Portraits With Fables

We Could Be All - Auckland Folk Festival (2017)

Beloved Auckland ensemble Fables release their debut EP Portraits on Friday 7th September through brand new folk label Second Hand Records. This follows on the heels of first single We Could Be All, which has been playlisted on RDU and made the 'Hot 20 NZ Singles' chart.

Fables produce a gentle and heartfelt indie-folk sound. Songstress Jess Bailey was taught by the Mackenzie Hills of the South Kaipara, dredged in the waters of Muriwai beach then hung out to dry in the plum trees at home. This imagery is littered throughout the band’s wistful lyrics. Jess’s velveteen voice intermingled with a collection of strings, harmonies and percussion should find you quite at home.

Fables 865

Fronted by Jess Bailey, Portraits brings together musicians that have been part of the Fables family since its inception. Long standing collaborator Laurence Diack plays cello, and Victoria Vigenser lends her vocals and bodhran. Peter Guidera plays drums and James Geluk (The Frank Burkitt Band) brings his double bass. Special guest Chris Dent (Albi and the Wolves) sprinkles some tidy electric guitar and the odd harmony on first single We Could Be All. Original fiddle player Pearl Hindley returns to play on oldest song How to be Comfortable, and Cameron ‘Dusty’ Burnell (The Frank Burkitt Band, Anxiety Club) adds mandolin and electric guitar.

Portraits began as an idea to record a live 4 track EP that then gradually evolved into a hearty body of work. Although 7 tracks could be enough to warrant album status, front woman Jess is adamant that the term “Experimental Project” – EP for short, sums up the endeavour perfectly.

Fables We Could Be All Single Image 2

Started in the Wine Cellar with long-time supporter Rohan Evans behind the desk and it was finished in Fables own home. Scott Seabright recorded three tracks and the seven-track EP was mixed and mastered by family friend Steve McGough at Stebbings Studio. Many of the parts were recorded in the old villa they call Casa del Aroha in Sandringham, Auckland. Portraits became a family affair as Jess’ sister, Bianca Bailey sang harmonies and partner and manager Finn McLennan-Elliott added clarinet.

This is Fables’ time, having performed with the likes of Nadia Reid, Chris Priestley, Dave Khan, and Adam McGrath over the past couple of years, graced the stages of the TSB Festival of Lights and completed two national tours. In 2016 Fables took to the road with Albi and Tom Cunliffe and in 2017 they returned for a short tour alongside Paper Cranes.

Fables celebrate this new record with an extensive tour of the country in September and October, performing in some of their favourite towns around the country.

Fables Tour Poster 2018 Spring small


Tickets for Portraits Tour available here



Written By: Radio13

What people are saying

  • Judy & Martin Heck - 2 years ago

    I have had the pleasure of knowing Jessica since she was born. My !! how the years have flown. As a little Girl Jessica spent hours roaming through the garden, gathering flowers & greenery. Her Poppa Ron would find bowls, jugs, & mixing spoons. Then left to her own devices, she carefully plucked petals & leaves, added a little water,sang a song while she stirred her magic Potion. This was the Essence of what portrays Jess today. So Precious, I know, because I am her Nana Judy. This is your time to Fly. Much Love Judy & Martin.