Moreish Idols, the London-based five piece have announced “Float“, their debut EP set to be released on August 12th via Speedy Wunderground. Pre-order here. The announcement comes alongside the release of new single hyper-saxophone driven single “Hangar” which follows on from “Speedboat” released earlier in the year.
Listen to the new single below!
Speaking about the EP Jude Lilley said:
“The most exciting thing for us as a band is capturing our performances live, which something Speedy is renowned for. Everything you hear in the EP is us in the room working together as unit – apart from Dyl who recorded his take across the whole EP in one! There’s something really cool about listening back to the takes and realising ‘this is what the room sounded like 5 minutes ago… and that’s us making the noise’. To us “Float” is a collage, and a demonstration of the band putting everything in the mixer and seeing what comes out (lyrics included) and it’s exactly what Dan heard before getting us involved with the label.”
London-based post punk trio deep tan have shared new single “beginners’ krav maga” via Speedy Wunderground, their first single of the year which follows on from last years “tamu’s yiffing refuge” and their hollow scene EP, both released last year.
A funk-driven riff and tightly shifting drums propel the motion of this track forward, once again following on their minimalistic approach to post-punk; each element weaving over each other with a clockwork motion. “Night time checklist, keys in a fast, in the dark i can’t relax” they sing, detailing the thought process and emotions that all women feel when being outside at night. It’s horrendous and poignant and it’s why this track has so much weight to it when on the surface it may come across as more whimsical in nature. deep tan become brilliant in depth within subtlety.
Speaking about the track the band said:
“beginners’ krav maga” is a response to the idea that womxn should take self defense classes in order to feel safe on the street at night. womxn shouldn’t have to. yet it seems like every day there’s a new sarah everard, sabina nessa or aisling murphy. educate your sons, brothers, guy friends. male violence against womxn is an epidemic and it needs to stop, so we made a pop song to talk about it.
London three-piece Honeyglaze, who have recently signed to the legendary Speedy Wunderground, deliver an honest and incisive second single in the form of “Creative Jealousy“, following their stunning debut track “Burglar”.
The choppy rhythms that begin the piece welcome lead singer Anouska Sokolow’s sincere lyrical offerings of creative inadequacy and doubt. At such an early moment in the band’s career, this truthfulness suggests that they are determined to work with openness and honesty from the get-go, promising more insightful musical contributions to come. The song is decisively shorter than “Burglar”, only reaching two minutes and sixteen seconds, but no less impactful and successful in what it sets out to do.
Speaking about the track, Sokolow explains:
“Creative Jealousy” came from the feeling of frustration I had during a creative block. I found myself looking around and feeling unable to live up to the high artistic standard set by my peers, not to mention my own expectations. The only thing I could think to do was to make fun of myself.”
Despite Sokolow’s worries, the band, who have supported the likes of W.H Lung and labelmates The Lounge Society, prove that they are capable of big things in no time at all, with upcoming shows playing alongside Katy J. Pearson and Lime Garden to name a few. It’s only a matter of time before the band headline their own tour.
Savage Gary (Dan Carey, label boss and producer of Speedy Wunderground) has shared a new collaboration with Georgia, “Nothing To Say”. It’s the producers 21st release as part of the Quarantine Series that was started last year, which has featured artists such as Kate Tempest and DEWEY. Listen to the full series here.
Mercury nominated for last year’s “Seeking Thrills”, and recently announced as 2021’s ambassador for Love Record Stores, Georgia is a long-term friend of Dan’s, the two of them having played together as bandmates in an early incarnation of Kate Tempest’s live set-up.
The track was mixed by Dan’s 16 year old daughter Orla Carey. Who has previously mixed records for Scottibrains, Goat Girl, Pynch and Girl Ray – proving that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“Nothing To Say” will see a vinyl release later this year as part of Savage Gary – Quarantine Sampler 3, the third EP to collect what has now been over 12 months of locked-down Wunderground gems from Carey and friends.
The Lounge Society are today sharing new single “Cain’s Heresy”, and announcing the release of their debut EP Silk For The Starving on Speedy Wunderground. With just two singles under their belts – “Generation Game”, the fastest selling 7″ for the label, and “Burn The Heather” – and a raft of Ones To Watch accolades for 2021, there is much anticipation for what lies next for the band.
