FOSSIL Collective are a two-piece from Leeds, or so their press release says.

Except that neither David Fendick nor fellow multi-instrumentalist Jonny Hooker is from Leeds and when What’s On met Jonny in the City Screen bar in York last Friday, he was accompanied by a third member, Antonio, a bass player from Puglia, Italy, settled in York for nine years now after he “came here for the music, but left the weather behind”.

“It is confusing,” says Jonny. “Dave and I started the band and we met through the Leeds music scene, where we were in various bands. When we started, I lived in Leeds and Dave just outside Leeds.

“I moved to York last September when I bought a house near Rowntree Park. I’m originally from Teesside and Dave is originally from Devon and he now lives ‘just outside Leeds’…in Barnsley!

“I’m trying to persuade him to live in York as it would be so much easier. Then three of us in the band would be from York, so it would be York-centric and we could call ourselves a York band.”

All the band members will definitely be in York on Wednesday when Fossil Collective open their 21-date tour in support of their debut album at The Duchess.

The album, Tell Where I Lie, will be released two days earlier on Dirty Hit records, the label that already is home to another York musician, singer-songwriter Benjamin Francis Leftwich.

“It’s exciting; it’s nerve-wracking; I’m a little bit anxious, waiting for Monday, but we’re really proud of it and keen to let people hear it,” says Jonny.

“It’s come out in April for two reasons. We always wanted to release it in the spring and it worked out well in terms of our recording and touring schedule – and it comes out nicely just before the festival season.”

David and Jonny were part of Leeds band Vib Gyor before forming Fossil Collective to focus on uplifting, stripped-back melodic harmonies with a nod to the music they heard at home when growing up: Simon & Garfunkel, 1970s’ Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young and James Taylor.

It was not the band name that made them branch out on their own but they acknowledge that Vib Gyor was a “terrible, terrible name”. “It’s the colours of the spectrum backwards,” reveals Jonny. “We used to make up different explanations for the name, like saying it was a mountain in Iceland.”

Goodbye Vib Gyor, hello Fossil Collective, and after a series of EPs, they have crafted their first album at Vale Studios, a converted Georgian manor with vintage recording equipment in Fladbury, Worcestershire. “We wanted the album to play as an album,” says Jonny. “I’m still a great believe in the album format, even when the digital age has changed things.

“We always had it in mind to make an album and to have a flow to the album, so there were songs that we deliberately held back for it, which meant we had to negotiate with the label, who were keen to bring them out earlier.

“Such is our faith in the album that we’re going to play it in track order, with a couple of other songs that we’ll add on at the end. We feel it’s right to do the show this way; it’s not a statement of success. For us it’s very much that we chose the album carefully and the flow carefully, and we thought we would try playing it live that way too.”

Playing those songs will be David, Jonny and Antonio, plus Sean Gannon on guitar and Zane Keenan on keyboards.

“I’ll be the drummer in the live band,” says Jonny. “It’s kind of becoming completely different now with more variety, more instrumentation, though Dave and I are still at the helm of the project.

“But I’d like to think that when it comes to making the second album, we’ll approach it from a different angle, playing songs live before recording them, whereas on this record, we worked on the songs in the studio first.”

David and Jonny had settled quickly on Fossil Collective’s sound. “You don’t want it to be a pastiche, but if you mix up those Simon & Garfunkel and Fleetwood Mac classic songwriting influences with being a fan of electronica, Flaming Lips and Radiohead’s OK Computer, hopefully you come up with something that is relevant and honest,” says Jonny.

“If there’s a recurring theme to the album it’s the British countryside. We all feel more comfortable in the country with a bit of space around us. I’ve lived in London and I hated it – it was for three years and that was far too long.”

Next month, another country awaits Fossil Collective: they are off to the United States, but not before they have played four shows in God’s Own Country at The Duchess, York, on April 10, Hull Fruit on April 13, Leeds Brudenell Social Club on April 26 and The Harley, Sheffield, on April 29.