A positive message from Down for the Count – staying productive in lockdown
Down for the Count, a London-based swing band, are releasing a new EP “Lockdown for the Count” on Friday 5th June 2020 – and this one is different from most, because it has been recorded entirely in isolation, in accordance with government guidelines, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 35 musicians of the Down for the Count Concert Orchestra have collaborated remotely to bring fans of swing music five great tunes to send a positive message during a difficult time. In recognition of the detrimental effects that an extended lockdown will have on people’s mental health, 50% of the profits from EP sales will be donated to the charity Mind, who campaign for better mental health.
The EP follows on from the band’s “Orchestra in Lockdown” video released in April, which was viewed over 150,000 times on social media and received praise such as “this is awesome!!!” from Michael Bublé. The EP will be released on Bandcamp on Friday 5th June 2020, with a second lockdown video released later that day (and more videos to follow in the coming weeks).
Musical director Mike Paul-Smith, who put the project together, said:
“Lockdown has been a difficult time for musicians, as we have had to re-think the way we do things. Right now, it’s neither possible nor responsible to perform or record together in person and there have been moments when we’ve wondered what the future holds for musicians. For that reason, we’ve focussed our energies on collaborating remotely. Whilst nothing beats being in the same room and recording together at the same time, it’s amazing what we can achieve remotely and responsibly with nothing more than basic recording equipment.”
The project is a collaboration between Down for the Count and City String Ensemble, led by Sophie Poteratchi – who has also edited the videos which accompany the EP. One of the tracks on the EP features the British actor and singer Richard Shelton, who is now based in L.A. Mike continues, “whilst the pandemic has really affected people’s lives, it has also given us new opportunities such as working with a singer most of the musicians in the band have never met.”
The EP is raising money for the mental health charity Mind, with 50% of the profits going to the charity (with the remaining 50% split between the 35 musicians who contributed to the project). “It was really important for us to support a charity – we discussed various options as a group and decided that Mind, who campaign for better mental health, was a very worthy cause at the current time. The long-term effects of lockdown and social isolation on people’s mental health is uncertain and worrying; mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time, and we want to do everything we can to support people who are suffering at the moment.”
The EP will be available to download on Bandcamp from Friday 5th June 2020, and on other online platforms including Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon from Friday 19th June 2020.