Almost one year ago, “Generation Game” announced the band as artists shaping powerful narratives around a fast-fragmenting society. With the lyric “what will the US do?” they served up a painfully prescient prediction of American unrest. Follow-up single “Burn The Heather” made a left-hand turn for the more punk-funk, sneering at culture wars and the damaging impact of a class divide. New single “Cain’s Heresy” shakes with the propulsion of a nimble rhythm section, full of bite and scorn, simultaneously swinging angrily at a negligent political class (“The death of four souls is less than a kick in the teeth, for them”), the threat of misinformation (“Poisonous ideals on the screen breed a vicious way of thinking, off the screen”) and the noxious follow-the-leader march of celebrity culture (“They’re Servants to fame”). The EP title “Silk For The Starving” in itself probes at a society that routinely neglects the needs of the have-nots.
The video for “Cain’s Heresy” was filmed at the iconic Hebden Bridge Trades Club, and is a homage to The Strokes’ “The Modern Age” video – which incidentally turns 20 years old this month – and features a cameo from The Strokes’ producer Gordon Raphael. The band expands a little more on the song:
“Cain’s Heresy is a portrait of the world we’re headed to – where consumers lie sedated while ‘This Week’s Hot Trend’ and ‘101 Style Tips For Summer’ are forced down their throats by gloved hands. It’s our way of saying ‘not on my watch’. Cain and Abel were brothers at war, and this song is our last stand in the war on culture which is being waged by corporations at the moment. Musically the song isn’t designed to fu*k about – we could’ve filled it with 7th chords and synths and bleeps and bloops but we wanted it to be raw and honest, and we think it sounds all the better for it.”
South London post rockers Goat Girl return with the follow up to 2018’s debut release Goat Girl, an album that was tinged in grunge and disdain. A lineup change with new bassist Holly Hole joining to replace Naima Jelly, a burn injury that cancelled a tour and a global pandemic in between, there’s certainly been many hurdles to getting this album released. With production being helmed by Speedy Wundergound’s own Dan Carey they have expanded their sound into new territories incorporating elements of synth-pop, jazz and soft-rock delivering a gratifying and woozy sophomore outing.
The band have never been ones to shy away from political messaging and throughout this album they continue to challenge the burdens of capitalism, casual racism in the media and climate change. Opener “Pest” cleverly flips around the phrase of “Beast from the east”, realising that this way of phrasing suggests that these extreme weathers are a result of the eastern hemispheres industrial revolutions, where in reality we are the ones that started the chain of pollution. “Pest from the west, drums on his chest” sings lead singer Lottie Cream in her deadpan style. Backed by a symphony of encapsulating rising guitar lines and bubbling synthesisers, the sound is easy on the ears whilst simultaneously impossibly menacing.
Although this album was written before any notion of a pandemic began and the fallout from it there are themes that resonate with a collective more wider than they might have originally thought. Lead single “Sad Cowboy” may seem upbeat through its use of club based synths and driving groove but lyrically the band speak on notions of feeling isolated from society, due to the often felt naivety of the many to some of the failings of homelessness, austerity and gentrification. And this contrast is cleverly woven into the lyrics. “Where colours play in the sky again, Through the windowpane, night time dissipates” where Cream is singing about these dreamlike surroundings that contrast her state of mind in the chorus where she sings “Slippin’ my hold, It comes and it goes, The feeling we’re told, Isn’t so”. Conveying the feeling of becoming detached from a world that is a much crueler place than is casually perceived.
But away from the socially commentary the band displays an incredible amount of rawness in their detailing of their own struggles with mental health. From the breezy but moving “Anxiety Feels” that details L.E.D’s struggle with anxiety and isolation and the choice between whether to involve medication. “I don’t wanna be on those pills, heard they make you numb, find another way to get my fill” she declares as the track opens. But it’s only when the chorus melodies and harmonies kick in that the true weight of this songs is felt, it may only be simple declarations of “finding it hard” but you can hear the unconcealed emotion oozing out. And one of the highlights of this album comes in the form of “Closing In” both lyrically and sonically. The simple melancholic synth melody of the verse create a truly ominous sense of unease that perfectly captures the tenderness that Cream is writing about. But she depicts her illness as an entity that comes and goes through the clever lyricisim of “I feel the ghost, she slipped through my bones, pushing around and allowed to expose”.
