So Young Issue Forty-Eight

Page 1

Issue Forty-Eight


in the

Also inside: Lime Garden Yard Act Whitelands C Turtle Ugly Duvet City Parking Voyeur Christian Music Ebbb


Josh Whettingsteel, ‘Oscillations’. Paper collage, found board. Oil and acrylic on wood, 30cm x 30cm.

Issue Forty-Eight is our first of 2024 and our first chance to highlight the artists we are most excited about this year. Twelve months on from their debut interview, mary in the junkyard are on the cover. The trio have just released their new single ‘Ghost’ and following an introductory year which included countless live performances, sold out headline shows and a much anticipated debut single (‘Tuesday’), it seemed the perfect time to dig a little deeper to see how this newfound attention is sitting with the band. At the other end of the release spectrum, Leeds’ Yard Act are preparing themselves for the release of their second album, ‘Where’s My Utopia?’ in March. After establishing that nobody is paying for Zoom, we dig into the new record, New Orleans and how James is letting the band know what the album is about - interview by interview. February is home to the debut album from Brighton’s Lime Garden. Having travelled this journey with them extensively, in print and more, we gave them a call, post rehearsal, to discuss “judgement day”, ‘One More Thing’ and how they’re already writing album two. Joining Lime Garden on tour are London-via-Cambridge’s Ugly. The six-piece made a very welcome return last year and they have a new EP on the way. In our conversation with the band, we travel the transformation of their sound, touring with Black Country, New Road and the influence of spirituality. Within these pages we welcome two more debut albums. The first from London’s Whitelands. The band have been working with shoegaze label heroes Sonic Cathedral for some time now, and are about to tour with shoegaze legends, Slowdive. We chat to them about the record, ‘Night-bound Eyes Are Blind To The Day’ and the aforementioned tour.

Staying in the capital, C Turtle are venturing towards the March release of their first album. Over a year on since our last chat, we give Cole a call (in China) to talk AI, ‘Expensive Thrills’ and Flabby Toad. Stoke’s Christian Music will be a new name to most. Disinterested in ‘buzz’ and open to “play the game” with industry types, the long-time friends of fellow noise makers, UNIVERSITY are set for an exciting 2024. Eager to hear more about their latest single ‘Marimba-Tragic Death Cult’, we gave them a ring. Keeping it loud, Manchester’s Duvet have become live favourites of ours. A string of singles and a handful of shows into their careers, the band have been impressing everywhere they go. We checked in to chat about the importance of venues like YES and the variety of influences within the band - in style and sound. Rounding off our interview features are two bands separated by over 3000 miles. In Sheffield, City Parking have recently shared EP ‘It’s Mad Round Here’ and the follow up single, ‘Carl’ - both of which have been on regular rotation. Curious of the impact a city can make, and intrigued by the variety of influence on show, we spoke over email. In New York, where new alternative music is thriving, a new name is causing a stir in Voyeur. The band’s debut EP ‘Ugly’ is out now and we gave them a call to dig into their grunge influence and their fuzzy response to the club scene which surrounds them. To finish, we satisfy our obsession with London’s Ebbb, a band who are retaining as much mystery as possible at this early stage, with some words on why you should be obsessed too. ‘The Other Folk’ tells the story of the alternative folk movement that’s happening right now and who’s at the forefront. Finally we get to know the artist behind Folly Group’s debut album artwork, Elli Antoniou.

4 Lime Garden Judgement Day 9 Ebbb A Pilgrimage 11 mary in the junkyard Ghost 18 Whitelands Night-bound Eyes

39 Duvet Sweaty Dog 46 Ugly Twice Around The Sun 49 The Other Folk

24 Yard Act Who’s paying for Zoom?

53 Christian Music Hype isn’t real

28 Voyeur Ugly in an Ugly World

53 C Turtle Expensive Thrills

35 Elli Antoniou Down There!

53 City Parking It’s Mad Round Here

Having been making music together since they were only

You guys have said before that your debut record was

sixteen, the fated debut album has long felt in the near

going to be a collection of all of your work to date. How

future for Brighton quartet, Lime Garden. Now, fully tried

tricky was it streamlining everything into one body of

and tested, they make their first full offering in the form


of their debut album, ‘One More Thing’. Leila: We were constantly writing new stuff so we never Chloe Howard (vocals), Leila Deeley (lead guitar),

really had to look back and streamline. We wrote ‘I Want

Tippi Morgan (bass), and Annabel Whittle (drums) took

To Be You’ like two weeks before we were in the studio.

themselves to Bristol and teamed up with producer Ali Chant to craft a lovable snapshot of the ebbs and flows

C: We’re quite hard on ourselves with songs, we’ll sit

of young adulthood. With most of the tracks led by a first

on something for maximum a week before saying if it’s

person speaker, ‘One More Thing’ is intimate, personal,

good or bad, so we were constantly writing to get as many

and a testament to a group of friends creating together

songs as possible.

whilst in the depths of their formative years. A: We didn’t want anything we’d already released to be Amid organising release day celebrations, rehearsals,

on it either, we wanted it to be all new stuff, just to keep

and preparing for their extensive 2024 touring schedule,

people on their toes!

Chloe, Leila, Tippi and Annabel called me from Tippi’s bed to fill me in on their highly anticipated debut…

C: We started the band not really knowing who we were as artists, I feel like we‘ve discovered that through making

How are you guys?

this album, and we’ve realised that for us to get the best out of something we have to be creating all the time. It can

Annabel: Good! We’ve been rehearsing today and now

be extremely draining at times, and you might not want to

we’re in Tippi’s bed.

do it, but I think that’s how we get the best music out of ourselves - by constantly making stuff.

What have you been up to in the lead up to release? I’m sure that made it so much harder, having so much

You’re nearly there now…

material and having to decide what will fit on the Chloe: Rehearsing non-stop.


A: Writing the second album!

C: We were emotional wrecks! It was the most stressful thing we’ve ever done but all of the pressure was coming

Really! Already?

from ourselves.

A: You’ve got to start these things early.

Tippi: Everyone else was lovely about it.

Words by Amber Lashley, illustration by Mamo Kawakami


I know you’ve been playing together since you were

A: It was scary. We knew we had two weeks so we had to

teenagers, but it feels like a coming-of-age album in

get it done, and it’s our debut album, so no pressure but it

a wider way too? It merges every musical phase I

has to be amazing…

went through as a teenager with every emotion I went through as a teenager. How important was it for you to

L: It’s the longest we’d ever been in the studio too, before

capture that time?

then it had only ever been like two days, so two weeks was intense. At the beginning it felt like it would be such a

C: It just happened organically. I used to take a step back

long time but it’s really not.

with lyrics, but with this record, I treated it more like a kind of therapy. Instead of thinking of these elaborate

C: You hear about bands that spend like four months

storylines like we used to, we were focusing on our own

recording - we wish! We had to cram it into two weeks!


That made it fun though.

A: We were really influenced by what we were listening to

L: I think we would have overcooked and over-thought a

when we were younger, but then combined it with what we

lot of the stuff if we had been there longer.

listen to now. So it has a nostalgic feel but also we’re in In two weeks though…that’s basically a song a day.

our early twenties!

Had you worked with Ali before? C: Going forward we’d like to play with concepts and stuff. It’s fun to change the perspective on things, but for a

L: No, so that was another thing.

debut and at the age we’re at, I think it’s perfect to treat it like a kind of journal.

C: We were really scared because obviously we respect him and he’s really sick at his job. When we went in and

I remember hearing you play ‘Love Song’ at Green

there was a stuffed crow on the desk and I was like “Ali

Man two years ago and it was so much slower, it was

that’s cool, what’s that?”, and he was like “Oh my friend

almost a completely different song! How is it revisiting

Polly gave it to me, you know, PJ Harvey?”. I was like,

old material - pulling it apart just to put it back

“right ok!”.

together? A: He had all these records up in the studio too and I was A: Oh it is so fun.

just like “oh my god, you’ve worked on way more than I realised you had”

L: We can just cut the crap. ‘Floor’ was written about four years ago and the lyrics and genre have completely

To be fair, if PJ Harvey gave me a stuffed crow I would


have it at all times and just wait for someone to ask about it. I can imagine it was intimidating though!

C: I literally had not listened to that song in about three years. One day it was just in my head and I was like “the

C: Ali was the best, he created such a good environment

melody to that was actually really nice, we should use it”,

to have fun and make music. As women too we so often

and then we just fucked with it.

feel like we have to know everything. I get really stressed about music theory because none of us are classically

A: We sped it up loads, put some autotune on it, and I was

trained, so when you go into situations like this you worry

like “alright ok!”.

about having dialogue with someone, but Ali just got it.

