The beautiful third album by the GOLDEN DREGS, On Grace and Dignity, starts with a scene of a man going on holiday in search of his “best self”. After all, sings Benjamin Woods, “for me and me alone the sun does shine”. Our protagonist is an exceptionalist, and perhaps a little deluded. “The song came from an observation that life is often lived waiting for the holiday and not really enjoying the here and now,” says Benjamin. “It seems a strange pattern that we have.”

Founded in Falmouth, Cornwall in 2013 by songwriter and producer Benjamin Woods, the GOLDEN DREGS released two albums in quick succession, Lafayette(2018) and Hope Is For The Hopeless (2019) before releasing their album On Grace & Dignity in 2023. Hailing from a county where thousands of tourists flock on holiday, and thousands of locals could never hope of affording one, the band members grew up with a keen awareness of that gap between idealism and reality. Where their second album, 2019’s Hope for the Hopeless, plunged deep into personal pain, On Grace and Dignity looks outward to consider home and what it means to be shaped by a place – in this instance, Truro, Cornwall’s capital, home to a rare three-spired cathedral, a peaceful river and a lot of empty shops and flimsy out-of-town housing estates.

Now based in South London, the GOLDEN DREGS has transformed from Woods’ baritone-crooner solo project to a dynamic six-piece band, with Matt Merriman on drums, Isabelle Armstrong on guitar, Mike Clark on guitar, Ted Mair on piano and bass and Davy Roderick on synth. In November 2023, the band released a digital-only 3-track EP entitled popular music vol.1 which consists of cover versions of well-loved songs by pop icons Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey and Caroline Polachek. With their gentle harmonies and atmospheric instrumental arrangements that uniquely meld the bleak and the beautiful, combined with Woods’ rich Baritone voice, the GOLDEN DREGS transform this trio of contemporary pop anthems into their own set of intimate ballads.