Compared to the gritty and grinding sound of their debut album, there’s a certain amount of dreaminess and psychedelia washed over this album. The guitars are cleaner, the mix is smoother and the grooves are looser. But in this new formed freeness the band revere in their collective sound, allowing each movement to become funkier and more expansive than ever. The likes of which are found all over the descending groove of “Badibaba” which also introduces the new injection of jazz elements into the bands sound through the off beat vocal melodies and slinky bass lines. And on “P.T.S.Tea”, that tells the story of how drummer Rosy Jones was scolded with hot tea on a ferry by a man who didn’t even acknowledge the event, the song may open with an upbeat synth-pop intro but it slowly descends into a jazzy and psychedelic soundscape that feels like your swimming in the discontent that the band creates with their swirling vocals.
That’s not to say however there aren’t moments that get lost in the looseness and the gritty feel of the first album is missing. “Jazz (In The Supermarket)” showcases the bands talent to build on different movements from an instrumental perspective, but with its early placement in the tracklisting and four and a half minute run time it slows down the flow of the album without adding too much that can’t be found later on sonically. And the blissful swaying jazz verses of the first half of “A-Men” become somewhat overshadowed by the drawn out second half that take just a bit too long to reach their conclusion.
This album takes a look at the world, both retrospectively and introspectively and tries to understand and question our ways of life whilst seeking for change in both aspects. Sonically Goat Girl may be leaning towards a more woozier sound than their debut, but the songwriting and undying drive to seek and inspire a better world is still as potent as ever.
Hailing from South London, a part of the Windmill Brixton generation, a venue that has been the catalyst for so many big names of modern indie such as Shame, Sorry and Tiña. Goat Girl have spent the last few years establishing themselves as one of the most talked about and exciting post-punk, indie and every other label they can be put under bands. Their debut album Goat Girl was nominated for the Mercury Prize back in 2018, a sign of true artistic brilliance in itself.
This Friday they release their long anticipated sophomore album On All Fours. An album that focuses on the tribulations of the modern day, from climate change to racism in the media to entitled men. But whilst the album takes on the world, the band gives you an insight to their own world through an unbridled amount of intimacy of personal stories of struggles with mental health and the emotive weight that isolation can have on someone. Without knowing it Goat Girl created one of the most 2020 albums possible before the year had really began.
Their sound has also evolved to take on a more smooth, jazzy and vibrantly expansive feel. Synthesisers at their helm, there’s a new found collaborative and groove fuelled tint to the bands sound, whilst still retaining that signature flair of moodiness. Thanks in part to new bassist Holly Hole who introduced the band to her Minilogue synth and to Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey, the synth wizard himself, who let the band take residence inside his lair of bubbling and explosive synthesisers. We spoke to the band to give us the lowdown on the ingredients that they brewed together to make their mystifying second album.
What does the title ‘On All Fours’ mean or represent? L.E.D: It means a lot of things…and it can mean anything you like. But to me, there’s a strong connotation of animalism. It explores the way in which we’re humans, and therefore disparate from the natural world, and on the other hand, we are also so undeniably a part of the natural world – for all of its beauty, glory and gore.
Opener “Pest” is about the casual racism that is used within the media as well as the “powers that be” controlling our lives on a daily basis. Were there any particular moments that inspired this song?
L.E.D: Lottie wrote that song when she read a headline that labelled a storm the ‘beast from the east’. It’s about the propaganda that we in the west are fed, in order for us to believe that environmental issues are a ‘foriegn’ thing, with foreign roots, rather than addressing the fact that the west has a lot to answer for in terms of the climate crisis, as well as humanitarian struggles.
One theme that is consistent throughout the album is self worth and finding ways to deal with issues of mental health and anxieties. What’s the importance to you about talking openly about your mental health in songs?
L.E.D: For ‘tough’ topics like mental health to be buried, sensored and avoided only makes things worse. Everyone struggles, because we are human, but if only we shared our struggles, rather than burying it, and never asking for help, we might be able to heal a bit better from trauma, stress, depression, you name it. I think one of the best things that we can do for others and ourselves is to talk openly about how we feel because through communication comes understanding, empathy, and love. People love helping each other, and you’re never alone, but we have to be reminded of this!
In the writing process for “Jazz ( In The Supermarket” you all switched instruments and for “A-Men” the theme is about coming out of your comfort zone. In doing this do you feel it unlocked part of your creativity as a band and songwriters that you wouldn’t have otherwise?