It’s like remixing your own music! Did going into the studio feel different knowing you were making the debut record?


Lime Garden

We could communicate about things like arrangements

Green Door Store! I was thinking back to the first time

without it being this daunting thing.

I saw you live – nearly three years ago supporting Katy J Pearson at The Boileroom – and obviously we’ve

I have always known you guys to be high energy and

been seeing venues like Moles and Matchstick Piehouse

danceable, but you close the album on ‘Looking’ which

closing, how important were independent venues to you

is a pretty devastating song, what is it about that song

when starting? What can we do to support independent

that made it the closer?


C: We wanted to show the different sides to what we do.

L: Give them money, sign petitions, it’s just so essential to

People know that we love the dancey indie-pop songs,

keep independent and grassroots music alive.

that’s where we really thrive, but there are a lot of sides to A: We only started because someone asked us to support

us that people haven’t heard.

them at The Boileroom, we’d never played a gig before, that kind of kick started us.

L: We also wanted a hard and fast album, putting it anywhere else would’ve disrupted the flow of that, so I

L: We had our first ever headline in Brighton at The

think it’s a nice ending.

Rossi Bar and it sold out because it was 60-cap, so then It is. It’s a very soothing end. What will you guys be

we could say we’d had a sold out show, that was then a

doing to keep your brains busy on release day?

platform we could grow off of.

T: We’ve got an instore in Brighton and then we’re doing

Even aside from musicians, when I realised that I

a big album launch party. We’ve got DJs, we’ve got a

wanted to work in music, the first move I could make


toward that was to work in a venue… but anyway! Beyond the album, what are you all most looking

C: Temporary tattoos! I probably won’t sleep the night

forward to this year?

before. I used to do this thing when releasing music – I feel like I will again because it’s the first album – but it’s

A: Well we’re touring basically non-stop from February to

like I imagine that the clock will strike midnight and my

the end of Summer. I’m going to be tired. It’s the UK, all

life will change?

of Europe, Scandinavia, America, and then festivals?

L: We’ve got it down in the calendar as ‘Judgement Day’.

T: It starts in like two and a half weeks.

So no pressure at all then! Where’s the party?

C: It’s the dream, it’s the literal dream, I’m so excited.

C: In the basement of a shop, but we’ll be having another one at Green Door Store, we’re getting loose this year.






A few months ago on Halloween night, I made a

A rhythmic drumbeat signalled the beginning of a

pilgrimage to the Sebright Arms in East London to see a

momentous 25 minutes of hypnotic seance. Heavy techno

band who had increasingly become the subject of many

vibrations cut by vocals that reached the heights of an

a whispered conversation in the underground live music

ethereal cathedral choir were enveloped by a gauze of


ambient pop. It’s difficult to compute and impossible to explain, and the impact was felt in the ability to hear a pin

For months, the name Ebbb has been thrown around in

drop when a moment of silence preceded the beginning

hushed tones. On Instagram, there is nothing to explain

of the next track. A deafening roar met the end of the set

them; a blank feed brandishing only a name, a stylised,

and led to my heading to Brighton a couple of weeks later

tattooed profile picture, and close to 3,000 followers. For

to see them again, this time in support of the enigmatic

So Young’s 25th showcase, they appeared second on a

Brooklyn-based Model/Actriz. Word, it seems, had spread

lineup which included My First Time, Flip Top Head, and

to some important ears across the pond.

Folly Group. I took my place at the back of the basement and stood amongst an army of industry folk. A legion of

Their effect is felt by lay person, musician, and industry

A&Rs lay in the wings, and everyone, myself included,

type alike. Ebbb’s sound reaches across the full spectrum

waited with bated breath as a drummer, vocalist, and

of musical understanding. Their technical skill is

laptop-laden figure took their places on a dark stage.

intoxicating and apparent. Not only do the vocals carry the

What happened next, dear reader, was nothing short of

inflections of a chorister of Westminster Cathedral but the


rhythm-making is quite simply the work of a magician.


I have never seen an audience more enraptured than I

The shadowy trio are, as yet, unreachable and as

have when watching the audience at the whims of their

anonymous as one can be in a digital age. If you want to

subtle art. So naturally, to test this, I saw them yet again.

know anything about them, your best bet – apart from

My continued pilgrimage led me this time to the hallowed

reading this article, of course – is to see them for yourself.

basement of the 100 Club on Oxford Street. Stood before

They play with relative frequency, though knowing when

a stage that has seen the blues of Muddy Waters and BB

and where requires a watchful eye. Their Instagram story

King, to 60s mods The Who and The Kinks, and the sticky

occasionally lights up with the elusive information and

heels of the Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Siouxsie & The

it’s worth noting it down with pen and paper when it does.

Banshees, I felt the weight of something great afoot.

In an effort to be of use, I can tell you that in March, they are set to support a run of five shows with Folly Group as

Unsurprisingly, Ebbb left yet another crowd in a hushed

part of the latter’s UK tour. Judging by the charged energy

stupor. Drenched in a thick fog and red light, the room

that follows conversations about the fated Ebbb, it would

expanded at each echoed cry. Their atmospheric power

be wise, if you’re so inclined, to see them soon. For mark

is unparalleled and their transfixion lies in the inability

my words, they are unlikely to be playing the Windmill

to pin them down. They are the masters of musical

in Brixton – the last venue I saw them play at – for very

shapeshifting, able to straddle opposing electronic worlds

much longer.

to dizzying effects. To watch Ebbb live is to have an almost religious experience and those who have been subject to it are quickly initiated into an almost cultic veneration - let my own personal pilgrimage be a case in point. Words by Natalia Quiros Edmunds, illustration by Josh Whettingsteel


When I spoke to Mary in the Junkyard last February they

C: Yeah, the summer was good!

were a band on the brink of something greater. Frequently playing more than three shows a week at the time, it was

S: So many festivals and camping trips, cause we camped

a snatched conversation at the noisy Sebright Arms that

at every festival we went to basically

gave me a window into their building buzz. Almost a year to the day later I meet them in a Camden café, on the

How was that?

surface still the same bubbly, youthful band. Over cups of earl grey and coffee they unwind, divulging what a

C: I got so sick of it * the rest of the band laugh* it was

lifechanging series of months it has been, and what huge


shifts it has brought about. S: On the other hand, I didn’t get sick of it It was just one single that catapulted them into fame, though their immense live reputation did a sure job of

C: Most of the festivals were during the muddiest month…

sealing the deal. ‘Tuesday’ is a spellbinding exploration

I played Blue Dot with mud on my legs on stage. My

of alienation, fusing poetic, storytelling narratives with

shoes just got so muddy that I just stopped wearing shoes

swerving musical direction to firmly establish Mary in the Junkyard as one of the most entrancing acts emerging

David: You asked the audience as well, like does anyone

right now. With ‘Tuesday’ months of speculation came to

have any shoes?

a head. Suddenly Mary in the Junkyard were no longer a word-of-mouth enigma, and with that everything shifted.

C: After that show I just cried, it was just too much

As we catch up and singer Clari battles through the final

S: But it was fun and you meet people at festivals and

remnants of a nasty cold (nasal spray breaks included),

build such a community, and also you meet other bands

the band divulge tales of chaos and hope, from the hectic festival season to the tranquil experience of recording

Who did you meet?

their new EP. We are only a few weeks in, but it seems like this year is set to be even more momentous than the

S: We hung out with Butch Kassidy a lot

last. D: Yeah we got to know them well, Left of the Dial was How has the past year been? We last spoke in… I think

a good one for that, just hanging out with them, The New

February and you didn’t have any songs out * laughs *

Eves, Moreish Idles, Deadletter…

Saya: I mean we basically still only just released in

At this point the band begin to discuss how they are

October so…

portrayed in interviews. They are cautious with what they say in a manner that is new since we last spoke,

Clari: *laughs * time has been… a blur

and are worried about the way their humour and personalities have been misrepresented through quotes.

S: I think a big thing was the summer


Words by Eve Boothroyd, illustration by Eline Veldhuisen

C: We realised that a lot of the things that we say in kind

But now it feels more like I’m trying to write a Mary in

of a jokey or sarcastic way don’t look like that when they

the Junkyard song, which is really tricky because I don’t

are written... I’m still a little delirious [from being ill], I

really know what that is

haven’t spoken to anyone in a few days and I’ve just been cooped up *laughs * But it’s also really interesting to do

Do you not feel like you’re writing for yourself

an interview the second time round, where you’re not just


going to be like “how did you guys meet?” C: No, I do, it’s just I’m aware that I’m going to show it Your apprehension towards interviews now is a big

to someone… even to like Saya and David. It’s like a gift

shift in you guys and it’s interesting to notice since we

instead of keeping it for myself

last spoke With those earlier tracks did it not feel like that? S: That was probably our first interview C: Not so much really, but I think it’s made me write to C: It was definitely our first interview!

a much better quality. The stuff that we’ve been writing lately is probably the best that I have written. So it’s kind

You were really keen to talk about knitting

of good in a way

C: Oh, I made this bag! * shows a crocheted bag *

How about for the rest of you, do you feel the same?

