Northern Ireland-based trio Relish (Ken Papenfus - lead vocals, guitars; Carl Papenfus - drum, vocals; Darren Campbell - bass, vocals) has signed a worldwide deal with Rock Ridge Music, who will release the band’s forthcoming album, “Connected,” in June 2011. Worldwide distribution will be handled via ADA and ADA Global. Initial plans call for release in the UK, Ireland and the U.S., with the first single, “Something To Believe In,” scheduled for digital release on March 11, 2011.
Says Rock Ridge Music CEO Tom Derr of the signing: “Relish encompasses exactly what this business is about to Rock Ridge Music - great songs and great people.”
Band vocalist/guitarist Ken Papenfus is pleased about the deal, saying, "The reason we signed a label deal with Rock Ridge was a very simple one for us. Tom Derr. Inspired.” His brother, band drummer/vocalist Carl Papenfus agrees, stating, “This is a fantastic opportunity for the best album we have ever done.”
Relish, who hail from County Down, North Ireland, have sold platinum albums, won prestigious music awards, written global hits, graced some of the world's most famous stages and have fans among the likes of Paul Weller, Brian May, and U2, and are virtually unknown beyond Ireland. The trio formed in the mid-90s and signed with EMI Ireland in 1998, where they released two albums. They began recording their debut album, “Wildflowers,” with John Leckie (Radiohead), and the album was subsequently finished by Al Clay (mixer for the Stereophonics and The Pixies). A string of Irish radio hits from “Wildflowers” followed, resulting in a platinum album, awards, glowing reviews, and numerous high-profile endorsements from the likes of U2's Larry Mullen Jr. and Queen's Brian May, who paid them the courtesy of a handwritten letter expressing his appreciation. U2 personally invited the band to play at their first Slane Castle show in front of 80,000 people. Relish also supported the Stereophonics, Coldplay, Kelis, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Ocean Colour Scene.
Their follow-up album, “Karma Calling,” produced by Clay and the Papenfus brothers, peaked at #8 on the Irish album charts, went gold the first week of release, and boasted one top 10 and one top 20 single. Their songs featured on UK advertisements, in Hollywood movies such as “The Long Weekend” and “Intermission” (featuring Colin Farrell), and on UK television such as “Eastenders,” “Coronation Street” and “This Morning.” Global smash boy band Westlife took a cover of the Relish song “Rainbow Zephyr,” rechristened “Hey Whatever,” to #4 on the UK singles chart.
After parting ways with EMI, Relish as a collective took a hiatus. Ken and Carl lent their talents to the British jazz/funk group The Players, consisting of members of Paul Weller’s band and Ocean Colour Scene. Ken toured as guitar player for Paul Weller and was featured on his “Studio 150” DVD, and Darren had a cameo as bass player for Weller on the “Jonathan Ross Show.” Carl lent a rhythmical hand to the likes of Paul Brady, Hal, Lesley Roy, Juno Falls and other major label artists.
Their new album "Connected" sounds more like a debut album. The band has a renewed excitement and love for music again and the future looks bright as for the first time ever the true cultural impact that this band was able to deliver at home can be an experience shared worldwide. More information about “Connected” will be released soon.
Past Relish press kudos:
- “Relish prove themselves worthy of their accolades by releasing a debut brimming with promise. This is an uplifting album epitomized by simple, accomplished song-writing and soulful vocals. Given the right support, this Irish three-piece have the potential to clean up the huge album-buyer market.” – Music Week
- “The band’s sound is a pleasing mixture of commercial soul, pop, and funk influences based around Ken Papenfus’ strong vocal pyrotechnics, which at times recall Jeff Buckley and Stevie Wonder.” – Billboard
- “...joyful surges of gospel-tinted soul rock. Musically, Relish are pitched somewhere between Curtis Mayfield and the Rolling Stones.” - NME