L.E.D: Definitely. I think we all became a bit complacent with our usual instruments – feeling like we didn’t know how to play anything that sounded fresh and exciting, so having a break from the usual instruments and switching round definitely helped get that fresh feeling, as well as get excited again about our original instruments.
What was it like working with Dan Carey as producer? And what did he help bring to the album?
L.E.D: He bought so much! We worked closely with him doing pre-production; using his MPC drum machine which was programmed in time, and included some time changes within some songs. This made it feel more natural for rosy to drum along to (rather than a metronome), and therefore made the album sit in a more electronic world than our first album, without too much sonic rigidity. Dan’s studio is like a dream come true – a world of tangled wires, synths, drum machines, amazing vintage guitars and boutique amps just waiting for you to mess around with and find stuff you like. There’s very much a sense of exploration rather than domination with Dan’s production style. He’s happy to suggest things (and he’s usually right), but he allows everyone to make their own choices with moulding the live sound they want to capture.
The album features a lot more synthesisers than your debut, what was it about these sounds that drew you towards them?
L.E.D: When Holly joined the band, she introduced us to the minilogue synth (Kylie). This was like an exciting new toy to us guitar heads that were used to having our heads in our pedal boards, amps, and midi keyboards. Rosy is a hidden gem when it comes to keys as well. The interludes on the first album were based around piano songs that Rosy wrote. We all love electronic music, and our home demos often sit more in the electronic world because we’re using Logic to record them, so it was natural for this to shine through in the album. Lottie uses synths loads in her own music too. I (Ellie) got a Yamaha CS Reface which is a really great first synth for a guitarist because there’s no presets, so it’s more like using a pedal board in a way, and experimenting with the knobs til you find something you like. I used to think you have to have this in-depth technical electronic knowledge to play synth, but that’s just not the case.
The vocals in “Jazz ( In The Supermarket)” were inspired by Bulgarian folk choir, what other inspirations did you have for the sound of this album?
I (ellie) was particularly inspired by the current UK jazz scene in my guitar playing. I got bored of the standard indie guitar chords. There’s so much great stuff out there at the moment – from Alfa Mist, Demae, Ego Ella May, Yazmin Lacey, to name a few. There’s also a big cross over of jazz in india right now, which is one of my favourite sounds – that kind of loungey/ psych soul, with bands like Crumb, Sault, Holy Hive, and Alice Pheobe-Lou, and KerenDun. Then there’s a load of electronic stuff that I was influenced by like Steve Spacek, Shigeto, Sneaks, keyah/blu and Channel Tres; I see these artists as exerting a kind of dark euphoria, with a gothic undertones, which I relate to and seek to craft myself.
How as a band do you draw together to get each others unique influence to create such a vibrant sound?
We just jam it out. Jam sandwich
The Windmill in Brixton has played an important part in becoming who you are as a band today. What does this venue mean to you and as part of the independent scene as a whole?
L.E.D: I’d say it’s our musical home, for sure. We were kind of born there (as a band) if you like, and spent our formative years there. There’s a certain atmosphere with The Windmill that makes you feel welcome and able to be yourself and express yourself freely. This is something that I’ve seldom found elsewhere in London venues.
It’s not often that an album comes into fruition with such a rich background to it, not only from the musical side of it but the landmark achievement of where it came from. Over the last 7 years London based label Speedy Wunderground have slowly built a cult following in the underground, and of late mainstream, independent music scene. Spearheaded by producer extraordinaire Dan Carey, who produced both of Fontaines D.C.’s albums, Black Midi’s multi-dimensional debut Schlagenheim and DEWEY‘s upcoming two part album Sóller, to name a few amongst a plethora of other sonically challenging and pioneering albums. Gaining attention for their consistently diverse and high quality run of 7″ singles from artists such as Kate Tempest, PVA and Black Country, New Road as well their yearly compilations, Speedy Wunderground have quickly become one of the founding pillars in contemporary independent music. They’ve now taken the next natural step and released their first full length album as a label, and Positive Mental Health Music is quite the opening chapter to their ongoing story.