Very nice! Do you still make all of the outfits on stage?

S: I guess there’s quite a lot of pressure on our rehearsals now than a year ago, but I guess that’s natural

C: Not all of them C: I think we just need to get back into that state of just Are you knitting in the mud at festivals?

playing around

C: Yes, it’s a very good way to calm down. I think knitting

D: I also think the next four, possibly five songs we are

is foundational for me, it’s my rock

gonna release are things we have already written and some of them even recorded. Like the stuff we are working on

Does knitting and writing music have any overlap for

now can have a long way to go. But I’m also conscious

you, in terms of emotional release?

that now we have released ‘Tuesday’, the next thing we release is going to be viewed kind of in light of that as

C: Um… I would say that knitting is a lot safer than

well and how it relates to that track. So I think the more

writing for me

we have the more kind of variety we can show, because ‘Tuesday’ and ‘Ghost’ are already quite different, so I

Has your relationship with music changed now that

think by doing that it gives us more space in terms of what

you are worrying about how you are being presented

people think of us

and being seen? S: And also when the whole EP comes out you’ve got C: Yeah, I really have been trying to get a healthier

tracks like ‘Goop’ and that’s so different from ‘Tuesday’.

relationship with music lately. Before we had released

I think once we’ve got more music out we will have a

anything it hadn’t felt like I was writing sort of into

bigger foundation

people’s ears, it was like I was writing for myself, just to get an emotion out or to experiment with something.

Do you feel like you’re being defined by material that you don’t really relate to anymore?


mary in the junkyard

C: I think I relate to it

S: Oh!

D: I really like it. We’re just very used to it, I guess

C: That was such a great show

C: I love it, it’s like an old baby. It’s grown up, it’s not

S: That was such a great point in our lives

like the fresh… *laughs * C: It was so good doing so many shows because we Is your new material very different?

are all so broke and practising is expensive. So doing loads of shows is a really good way to keep playing, but

D: Everything grows out of the same place

hopefully that will be different once we get a practising space… I really want to get an accordion, or a keyboard

C: I mean it’s all been in the space of like a year so it’s not

or something. I really want to explore what we can do as a

super old… you’ve still got to take care of your one year

trio, because right now it’s quite classic

old, you know, feed it *laughs * Don’t you build your own instruments Saya? Yeah, you can’t neglect it! S: I do yeah but we haven’t integrated those into the D: The practise we did a couple of weeks ago, a couple of

sets yet because they’re a bit more abstract so it’s more

those tracks we’re very different


C: Yeah, we wrote a real country stompy one

D: For shows like Corsica where we can really prepare I think that would be cool

D: And then a grunge thing… that was cool So we should probably talk about Tuesday How has it been stepping away from the live stuff, because last time we spoke you were playing multiple

S: It’s a Tuesday today!

gigs per week Happy Tuesday! How do you feel about the reception? S: Oh I miss it so much, it was such a period of our lives. Last year was such a beautiful year, I loved it so much.

S: It was so thrilling because for me it was the first time

Playing two or three times a week, doing the London

going through this process. It was really nice because

circuit, all the people, all the energy between us… it was

apart from the people who were at the shows nobody

so fun and so sacred

really knew the songs, except for people who had maybe watched youtube sets. Like my friends would just be

D: We have this London headline in March, which is the

singing the chorus, friends who had never seen us live,

biggest show we’ve ever done. But we’ve managed to

and it was just so sweet

do… we did the Palestine fundraiser show at the windmill, we’re doing Independent Venue Week there in a couple of

Did it change your relationship with the song at all,

weeks, we’ve done a few weird secret shows and shows

having people know it?

outside of London D: I think so I think last time we spoke you’d just played a show where like six people turned up because it was the middle of a storm *the band all laugh*



C: It feels different to play something that people have

But when we recorded the EP we would have these

heard in a different way. I sometimes feel like I’m trying

debriefs at the end of the day and just be like “that was the

to hide when I play it, like I want to hide behind it

best day”. I think how I thought recording would be was completely wrong, I thought it would be really negative

Like you want to get it over and done with, or you feel

but actually it was really positive and I’m excited to

overwhelmed by it?

record new stuff

C: I don’t know, I just want to hide and be replaced by the

Why do you think it was so different?

Spotify version D: I think it felt like we had more time, and it was a lovely D: I sort of feel like it’s a nice safe spot. Even if we’ve

place to record

had a messy or technically challenged show, I know we can play Tuesday and people know it so it feels like a safe

C: It was so nurturing, it was so well being focused. I


learned so much from those few days. We ate really well and we finished and started at solid times so we didn’t

S: Although in Brighton there was a really stressful

overwork ourselves

moment in the intro where Clari is playing the guitar and singing and my bass wasn’t making any sound. So I had

Where was the studio?

all of the intro and then about two seconds before the bass drops I managed to make it work, so that was really

C: It was in West London, it was at Copper House. I


don’t think it has been used the way that we have used it before, because we used the kitchen as a live room.

C: * laughs * I think we should always do something a bit

The kitchen has a really weird shape, it has slanted walls

risky before that drop . We could put you in a box and you

with windows on the ceiling. We recorded the bulk of it

have to escape in time or something

in that room and did everything together, except from the vocals. We were like lets add some percussion or lets add

You could hire someone to go on tour with you and just

some screams and we would just run around this room

try to sabotage the set

screaming *laughs *

D: Some kind of trickster that is on stage just unplugging

D: There’s some crazy scream layers on almost every track

things S: Upstairs there was this interesting instrument, a very S: It did make the drop feel a lot more meaningful

strange instrument with all these tentacles and like rattling springs and we would just do takes where we were all

Before you were pretty apprehensive about how you

just kneeling around it and playing with it. And so those

were going to translate your live sets to recordings, so

textures are weaved in

it’s interesting to hear you trying to live up to records You sound like kids in a playground C: It’s kind of like you’re trying to do a magic trick but everybody knows how it works

C: *laughs * yeah it was definitely like that

S: Before we didn’t really have much studio experience,

S: It was just really nourishing, it was kind of a spiritual

but now we’ve done the EP. And that was such a great


studio experience, last time all our experience of recording demos was really stressful.


C: Yeah it was really spiritual!

mary in the junkyard

How did it feel to leave? C: It was so sad, and it has a steam room as well so we were like tenderstem broccoli by the end D: It was definitely the best I’ve felt healthwise in a long time C: Yeah, we weren’t even smoking. Apart from the last day we watched Wings of Desire which is an old German film and we were all sat smoking cigarettes inside S: We went there in the morning and Richard was like “you know what, I think the record is probably complete, let’s go for a drive and listen to it for the first time.” So we went for a driving around West London and he timed it perfectly so we listened to the whole EP. We got back and were like “you know what I think it’s done, let’s go watch a film” D: We were all upstairs and our managers and all the people from the label were downstairs because I think they thought we were still working * laughing* S: We were all just cuddled up on the sofa C: It was really nice D: It was the last thing we did before anyone else heard it I guess there are parallels between your songwriting and that, like your tracks are very narrative heavy and observant of people. From what you’re describing the film as it sounds very similar D: Yeah, ‘Ghost’ has these swirling screams at the end that is kind of like that S: We basically, just before you got here, well I have to send the text but we are about to sign off on the master. I could do that now actually… C: Sign it off babe! *Saya sends off the text *



Ahead of the release of their debut album, Whitelands

V: Yeah, there definitely is a bit more tour preparation

are anticipating the challenges of opening for shoegaze

and what can we do better live. This is two weeks of huge

legends, Slowdive, and releasing a personal body of work

venues, different PA systems, getting into that rhythm

with the world. The four-piece’s upcoming release, ‘Night-

and routine of setting up, soundcheck, doing that nearly

bound Eyes Are Blind To The Day’, is an exploration

every night for two weeks. We can only anticipate what

of retrospection that’s highly anticipated by a growing

it’s going to be like but I know from playing one of those

following, and the loyal fans of cult shoegaze label, Sonic

kinds of stages with another band called Big Joanie – it’s

Cathedral. Etienne, Jagun, Michael and Vanessa shared

nerve-wracking. I think as a band we have to support each

their thoughts on ‘Night-bound Eyes…’, touring, and the

other in that.

