nuances and subtle electronic accents. Vocalist Elly Hopkins takes the lead, infusing the single with emotive depth while the instrumentation builds around her, creating a captivating sonic landscape.

Rowan Porteous sheds light on the track’s emotional depth, stating: “I would almost say this is my favourite song on the album. I like the story it tells, and the way it finds hope in despair. When we recorded this, my son had been seriously ill. He’s fine now and was recovering then, but due to this I was about to burst into tears during the recording, which I think you can hear in my solo. I had to go out for a walk and a cry after we finished, and I couldn’t do any more takes of it. Luckily everyone helped to put me back together. This recording captures a moment that could never happen again. I love Elly’s performance, and Billie’s piano solo.”

He further shares a personal anecdote, revealing the song’s recording coincided with a challenging period involving his son’s illness. This emotional backdrop adds a poignant layer to the music, captured flawlessly in Porteous’s solo. “This album is a culmination of years of toil and sweat, not to mention depression and confusion,” reveals Porteous. “It is rooted in my despair at the destruction of the natural world, and my worry for the future my son will inhabit, but it seems to flower into a spiritual sense of hope and possibility.

Produced by Martin Pavey, renowned for his work with Julian Bahula and collaborations with filmmaker Ben Wheatley, Back To The Centre delivers a transformative auditory journey. Rich in texture and lyricism, the single sets the stage for an album brimming with introspection and musical innovation.

With each member contributing their unique talents, Learning to Be promises to be a compelling testament to The Other Way’s collective artistry and unwavering dedication to their craft.

instagram.com/rowanporteousmusic

The Other Way current live dates:

3rd of May Cheltenham Jazz Festival

13th of July, Swanage Jazz Festival

29th of July, The Bell Inn, Bath

8th of August, Ashburton Arts Centre, Devon