The main messaging behind this album is simply, really nice, uplifting music that puts a positive influence into mental health and tries to relate the often mundane feelings of depression and anxiety into the stories they tell. “And everyone I know is doing better than me, They say “Josh you’re doing the best that you can”, Well I spent most of the time, Feeling like the laziest man” declares lead singer Josh Loftin on opener “Buddha” as he diarises his daily struggle with motivation and self-doubt. It’s this level of intimacy that can be found sewn throughout this album that hones in the home-grown feel of it. The stories are raw and unaltered, allowing them to be as genuine as possible. “I Feel Fine” was the first official single released by the London based 5-piece last year and is “a song about discovering sexual freedom through finding yourself in deep meditation” as Loftin puts it. And this freedom comes in the form of a timeless psych-pop banger. Hazy soundscapes, vintage instrumentation and catchy tongue-in-cheek chorus lines of “Dicks in the sky, Vaginas in my mind” perfectly accentuate this liberation in a more than joyous fashion. It’ll be quite the feat to hear this chorus live with the chants coming back with it.
This simplistic and almost downplayed sound carries through for most of the album. There’s never really too much variation when it comes to the bands sonic palette. Favouring their tried and true mix of punchy bass, fluttering drums, overstated lead guitar and wobbly synthesisers. Coming straight out of the 60’s psychedelic era, this sound will be familiar to many but thanks to Tiña’s forward thinking messages laid over the top of it, it has been brought graciously into a new generation. There are however moments when it feels as if this sound could do with a bit more depth and flavour, especially coming from a producer who is renowned for his sonic experimentation. The messaging of “New Boi” is as potent as the rest of the album, dealing with the struggles of body images. But the sparse and loose sound has been heard so often at this point in the album that it could just do with that little extra sparkle or magic to make it really stand out. The vibrancy does appear however, and takes you by surprise when it does. “Growing In Age” descends from a gloomy almost western slow burner into a full emancipation of chaos and punk stylings as the feeling of growing older becomes too much to handle for Loftin, delivering one of his most powerful vocal performances of the album. And the monochrome feeling of depression is fully realised on “It’s No Use” as the dragging, drawn out chords and swirling melancholic landscapes perfectly capture the emotion of lying in bed, watching the world go by outside your window. The monotony of this feeling lies deep in the lyrics as well, the only description they give of their surroundings are “The handle has broken off the door”, “There was a dog by the door” and “Blue velvet blanket on the door”. Capturing the confining feeling of only staring at your door, with that literally being the only thing you see throughout the day.
I may be as bold as to say that this album stands as a cultural landmark, made in part by both the band and the label. Tiña have crafted a gloriously uplifting collection of songs to inspire and connect with the often disconnected. It may not be the most expansive sound out there at the moment but leans more on its lyrical content and messaging. But the bigger picture comes from the achievement of Dan Carey and Speedy Wunderground as they’ve further cemented themselves as the label to be. Now with that crucial first album under their belt, who knows where they will go next. Big things lay ahead for both parties involved here and this is just the beginning.
London based electronic pop rock outfit PVA, known for their high energy live performances, have announced their debut EP Toner set to be released on November 20th via Big Dada Records, available to pre-order here. They’ve also signed to prolific electronic label Ninja Tune and shared new single ‘Talks’ which was produced by Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey.
The EP will feature three new tracks as well as remixes from Mura Masa, Lynks and Girl Band.
Earlier in the year GUM & Ginoli (Jay Watson and James Ireland) shared a remix of PVA’s ‘Divine Intervention’. Listen here.
When it comes to using the phrase ‘One To Watch’ it can certainly be thrown about for almost anyone these days. That’s not the case for Fifi Dewey however. Over the past ten years or so she’s slowly been growing her presence in the underground and mainstream music scenes, touring and playing with some of the biggest names in indie folk. She’s worked with some of the most prolific and exciting musicians and producers in the London underground scene, releasing a couple of singles along the way. Returning recently after a couple of years break with new single ‘Savannah’ that dances between the hypnotic and the surreal. It’s been quite the wild ride, with a long trip across the United States thrown into the mix. But now she’s ready to shine her own ethereal light onto the world and gift us all with the music that’s been years in the making.
The new single Savannah is mainly about a trip you took to America?
So in 2013 I went on a trip inspired by my favourite music scenes. There’s an amazing music scene in Minneapolis amongst other places and I just really wanted to go to all these cities and see why that is. I went to Portland, Minneapolis, Seattle and New York. And then in between that I farmed on some organic farms. And that was more of the inspiration for this body of work that I’m releasing, with the first song being Savannah.