nature of being entertainers. Jagun: Personally I’ve been shaking with excitement, and This is your debut as a full band – how did you become

I don’t think it’s going to hit until the first night. This

a four-piece?

is the first time we’re handling something this big and obviously these kinds of things are somewhere we’ve

Etienne: It was individual recruitment over a period of

always wanted to go, so it’s like cool, we’re here now -

time, so Jagun first from a mutual friend, I just popped up

can we handle this?

to him like, ‘we should make some songs together’. How does it feel to use shoegaze as a genre to express Vanessa: It was meant to be a short term thing - I’d seen


Jagun and Etienne as a two-piece about two or three times over a summer. I think the second time I saw them I was

M: In some of the songs we have it does feel like that wall

like “Hi, do you need a bassist?”.

of sound, super hazy and distorted and massive – I think those parts are super fun to play. It feels like you’re kind

E: Michael was performing in another band…

of diving through soundwaves, it’s hard to express but it feels really cool. I think with the way a lot of the songs are

Michael: It wasn’t really working out that well and at the

written with the chords acting as a pad it kind of comes

same time you guys were looking for a lead guitarist.

across this sustained drone, and you have leads glistening on top - it evokes a response that’s intangible.

You’re about to go on tour with a huge shoegaze band in Slowdive. How does that feel?

You recently released a new single, ‘Tell Me About It’, with Dottie from Deary. How did that collaboration

M: The venues are massive, so I feel like it’s definitely

come together?

going to be a new experience playing to that capacity of people. Shoegaze is a very noisy genre, so it would be

E: I think I was watching one of the Wong Kar-wai films,

really cool to hear the sounds in the venue – that’s going

Fallen Angels, and I got some inspiration from there.

to be interesting.

Whilst I was recording and writing the lyrics I felt like I needed a counter to my vocals. At first I thought because

E: One big thing we’ve had to do is revamp our equipment

we’re in touch with Rachel Goswell from Slowdive - I can

and how we perform songs very quickly. Before with

be really cheeky and ask Rachel for it - but she couldn’t

smaller venues we could get away with not practising too

do it. Then the band were all thinking about who else

much, but now we need to be locked in and work on our

could do it, and we’re like Dottie from Deary - she’d be

sound to make it translate and fit well as a band.

really amazing on this.

Words by Mia Lambdin, illustration by Chi Park


M: I think the vocals are so good on that track, how they

J: In every entertainment industry, where our job is to be

play off each other and the chords. I think having that

consumed by other people, people forget we are people.

voice on there just really lifts up the atmosphere.

Obviously we’re musicians, but we’re people first, we feel a way about certain things and I think at this current time

J: Funnily enough, when Etienne said ‘I want to get a

there’s a lot to feel. We make music to express ourselves

female vocalist on this’ - Dottie instantly came to my

and what else is there to express ourselves right now?

head. Obviously because of the similar type of sound, but her voice is so distinct but has this ability to make you

You’ve said the album title, taken from a quote in

feel something, it’s genuinely hypnotising.

‘The Prophet’, summarised the themes of the album – personal emotion and intimacy. Were these active

Could you tell me the story behind one of your new

choices you made during the creation of the album, or

songs, ‘Chosen Light’, and what that means to you?

did those recurring themes appear naturally?

E: That one is kind of like the struggles of being the

E: I think the songs have to serve themselves, coming

ADHD kid, growing up neurodivergent in a very

from personal experiences. It’s a lot of stuff written about

neurotypical society. I think a lot of people with ADHD

the past and seeing things in a new perspective or new

that I’ve talked to – I always talk about the beginning

light. So I think with the title ‘Night-bound Eyes…’, it’s

of their life, finding things very easy academically, then

kind of like opening yourself up to be able to see these

at some point they stop being able to handle anything.

new things and experiences. So I think it’s being able to

Compliments of being a very fast learner - it all goes out

think outside of yourself, see yourself from a different

the window, and now they’re having to play catch up

perspective - being unbound to the night.

for the rest of their lives. I have a song about just how difficult it is, emotionally.

J: Yeah, I think we are trying to send a message with that title, ‘Night-bound Eyes Are Blind To The Day’,

V: That’s the other thing, I think we all came together

essentially the more you guys keep closing your eyes, the

without knowing at the time that we were all ADHD,

less you’re going to see.

so we were all on the same frequency - we all kind of gravitated together over time. We kind of realised we’re

What do you hope listeners take away from the new

all POC who in school no one would ever say ‘oh we think


they’re neurodiverse’, it was just ‘oh, they’re lazy, they daydream’ - so we just bonded.

M: With this release a bigger audience is going to be listening to our music, so just for people to feel something

There are political and social themes in some of your

whether it’s good or even bad – as long as people feel

songs, like in the new tracks ‘Now Here’s the Weather’

something and connect feelings within themselves I think

and ‘Setting Sun’ – why was it important to you to

that’s mission accomplished. Some might love it, some

delve into these issues in your songwriting?

might hate it, but that’s just the nature of things to be consumed.

E: I guess because a lot of people when a celebrity is like ‘hey, this social issue bothers me’ - there’s someone

J: I think for the most part people are going to enjoy

in the comment section like ‘why don’t you just do your

it. For one, we’ve played all the songs live before, and

job and be an entertainer’. I think a lot of people forget

people seemed to really love our music when we play it

that outside of being entertainers, they’re also people in

live - so now they get it in album form. One thing about it

society. I think it’s that big expectation from people where

is it’s highly anticipated, some people have been waiting

they expect entertainers to just be entertainers. I think

for this album for over a year and once it’s out they’re

being working class and as a person of colour in London,

going to go crazy. I can’t wait to see how things progress

being Black, those social issues don’t avoid you – no

after that, really.

matter what, they’ll affect you in some way. 19


In their third conversation with us over the last few years,

J: Even Universal aren’t forking out for it. You go on a

the Yard Act universe has clearly changed dramatically.

meeting with Island, and everyone leaves after 40 minutes.

Starting out as modest heroines for the Northern working

It’s ridiculous! Universal are one of the biggest global

class, James Smith and Ryan Needham approach their

corporations in the world and they still won’t pay for

second record ‘Where’s My Utopia?’ from a position of

zoom. Like, who’s paying for zoom?!

modern music industry mastery. But what does success within this context really feel like?

I wonder how they make money without advertising…

Whilst many might expect to be greeted by two pairs of

J: They’re just selling facial recognition data. They’ve

dark Elvis Costello style shades, and surly, unresponsive

got all our movements now. All countries have equal

faces of newly ornated celebrities, James and Ryan are

dirt on each other, and right now they have me pouring a

quite the opposite. Cat on each of their laps, and genuinely


curious about how I was, these are clearly stars who have left the pandora’s box of stardom unopened.

R: James, this filter makes you look like your two-yearold son.

With an approaching sophomore which will become even more iconic than ‘The Overload’, Yard Act set

J: Yeah, well I put the filter on so zoom couldn’t see the

their polemic on the absurdity of the music industry and

communist propaganda posters all over my walls. I do it

contemporary culture more broadly, whilst looking back to

so America will still give me a visa!

childhood reminds them of the beauty of nostalgia and the You guys have toured a lot in the US, right? A friend

importance of storytelling.

who saw you at SXSW in 2022 said you asked the Before that, we started our conversation a little later than

crowd for money James, then disappeared to give it to

suspected, and we began by highlighting the caveats with

the bar staff as a tip.

zoom and its restrictive time allocations… J: Yeah, I always gave tips to the bar staff. Although on Guys I think we only have around half an hour as

stage I told the crowd I’d pocketed it. We’ve been hitting

that’s all I’m allocated!

America quite regularly. Not doing mega long tours, cos I’ve got a kid back home.

James: How much does zoom cost? R: The visas last a couple years so it’s worth making the Ryan: Too much for the Daily Star apparently…

most of it. On the last tour we went a bit more off grid, playing Memphis. Nashville and New Orleans.

Words by Leo Lawton, illustration by Gabriel Hollington


What was the most unexpectedly cool place you visited

R: That first album and first set of interviews was the

in the US?

palatable version of James and this is like when you get to know someone better and realise “ah well he’s actually a

J: New Orleans is just one of the most brilliant, unique

bit of a cunt”.

places I’ve ever been. It’s just a tiny pocket with a melting pot of culture which is defiant to the general

J: It’s probably that! People are probably annoyed now

homogenisation throughout the rest of the United States. It

when they hear ‘We Make Hits’ as that’s not what they

felt completely different to the rest of America.

were sold, but that’s their problem, not mine! There’s just a lot more of me on this record; writing about the last two

Let’s talk about your second album ‘Where’s My

years which has mainly been touring, which you wouldn’t

Utopia?’ How do you guys feel about trying to explain

think was interesting to anyone else. But, like ‘The

your music and dealing with the press spiel in general?