And you’ve got more music to come?
Yeah so it’s essentially an album, but I’ve split it into two parts with 10 tracks, and hopefully that’ll all come out this year.
Are the other songs on the album similar themes to Savannah?
They definitely have similar themes about obsession and fantasy. Essentially it’s that land in the mind where you’re fantasising about a place out of reach, beyond your reality. It’s a queer heartbreak album more importantly!
With it being a couple of years since your last release, why did it feel like now was the right time to release new music?
I wrote most of them between the age of 24 – 26, I’m now 30 so it’s taken such a long time to get it all together! I had the songs and I demoed them up to the point that I was very happy with, but needed help engineering the sound. I then started playing in my friends band, Nick Mulvey, and then he introduced me to the producer Dan Carey. I took the songs to Dan and said do you think you could help me re-amp and re-engineer some of this record. I felt like the atmosphere was there but the quality wasn’t. And he’s totally amazing and he got the vision 100%. Flash forward two more years, with the record complete, I was ready to release it in 2019 after making the music video for Savannah. The day after I made that music video I went into hospital and was diagnosed with cancer.
Oh really? I’m so sorry to hear that!
Yeah it’s mad! I have to tell this story, because I feel if i don’t then i’m not being authentic. It’s maybe a lot for people to hear but it’s real. So I went into hospital and had chemo for 4 months and surgery and have spent this last year getting better. And i’m healthy and happy now!
I’m very glad to hear that!
So that’s why I’m releasing it a year later. It’s weird because in that video I had this long blonde hair and now it’s come back and its brown and its curly, it’s crazy. So cool! So then I was like do I release that video, because it’s sort of strange but you know, it tells that story so I think it’s important. So that’s the long version!
Working with Dan Carey, I know he’s worked with so many big names, Fontaines D.C. , Black Midi, Tame Impala, what was it like working with him? I’ve heard it’s quite an intense process where you get a day to record in and thats it?
We recorded the single ‘Loch Linne’ which Dan put out on his Speedy Wunderground label back in 2018. The rule is you record everything in a day, Dan and Alexis mix it and then it gets released. So that was super fun! We’ve re-done that song so it will be on the album but it’ll sound slightly different. But yeah me and Dan have like a telepathic way of playing together, it’s really fucking cool! We’ve only just started actually playing more music together, which i’m fucking excited about. And he’s amazing, he doesn’t really have any limitations in his mind, it’s completely expansive. So if you’re like “Dan I want this synth to sound like thunder!” and then it’ll be like “Oh my god this is it” and we’ll sit with these thunder sounds! He’s the best.
Listening back over some of your songs, they’ve got quite an ethereal psychedelic sound to them. Is that something that when you’re writing the songs you think I want this to sound this way, or is that something that gets thrown in whilst in the studio and you think it would be a good idea to have in it?
I’ll have an idea of a place before I know what the songs are about sometimes, so it’s inherently cinematic and visual.Then I’ll try and create an unrestful eruption of thunder and lightning for instance. Sometimes a song will build around that like Savannah for example. I had this fantasy about those southern live oak trees in Savannah, Georgia that are all creepy and verdant, bending around the air. The second half of the song takes place in the desert at night time, which is why there’s kind of two personalities in that song. I definitely do that first, I’ll have an idea for the feeling and then I’ll put the song on top of it. Sometimes it’s more simplistic as i may just write the song on guitar, or I’ll do a vocal stack first, with loads of harmonies and then add the song over the top.
And with the songs on the rest of the album do they follow similarly with the sound of Savannah? Or are they different in any way?
I think the whole thing fits atmospherically together, It definitely has a specific vibe.I wanted to try and make it cohesive because I think it’s quite easy as a solo musician to put a record out and change the sound with every song. Whereas I was aiming to make a confluence throughout, which ended up being the vocal stacks next to the poppy vocals off -set with creepy ambient sounds.
And what’s it been like releasing this music through Speedy Wunderground? Is it just Dan who runs that?
Yeah so it’s Dan and Alexis, who’s Dan’s engineer. They’re wizards. They’re amazing in the studio as they just know exactly how to get the right sound. So it was the three of us and our friend Liam who came in to drum for a track.
I feel that if you say to someone that something’s been released on Speedy Wunderground then immediately you would know it’s going to be of good quality, how has releasing with that pretence helped you?
The music is definitely connected and there’s some really cool people in that music scene who I’ve become friends with. And of course just having the honour to work with someone like Dan, that in itself is conformation of something good.
You mentioned touring with Nick Mulvey, how did you get to meet him? And what were some of the best experiences from touring with him?
I met him about 12 years ago through his now wife, Isadora, who is one of my closest friends. Me, her and her sister used to be in a folk band together in Brighton when we were like 18. I used to drum, we all used to sing these 3 point harmonies. We’d go and watch Nick play in his old band Portico Quartet. We stayed in touch and then about 7 years later he asked me to be his backline technician on the campaign of his album ‘First Mind.’ I then recorded some backing vocals for his second album and subsequently joined the live show, playing guitar, percussion and singing! There’s been so many amazing things to come out of that. The best thing has been the people I’ve become friends with through the project. We also toured America which was amazing!
And you played on his latest album as well? What was that like working with him and then going into the album?
Brilliant! There were loads of people involved in that record. The recording took place in Box, outside of Bath which is Peter Gabriel’s studio.Ethan Jones produced it; such an incredibly beautiful space to record in. And then from that actually Nick finished the record with Dan (Carey) and that’s how I met Dan because we were at his studio finishing off some vocals. Everyone went outside for a cigarette and i was like “Dan is that the Swarmatron that everyone talks about?” and then we started playing and were like “Uh oh, shit!”.
Thats very cool, a very fun way to meet your producer
It was so good, I’ve been lucky!
I saw you played on Jools Holland with Nick, what was that experience like?
It was really crazy, and I’m sure like me you’ve probably grown up watching that show. Just being in that studio was very surreal, it was kind of a bit of a blur to be honest. I do remember looking over and I had St. Vincent to the left of me, Beck to the right and Robert Plant straight ahead. It was the weirdest most flawless line up, it was totally mad. We all just had loads of fun, obviously we were quite nervous but it was a real hoot.
With some of those great artists there, who would you say influences some of your sound, because I don’t know if you feel the same but I did hear a bit of St. Vincent in some of your songs as well?
Yeah I really loved her first couple of records; Strange Mercy, that album is amazing. John Congleton produced that and i love his work. It’s a really hard one that question because there’s definitely been people growing up that I’ve listened to obsessively but I don’t know how much it reflects on my influences directly now. Definitely bands like Polica, that Minneapolis scene, Gayngs and Ryan Olson the producer, I just love everything those guys do. I’ve been listening to Alex G a lot recently, but that didn’t influence the music.I love Arthur Russel and Joanna Newsom..PJ Harvey as well. I made a playlist on Spotify and if you have a look at that there’s like 20 hours of my favourite stuff. It goes from doom metal to classical! I’m really not elitist when it comes to music, I’ll listen to anything. I’m specific about what I like but I’ll listen to any genre.
I think that’s a really good mentality to have, because then when you’re creating your music, you feel you don’t have to have that limitation or it has to fit with this genre
That’s exactly what it is. That’s why I think there’s a big combination of sounds in there, electronic and organic sounds. I’m not thinking about the genre when I’m doing it at all.
I’ve heard you’re quite a big fan of the show Twin Peaks, and you visited the locations, what does that show mean to you?
I think with David Lynch, a lot of people feel he’s just so inspiring in so many ways. I think even just his approach to making something, he doesn’t have any boundaries and you can tell that. And he’s not doing it for anyone else but himself. So more than anything else his process is fucking cool. But his films are a massive influence. I’d say films are just as much of an influence to me as music. And his stuff is incredible, just the atmosphere, the darkness, the mystery, the obsession with the occult, I’m really into that stuff. There is a darkness in my music, but it’s not necessarily about tapping into it in a negative way. It’s almost like bringing it in, in a melancholic but beautiful way because that’s just life isn’t it? And I think it’s something we shy away from, but I love how he makes it beautiful. And there’s a tension through everything, an unrestful feeling. I’m pretty geeky about things like that and on that trip that I took to America I took a bus and I actually went to see the twin peaks filming locations. I want to show you something actually! It was my birthday on Friday and my friend painted this for me. (She then proceeds to grab a drawing of the RR Diner from the show) Which is pretty cool, if you recognise it?
Oh okay wow yeah that is really cool!
Yeah it’s so cool! I actually went there.
So that is a real diner is it?