Overload’ wasn’t just about how bad capitalism was (it was about human nature), I’m hoping that people see some

J: That’s a good question. You’re the first person to ask

human nature in this.

me that and I’m grateful you have. I tend to feel like I’ve given too much away in interviews, or that I’ve been too

‘The Overload’ felt like such a specific window into

generous. I want our music to be interpreted differently,

your lives in Yorkshire whilst this album is much more

I want ambiguity in there. So now I’ve started giving

difficult to pin down geographically. Maybe that’s

different answers to everyone! I know how important

because since album one you’ve been travelling so

press is, but at the same time, an album doesn’t require so


many explanations. J: Yeah absolutely. Seeing the world highlighted how R: I think I’ve been enjoying it more than you James

small ours was. It would’ve been weird to emulate that

as I’ve been wanting to know what the hell this album’s

record when we hadn’t been in Leeds for two years.

about. We were going to have a quiet year last year to

It would’ve been disingenuous to try and replicate the

learn how to tour the record, but we ended up going to

formula. When you see people from different places, and

New Orleans, Japan, Mexico. It’s only now with tons of

this is going to sound cheesy as fuck, you definitely see

interviews and rehearsals that I’m beginning to understand

what unites people a lot more than what divides them.

the record a lot more.

Hopefully this album taps into human nature rather than surface level division, which I think ‘The Overload’ did.

James, you once said in an interview that people’s impressions of you will be irrelevant by the time album

‘Where’s My Utopia?’ is definitely not a post-punk

two comes out. I think you’ve fulfilled that in the sense

record. You’ve said previously that post-punk was an

that this album is very different to ‘The Overload’.

“affordable” style to adopt when you consider the costs of moving touring equipment etc on a low budget. Does

J: Well, yeah, I mean it is. After the first album came

this change in style mean that you have all now become

out and all the interviews were done, people had their


impressions of me which I couldn’t change. People had us in a box. You know in time you’re going to change

J: Has that gone in the press release?! Someone else

people’s perspectives of you simply by existing longer and

mentioned that! Well, that’s gonna annoy people! I’m not

revealing more of your character. This album is a lot more

going to do a record complaining about having no money

of me. The first one was also me, but it just used other

now. We’re a 7-piece band now. Maybe not in Australia.

people as a filter. It was a criticism of me for being a part

We might still be poor there… We had the budget this

of the modern world and for doing all the things I swore

time. You always just make art within your limitations.

I’d never do like sell out to make money.

I’ve always had ideas in my head where I could hear a string section and now, I can put those in.


Yard Act

R: Personal wealth, not so much. Our money goes into an account, and you can only use it to make music. You can’t say “ah can I just have a little?”. So, spending it on Gospel choirs seemed like the best option if we can’t spend it on new trainers. I wonder how much the pot depleted after you used all those samples on the album? J: Initially our record company said, “don’t worry it’s fine, do what you want, and we’ll clear it” and then they realised it was going to cost around £200k! The sampling got a bit out of control didn’t it Ryan. Once we realised how much it was going to cost to clear them all we started re-creating them with voice actors. Sampling is homage, and copyright laws are destroying that. The samples were a tribute to a culture we love. R: Audibly, I think the sporadic samples cutting in and out of the songs also represents the last few years quite well. It’s been erratic. At one moment it was misery and the next we’re pratting around on a boat with Fontaines D.C. There are a few songs on the record which are like Mortimerian tales of childhood which stand opposed to other tracks which deal more with this idea of false authenticity. Are you starting to feel more nostalgic about your upbringings in Yorkshire? J: Mortimerian! I absolutely love that! You mean like Bob Mortimer, right? Wow. Having a son has really made me reflect on my childhood. You project a lot onto your children especially when they’re these fresh innocent creatures. It got me thinking about my own journey from nothing. But the problem is that each time we try and remember we get further from the truth, all the details change. This idea of truth and authenticity in songwriting is nonsense. It’s about telling a story to make sense of something bigger. Ultimately, it’s not about what happened but about what you took from hearing it. We tell stories to understand ourselves.



Citing inspirations from a long list of New York bands

A lot of grunge bands historically have used location

before them, Voyeur are bringing back gloomy grunge

and surroundings to inspire them thematically and

with their Debut EP ‘Ugly’ and they’re doing it in a

lyrically, do you get this feeling from NYC?

grouchy fashion. Lead singer Jacob Lazovick brings a vocal grit which sits comfortably atop of passionately

Joe: Lyrically and sonically, the grittiness of New

dirty instrumentation full of fuzz guitars, anchoring bass

York plays to the sound of Grunge well in a way that’s

and killer drumming. Their lyrics are sourced directly

interesting. A first wave grunge was kind of everyone

from Lasovick’s brain unfiltered and completely honest,

hanging out in basements but here it’s like subway tunnels

it’s most prominent on the title track ‘Ugly’ and the

and shit. But we definitely came together through the city.

fantastic single ‘Daffodils’. The EP covers themes of second guessing, self image and general human existence.

Jake: We see ourselves in the lineage of a long list of

To get to the bottom of what makes a good grunge band I

bands that have come before us from Bob Dylan, Sonic

caught up with Jake, Joe and Charlene.

Youth and recently Parquet Courts and we want to continue that high quality sound of the city

What brought you guys to the genre of grunge? Parquet Courts are fantastic I saw them at Green Man Jake: Me and Joe started talking about a band when we

a few years ago

first met two years ago and we were aligned in starting a Jake: They were coming up in a time where the wasn’t as

grunge band.

much appetite for the “New York Cool” but when I listen Joe: I was a big fan of Jakes band sitcom and when he

to them they remind me greatly of Sonic Youth and other

started talking about forming a new project I was pretty on

historical NY bands.

board with it. How would you say you guys fit into the New York Jake: I’d say Grunge is a nice label for this genre blend

music scene?

of emo, punk and even Neil Young style folk with an Joe: A lot of our friends are doing club oriented stuff so I

emotional focus.

personally was pretty excited to start a rock band There’s definitely a noticeable blend of genres in the EP…

Jake: There’s a lot of No-Wave bands coming out of the city, when we started there was a lot of hype around Indie

Joe: I saw this grunge documentary where this sound guy

Sleaze and we were kind of distancing ourselves from

described genre as “bashing it out” which I think best

that. The band is definitely a reaction to the party culture

describes what Jake was going for.

of New York and not really being interested in it.

Words by Peter Martin, illustration by Vanessa Branchi


Why have you chosen to release the EP now?

Joe: I love that shit personally but our aim sonically was to go for something darker than the glamour

Joe: We kinda just wanted to release the EP as soon as we Jake: New York has a contrast of some of the wealthiest

could, also we’re playing SXSW and it made sense to have

people in the world and respectively some of the most

a body of work out before that.

impoverished and so there’s this constant pendulum of the highest glamour and the dirtiest grit.

Jake: We’ve been scheming this for a while, before settling into this lineup there’s been different iterations of

Joe: And everyone takes the subway so it all comes

this lineup so getting one song out took a while and meant

together and I’d like to think our sound plays off of that in

a whole lot. Now we have this EP out I think we’re ready

a pretty cool way.

to go and make the next one.

What would you say your biggest inspirations are

Any Plans to celebrate the release?

vocally? Joe: We have a show at Baby’s All Right which is a staple Jake: I’d say I generally use my normal voice, I’m not

venue in NY. Should be nice will have a lot of homies

a very good singer but my favourite singers aren’t good

down for it.

singers either. Voyeur is the first band i’ve been in where I can lean into what I’m actually able to do and if a song

How do you feel your studio work is translated into live

doesn’t suit my voice then we don’t play it


Surely that brings you more comfort in your art?

Charlene: I think there’s a rawness that comes through when we perform live that you can’t get from the

Jake: Yeah for sure. For a long time in past projects I felt

recordings. We recorded these songs some time ago and

I had to push myself so hard vocally to the point where all

in that time we’ve become more cohesive and have more

my focus would be on that and now I can lose myself in

chemistry as a band. We’re definitely a live band forsure.

stage presence. Jake: Respectively this EP is all live recordings and are What was the goal thematically for the EP?

literally just us playing in a room together.