Yeah! It’s so weird, it’s quite strange inside. I actually got stuck there and nearly missed the last bus. And then I would have had to stay in this horrible motel that Leland Palmer killed a prostitute in. I was just like no i can’t stay there! And luckily the bus appeared, otherwise that would have been my fate.
As well with the show it’s got quite an iconic soundtrack, does that have any influence in to your music at all?
100%. Even if it’s just those synths. A band I was thinking of which relates to this actually, somebody that really has influenced me is Cocteau Twins. And I think David Lynch actually asked Liz Fraser to sing the soundtrack first of all. But then he got Julie Cruise to do it, but i can imagine Liz Fraser singing that. It’s so beautiful, I love it so much.
You said your music is quite cinematic, would you at any point create a soundtrack for a film?
I’d love to! I think in a way that would take away that pressure to think about what the story is. You already have the story there and then you can just apply your own skills to making something vibey.
There’s an artist I’ve been listening to this year called I Break Horses and with her latest album she watched loads of old films and then reimagined the soundtrack to them and created her album around that.
That’s really cool!
I think it’s quite a fun way to approach it, where you just have it there and create music for it.
100%. I’ve got a music video out for the next single, which because of the lockdown I decided to make myself. But I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I didn’t want to make a cheesy “I’m in my room!” kinda thing. So I thought I’m just gonna get a drone, as one does. My friend lent me his drone, so then I had to learn how to fly it which was wild because you actually have to get a licence to do it. And I’ve ended up making a music video with this drone and I’m really excited about that coming out.
Is that the first music video you’ve done on your own?
Yeah, I didn’t know if I’d be able to pull it off but I think it’s quite cool. It’s obvious I’ve made it because I’m holding the controller in the shots.
And now you’ve done that, do you think you’d do more yourself? Or would you still look to work with other people?
I’m definitely gonna make more of them, it’s a really fun process. It’s quite different from music because you’re instantly in a place where you can’t really think of anything else. You know making music can be so emotional sometimes, whereas this is like “I’m here. That tree looks really cool. Okay. Hi Tree”. And then you’re just looking at a tree, and that’s lovely! So I’m definitely gonna do it even just as a hobby, see what happens. But also I’d love to work with other people of course.
With everything being in lockdown some great projects have come out of it, one of those being the Quarantine Series on Speedy Wunderground, you did yours with Savage Gary, how did that come about?
Oh that’s Dan! That was really fun, I was just like “I haven’t done one yet, please send me a track!”. Haha that was it basically that was the conversation. All of those tracks are so good. I think as well so many things are changing now with the music industry because people can’t gig, things are different aren’t they? And I think it’s pushed a lot of people to see, what we thought were our limitations, are not. Like making that music video for me was something of an experiment, but it’s proved that I can do more than I thought I could. And even just making that track with Dan quite quickly, and putting it on Soundcloud is sometimes just as good, if not actually better than putting things on Spotify. Because I think we get really caught up in trying to meet these expectations that sometimes are unrealistic. I think I’d like to get to a place where I’m just putting music out all the time, but how that’s possible within the industry structure I don’t know. You know I’ve ended up putting this music out independently because of some of those reasons. I think that’s what I love about Dan and Speedy Wunderground, they’re so prolific. And they’re so open to new things,taking risks. I’d love to see more of that happening within the music industry. I mean just dropping things on Soundcloud is kind of great! I miss the days of MySpace when you’d just put tracks up on there and if a few people liked them then they’d re-share them. That was cool and everything’s just got a bit too serious, which then makes you become precious and have expectations. I think it’s really good to just let go of all of that stuff and just do it because you love doing it.
I saw the other day that the CEO of Spotify said musicians need to put more out, they can’t just rely on an album every three or four years. Which kind of shows that they’re only viewing musicians as a commodity.
Totally and it’s just fucked up isn’t it? Maybe pay us first Spotify!
One last one, suggested to me by a friend of yours, if you could have one type of donut, what would it be and why?
I knew that was going to be a question! I’m just going to go really simple because I asked for some jam donuts for my birthday and didn’t get any did I? So just a jam donut with a coffee, or glazed, just a glazed krispy kreme. No extras, keep it simple, keep it classy.
That’s a very good answer
How about you?
Oh I don’t know!
Don’t say custard
No definitely not, probably just a nice sprinkled donut, maybe a bit of glazing