Jake: “Ugly in an Ugly World” is a pretty good thesis

Joe: It was fun. We were in this studio in Philly ran by

statement for the whole EP. It’s an articulation of my

Alex G’s drummer and my boy Keiran from Joy Again and

string of consciousness. I think when writing the project I

we were set up in this big ass room just ripping for 3 days

was pouring all of my emotions out and the project is sort


of those emotions pieced together through song and the title track represents this the most.

Jake: I want the next EP or body of music to be even more live, pretty much copied and pasted from live recordings.

Was the EP always built around ‘Ugly’? Jake: It was actually the last track written for the EP. We recorded 8 songs which we then voted down to what fit best and we all came to the conclusion there was something missing, ‘Ugly’ ended up being the final missing piece.



What’s been your favourite live performance you’ve done? Joe: We opened They’re Gutting a Body of Water’s christmas show and they’re one of my favourite live bands, getting to play and then see them live meant a tonne to me. Also this show which was in this six million dollar mansion in Bed-Stuy which also does shows, we played a set with Pretty Sick. C: Our performance as a band felt super special and the reception from the audience was amazing. Everyone was dancing. Where do you wanna take the live performances going forward? Let’s imagine you have an infinite budget, what would the ultimate Voyeur performance look like? Joe: Europe first of all, and maybe a giant amp on stage. Jake: I can back that, Neil Young did a tour where he had a giant amp, maybe we’d get a magician to perform while we tune. Mostly I’d want practical stuff like a sound engineer for every show and a nice hotel to stay in every night. Any closing comments? C: Got any poetry for us Jake? Jake: Nah.



Elli Antoniou was born in the U.K. and grew up in Athens.

For my RCA2020 Degree Show I created a downloadable

Arriving in London at the age of 18 she studied Fine Art

computer game. Considering the already saturated screen-

& History of Art (2014-2017) at Goldsmiths and continued

based experience of the COVID period, making this game

with an MA in Sculpture at the RCA (2018-2020), with

pushed me over the edge. Even though I really enjoyed

a scholarship from the NEON Organisation for Culture

working in the virtual realm, I needed an antidote process

and Development. Elli has exhibited in Greece, France,

away from the screen. For my solo show Overlapping

Germany, Switzerland and the U.K.

moments of a slightly present (2022), I printed on aluminium images from the landscape of the game. So the

In 2021, she had her first solo show: Overlapping

antidote process began as a way to simulate those metallic

moments of a slightly present, at Saigon, Athens and was

prints without digital means of production.

awarded the ARTWORKS Fellowship by Stavros Niarchos

I started exploring working with mild steel and corrosive

Foundation, Greece. Last year, Elli participated at the

chemicals to alter the colour of the metallic surface and

Palazzo Monti residency programme, in Brescia, Italy and

then grind off parts to reveal speculative scenes. Going

at the Roman Road studios programme, London, U.K..

to Italy for my residency last year, I could not take the

The most recent exhibition of her work was at ‘things

chemicals with me and so I decided to try working with

fall apart; the centre cannot hold’ (2023-24), Tabula Rasa

stainless steel. I cannot look back after this moment;

Gallery, London.

stainless steel has become my go-to material. It is durable and can polish to extremely high levels of gloss. At the

We had the pleasure of working with Elli last year on

same time, it is an infrastructural material you can notice

Folly Group’s creative campaign. Her incredible work

everywhere in the city, something which I find very

has been a key part of Folly Group’s aesthetic and her


contributions included animation, metalwork and 3D design. We thought we’d dig a little deeper and get to

How have your experiences of London and Athens

know Elli’s process and work a little more.

shaped you as an artist?

What are you currently working on?

Living in London has two strands for me, there is the living in London and there is the living away from Athens.

I am currently working on two duo shows coming up in

The second strand laid the ground for my perception of

March and April. The first show is with Sophie Mei Birkin

space and time; my research on the acceleration of our

at The Split Gallery, London and the second with Sofia

contemporary life and the collapse of cartesian space

Clausse at Night Cafe Gallery, London.

through technology. Always being in-between placesvirtually attaining to exist in two places at the time;

When did you start to gravitate towards metalwork?

experiencing half of that life via simulation, really shaped

What drew you to this process in particular?

my approach to reality. At the same time, London is an overwhelmingly fast city, which can become alienating

I have always been drawn to metalwork, even from my

if you are new. The benefit is you can easily become an

first year in Goldsmiths, I was creating structures for

observer. And so in my first years here, I felt l was living

video projections or performances.

in the future, which triggered my enthusiasm for sci-fi and the fictioning underlying my practice.


Opposite, SenseOfRelief, 2023. Digital Image, 3000 x 3840 px.

What is your studio routine? What is your creative process like? I enjoy drawing as a way of studying references for forms and compositions that inspire me. I have a growing pile of reference images, from which I draw my selection as if playing yu -gi -oh!, to form the essence of the next work. The use of the same pool of references with different combinations allows for my speculative drawings to exist in the same world, as they share symbols and forms. I draw inspiration from a range of image sources; from dynamic compositions in anime stills and Italian Baroque paintings, to trompe l’oeil details in frescoes, screenshots from figure skating, magnetic fields and star formation visualisations, amongst others. The images for my compositions are related by visual patterns in an almost algorithmic manner. They relate by patterns of rotating or curving movement and a

Folly Group, ‘Down There!’ Album Cover

certain metamorphosis or transformation. I work on compositional drawings, which I compare to floor plans of a choreography. I often think of them as looking down on the stage or being the result of a figure skating performance. I number the layers in those drawings to mark the succession of my movements in order to achieve the sense of depth I want. It is very much a map of how I am supposed to move while making the piece; which direction and in which order. Something that is not so evident in the finalised piece is the bodily demanding aspect of my process and its performativity. Due to the high speed of the grinder, every touch on the metal leaves a clear mark and so for the composition to flow, I need to have an initial rough plan of a choreography, on which I will improvise responding to the collaboration with the grinder. I cannot undo actions and going over areas can be unforgiving. Therefore, the

Folly Group, ‘Down There!’ Album Cover, Blood Records Version

compositional drawings are very important, but also my attention and responsiveness in the movement of the making.


Opposite, Installation view, _overlapping moments of a slightly present, 2021, Saigon, Athens, Greece. Image courtesy of the artist.

The grinding process is allocating rougher or shinier parts

The elements of the elevation colour ramp and map scale,

to the surface of the metal correlating to highlights and

on the top right and bottom left of the cover, play along

shadows to create this 3D-like effect; a grisaille of sorts.

with the scientific cave survey aesthetics. Collaborations

I enjoy doing the grinding at night, as this allows me to

can be very tricky, but in this case it was a pleasure to

listen to music loudly in the studio and dance freely. This

work with Folly Group. I was intrigued by their idea and

allows my body to loosen up and bring a fluidity to my

enjoyed the freedom of exploring and combining different


processes to attain our common goal.

You’ve combined your 3D Modelling and metal work in

How do you want people to feel when they see your

a brilliant piece for Folly Group’s debut album, ‘Down


There!’ can you tell us a little bit about the creative process behind that and what it was like collaborating

I don’t have a specific want for this, I would like them to

with the band.

feel free to feel as they want. Maybe what is important to me, for the metallic works

The collaboration with Folly Group was pretty dreamy.

specifically, is if I can offer a moment of stasis; a rare

The group had a very clear vision of the aesthetics and

sense of esoteric equilibrium to the viewer.

elements they wanted to include, while also having full trust in me. They approached me referring to

Does music influence your work at all?

SenseOfRelief, 2023, for its organic relief-like texture. The piece was a ‘digital avatar’ of a metallic work, a

Absolutely; I cannot make my work without music. In the

process which combines photography, image processing

studio, I listen to Electronic -mainly Techno- and Classical

and CGI. This was to be the direction for the background

music. It is important to listen to music without lyrics,

of the cover. I created a metal work, photographed it and

so I don’t get sidetracked, even subconsciously, with

processed it digitally to get this liquid-like, glossy rock

interpreting the words.

effect. I then went on to create the cave scan simulation, a process used for underground topography during cave

Who’s your favourite new band/musician?

surveys. This was a concept that Folly Group introduced me to. The fictional cave was to connect locations on

Folly Group!

the London map, which had been important to the group during the making of the album. Using the coordinates of

Finally, what can we expect to see from you in the near

the locations, I formed the path and then transferred this


into Blender, a 3D computer graphics software, where I shaped it into a 3-dimensional structure with material

I have my solo exhibition coming up on the 30th of May,

attributes and the appropriate lighting.

at Cob Gallery in London. Come through!

Warm and snug come to mind when you think about

Are you all on Dry Jan this year?

your duvet, however, this Mancunian outfit invites Riot Grrrl themes and a certain ferocity to your slumber.

G: Yeah, but mine ended after five days. I work in a pub

From meeting in lockdown and forming in June 2020,

so when I actually went into work, I couldn’t not drink.

the five-piece have quickly shone during regular gigs across Manchester - and despite the name, they’re far

S: Is that what this interview is gonna be about, our

from a cover band. Their astute humour, wild on-stage

drinking habits? I went to a Skream DJ set so I failed after

performances, and sheer confidence to get up in your face

that night.

match seamlessly with the frustrated vocal delivery of If it makes you feel better, I failed on the first day, and

Grace Walkden.

ended up scrambling around a Travelodge, a humbling 2023 saw three single releases for Duvet, ‘Rodeo’, an

moment for me this year already.

angsty crowd favourite, ‘Girlcow’, a depiction of a fictional story where a very ropey cowboy tries to pursue

S: There’s a Travelodge in Manchester where each floor

a playboy bunny, and ‘Sweaty Dog’, a realistic recount

has the name of a Take That member on it. It’s really

of chasing the night and not knowing when to go home.

weird. If you got lost in there, you’d have to call your

All three share metallic, snarling guitar provided by

mates and say, “I’m on the Gary Barlow floor.”

Tamsin Stephens and Seth Lloyd, bass notes that are enough to move your insides from Jimmi Brown, and the

T: Who’s the little one in Take That? I really don’t like

frantic drum smashing of Victoria Melling. The perfect

him; he freaks me out. Rob was the favourite but then he

composition for navigating your twenties.


How has January been for Duvet so far, are you doing

G: Yeah, Robbie Williams for me.

well? It seems like you’re all on the same wavelength with Seth: Yeah! So we had our first gig back in ages at YES

that one, how did you guys meet?

the other day, that was sick. My hands were just really tired after it, I’ve not had to put them through that much

G: I started on my own in lockdown, trying to keep myself

work in a while.

busy, but then I got Tamsin involved and a few months later we started just collecting from everywhere.

Tamsin: We actually ended up doing a prayer beforehand, it was Vicky’s idea. We all had to stand in a circle, holding

S: It’s a weird one because when the band started,


technically, no one was friends with anyone. We didn’t really know each other at all.

Grace: It was your typical Lord’s Prayer. How did you find each other then? Victoria: Yeah, it was pretty busy out there and I’m doing Dry Jan so I needed something to help calm the nerves,

G: I think it was at the Neighbourhood Festival in

and that was the trick. I actually feel worse for not

Warrington. We had a bit of a revolving door for a while,


there were some other members at one point, but they’ve gone now. This is it, the final Duvet, survival of the best people.


Words by Alicia Tomkinson, illustration by REN

V: We just kept falling out, but we’ve got around it now.

S: To be honest, it’s probably the same as the style. The

All locked in.

thing about our band is that none of us listen to the same music. We have our collective kind of “yeses”, like maybe

S: Yeah, and then I came along to fit the image they

a shared love of Viagra Boys, Cabbage, and I think a few

needed. The token straight white male of the band. I love

of us are getting into King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.

that though, that’s fine, but serious answer when we had other members we were more of a dream-pop-sounding

V: I’m more into metal stuff, but then again, I’ll listen to a

band that I don’t think we ever wanted to be. Now, people

lot of drum-strong tunes like techno and house.

are saying it’s more post-punk. S: We all went and saw Skream the DJ the other day, I T: When me and Grace were practising, at that moment in

think I mentioned this before, but we’ve sort of accepted

lockdown where you weren’t really allowed to leave the

that slogan of “screaming music”, as I’m sure you can tell.

house, it was still dream-pop, and we just really didn’t like

It’s just really fun.

it. The people in the band at the time wanted us to sound like Teen Suicide, it was just so depressing. Even though

T: I watch videos of Viagra Boys and think to myself, how

I’d listen to that music in my own time, actually being in

they make the crowd feel is how I want to make a crowd

a room making it didn’t suit us, and it didn’t suit Grace’s

feel, so it is more than just a sound thing. I guess we adopt

personality either.

that style of music because that’s what gets these people going, but it always ends up sounding differently than

Speaking of personality, do you think it comes across in

what we set out to do.

your band image, is there a uniform for Duvet? In Manchester’s music scene at the minute, how does Duvet fit into that?

G: I think we do, and we don’t. We almost look like we shouldn’t be in a band together because it’s such a mismatched style, but I guess that’s just Duvet. We try our

S: Manchester has this beauty at the minute where

luck with what we can get away with on stage, and we are

everyone is sounding so unique.

just all completely opposite. T: No one is making the same music, to me, but there’s S: Yeah, if you’ve seen photos of us live before, in terms

a shared community feel where just everyone helps

of fashion, you can probably see that it’s not our strong


suit. S: We could make an entire list, couldn’t we? Pyncher, V: Half the times we’ve done a gig, I’m heading there

they’re very surf rock, Slap Rash are this electronic duo,

straight from work, so I’m popped behind the drums in

and Deaf Deaf Deaf who are just very very dark. Crazily,

suit pants.

there is just room for every genre.

S: We had the cowboy hats going for us for a bit.

I’ve seen that you’ve played YES a few times now, would you say that’s become your stomping ground?

T: I have my sunglasses to kill two birds with one stone, it’s always so dark and with them on I just can’t see

G: Yeah, it would seem that way, our next gig is there as

anyone. Helps the nerves. I’m aware that I probably look


like an arsehole, but that’s fine. S: It’s a nice venue so we don’t mind. Similarly then, are there any other bands or artists that have inspired this or your sound?



T: I think the first time we played at YES, was when we realised what it was like to get your music mixed properly. Castle is another good one though, where Grace works, we’re playing there in April, but there are still a lot of places we’re keen to play that we haven’t. Do you have that one fan who will be at every gig without fail? G: Well, there was this one guy, he’s not been at every single gig, but he will buy the same t-shirt and same vinyl from us at each of the gigs he’s been at. S: I think he’s from Yorkshire. His name is James. G: Yeah, it was when we were on tour, he just kept coming back and buying more and more, which was really strange. Maybe he has a little side business going, reselling your merch. But the final question is, what can we expect in 2024 from Duvet? T: I think we are keen to just get back in the studio, hopefully some festivals too, and maybe do some gigs outside of the UK. J: Once I get my passport sorted. S: I have this fear though that the minute we get on a plane together, it will crash. So I’m going to have to get over that pretty soon. T: Sounds premeditated. V: We’ve had conversations as well about maybe doing some B-sides to singles, get some techno or house versions out there. G: Yeah, and send them at Warehouse Project or something. S: Get into our DJ swing.



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There’s nothing wrong with sticking to your musical roots

Harrison: It’s more just a collection of singles.

as a band, but sometimes the true excitement comes in watching an artist move past those formative years where

S: Like you say, it was a long time in the making. We

all their influences could be listed on one hand. While it

had a dry period over lockdown, so we saw it as a way of

would be a little unfair to say that London via Cambridge

building up momentum.

art-rockers Ugly had a limited set of reference points when they first started out, anyone who has been keeping a close

I guess the process started around early 2022?

watch on their trajectory of late will notice that they’ve expanded their horizons significantly since the beginning.

S: Probably before that, to be honest. The one thing that

Shifting away from the scrappy post-punk they initially

we could do over lockdown was rehearse, and I think

settled into, they’ve developed a rich sound that loosely

that was really beneficial, although it felt a bit painful

flirts with descriptors from choral prog to math-folk.

watching other bands be able to thrive under the difficult

With several lineup adjustments along the way, the sextet

conditions, whereas a lot of smaller bands obviously

are beginning to find themselves mentioned in the same

couldn’t do that.

breath as the upper crust of the capital’s forward-thinking indie vanguard, and it doesn’t appear to be fazing them

Were a lot of you together during that period?

one bit. With three of the band’s members in vocalist/ guitarist Samuel Goater, guitarist Harrison Jones and

H: Yeah, we were living together. The music changed a

multi-instrumentalist Jasmine Miller-Sauchella joining

lot in that period as well, and the writing process changed

for a chat, we were able to gain some insight into their

from that point. [The EP] is basically what’s happened

fascinating development as a group and how it has led to

between now and then.

the imminent release of their expansive new EP, ‘Twice Around The Sun’.

Jasmine: That’s why it’s called ‘Twice Around The Sun’!

‘Twice Around The Sun’ is close to its release now but

You alluded to the change in sound there, a lot So

has been a long time in the making. What can you tell

Young readers will probably recognise you from

us about the process? What about these six songs felt

your early days where you sounded like a completely

like they worked cohesively together?

different band. What would you say was the main catalyst, if there was one, for the change in direction?

Samuel: It was a very pivotal point for the band. We’d had our second drummer leave and it was a bit of a “what

S: I think it was just growing a bit older and not being as

are we doing” moment. We found Theo [Guttenplan,

excited with the music that we were making. It’s probably

drummer], who’s a perfect fit for us, and these songs

less gradual than it seems, but there was a linear transition

that already had a foundation really started to get fleshed

from that older stuff slowly getting less jangly and punky

out. That gave us a bit of direction to where we are now

and adding more melodies. The main thing was having

in terms of sound, but I don’t think there’s necessarily a

new members and wanting to seize what we had to make

particularly cohesive element to any of the songs, which

something more unique.

is something that we’re trying to do now when we’re writing.

Words by Reuben Cross, illustration by Eugénie Lavenant


J: We all have different elements that we bring to the band.

Something else different is the gigs you’ve played,

Tom [Lane, vocals/synths] and Harry [Shapiro, vocals/

most notably doing tour support for Black Country,

bass] come from a choir background from St. John’s in

New Road, who are obviously close friends of yours.

Cambridge, so that’s been a massive influence on the

What was it like moving from being on small stages to

music too, with the harmonies and the chamber pop vibe.

playing packed out venues?

S: With the older stuff, I’d come up with a more fully-

S: It’s quite surreal. You’re kind of led through with

fleshed song and then approach the band with it, whereas

people holding your hands. That was great fun to do and a

this collection of songs and moving forward, it’s more

real learning experience, for sure.

everyone having their own stamp on it. J: You don’t want to mess up the gig because it’s BCNR, Something that’s come up in the past with you, Sam,

but we’d been leading up to all these gigs for a while so

but I suppose it does apply to others is the importance

we felt ready.

of choral or spiritual music. How significant would you say that is to the tracks on the EP?

H: It’s also very motivational to do something like that.

S: They’re themes that we always kind of return to - with

What impact did working with Balázs Altsach as a

three of the band being in choirs in their youth and me

producer have and in what ways do you feel like he

being brought up in a Christian household, those ideas are

took these songs to the next level? Are they everything

always around us. It’s never something we’re consciously

that you wanted them to be?

trying to do. There’s something to be said about being H: It’s the beauty of working with such a good friend, it’s

inspired by the sheer awesomeness of it.

a very comfortable environment. H: I guess the older stuff was more lyrically inspired, and S: I think there’s always going to be a trade-off from what

this stuff is more musically and vocally inspired.

you expect. There’s lots of different voices who all kind My friend was particularly enamoured by you using

of hear the song differently. In the recording and mixing

a Buddhist chant in ‘Sha’ when we saw you live - I

stages, there’s always going to be that tug of war, but

suppose there’s a rhythmic element to that as well.

we find a happy middle ground. Like any able producer, he uses his skills and gives creative suggestions without

J: I never really thought of it as a rhythmic thing, but I can

imposing too much, I suppose.

kind of see it. I don’t actually remember how the nammyoho-renge-kyo got into ‘Sha’, but I remember seeing

J: Poor Balázs, he must have so many grey hairs now with

this video with Herbie Hancock and his experience with

the amount of stress we cause him. You’ve got to separate

Nichiren Buddhism. He still practises it, and two summers

that friendship when it comes to music. I don’t know how

ago I started doing it too. I still do my nam-myoho-renge-

he does it, but he’s just so patient. Like he always says,

kyo to this day, but I’m not actually part of the religion. I

“I’ve got to let the kids play”.

don’t know if that’s sacrilege, but I put it in because it’s quite a spiritual song.

Being so close, do you value him as being the seventh member?

H: We were doing it before gigs for a little bit. S: Yeah, I think that’s fair to say. J: Yeah, the whole point of the chant is to unlock all these things within you and let yourself be free.


H: It would be very strange to do anything without him.


As a band with great vocal harmonies, who would you say are your favourite harmonizers in music? S: I’ve been listening to Gillian Welch’s album, ‘Time (The Revelator)’. It’s got some really cool country elements, but some really dissonant moments too. J: I mean, we can’t not say The Beatles can we? H: Simon & Garfunkel too. Apart from the record coming out and touring it, where do you see yourselves going next? What’s the Ugly master plan? S: We’ve just got a booking agent, so we’re finally starting to see a steady stream of gigs coming in, which is really nice. We’ve just come back from a week away in Ely, because we were doing some writing for what is going to be the debut LP that we’re going to be recording in the summer with Balázs. In the nearer future, we’re supporting Lime Garden on some of their tour, which will be really fun, and we just announced our headline tour, which is in April. That’s a bit daunting, but exciting as well. Any bucket list things that you would love to be able to do in the next couple of years? S: Go to America, probably. J: Go to Japan. Ugly big in Japan! It’s got a ring to it. S: The usual, I suppose. J: Balázs told me the other day that we’re gonna get a Mercury. S: That’s his bucket list. We’re keeping the dreams small.



There is a steady force taking a hold of London’s pubs

With acts like Oscar Browne, Gently Tender and Pixx

and venues. Stages once dominated by angsty punks and

contributing, the comp was a fascinating insight into the

distorted guitar are beginning to find themselves home

diversity of folk music, and its surprising parallels with

to haunting strings and guttural wails. Tales are being

the wider direction of alternative indie. Folk may seem

spun reminiscent of bygone times, no longer fixating

at odds with the music being made by scene leaders such

on the disappointments of city life, instead detailing

as Sorry, but it was Sorry’s own Campbell Baum who

lush landscapes and aching hearts. We are witnessing an

founded Broadside Hacks.

alternative folk revival. Since ‘Songs Without Authors’ was released, and For some fans, Katy J Pearson’s stirring Halloween

Broadside Hacks toured their riveting trad folk sound

release, reworking tracks from the classic Wickerman

across the UK, Europe, and even the sun baked streets of

soundtrack with a selection of the scene’s most fascinating

Austin for SXSW, a number of its musicians have gone on

talent, may have been the first indication of a blossoming

to become leaders of the next musical generation. Oscar

trad folk love affair among musicians. For the more keen

Browne’s intricate multi-instrumental songwriting has

eyed, the mention of Broadside Hacks, who feature on

allowed his music to cut through the noise and form a cult

‘Lullaby’ and Pearson’s particularly evocative rendition

following. The collective have hosted nights showcasing

of ‘Willow’s Song’ may have led them further down the

many of the finest voices rising in alternative right now,

rabbit hole.

from The New Eves to Clara Mann.

Broadside Hacks are integral to this tale, a collective whose 2021 compilation ‘Songs Without Authors’ was a revelation in introducing predominantly indie centric audiences to the allure of trad folk.



Many of the venues and even musicians that were integral to the post punk ‘revival’ are at the heart of this blossoming folk movement, and in a number of ways it feels like a natural progression. There is a shift away from cynicism and toward hopeful truth. Where post punk seeks to highlight the strange realities of the everyday, there is an intrinsic beauty in folk, a desire for escapism within the details of the mundane, and a confrontation of the most human of vulnerabilities. It is a well-needed antidote to the adversity faced by venues and musicians in their dayto-day survival. Though collectives such as Broadside Hacks are overtly folk in nature, the draw of trad folk songwriting has begun to spread across the scene, rooting itself in many of the most interesting rising voices in music right now. Emerging in the same period as Broadside Hacks we find Shovel Dance Collective, a group of nine musicians who have been celebrating the oral tradition alongside diving into its queer, feminist, and class transcendent nature since 2019. A few sonic steps away from these we find My Life Is Big, an art collective that wanders between formats with curious glee, merging music, art and theatricality in a beguiling fashion.


The acts tied to My Life Is Big are inherently folksy in nature, with groups such as Tapir! placing storytelling, folklore and nature derived imagery at the forefront of their identity. Their concept of following the tale of a Pilgrim across a lush yet treacherous landscape echoes the narrative heavy nature of folk, with characters being subject to difficult and complex journeys in order to undergo personal and emotional transformations. Similarly, The Last Whole Earth Catalogue’s 2023 release ‘Do You Face The Brutal Reality’ sees the group shift toward incredibly stripped back, lyric centric songwriting. The resultant album is a profoundly moving experience, an utterly personal and vulnerable release that resonates with you long after the last track. The emergence of these collectives ties in closely with the disruption caused by COVID and its repercussions across the London musical community. Broadside Hacks’ decision to form initially began as a label, centring on the ‘Songs Without Authors’ compilation, bringing together artists remotely since they could no longer be on lineups together. From this a folk club began, initially a jam session among friends before developing into a series of events. The rise of collectives including Broadside Hacks, Shovel Dance Collective and My Life Is Big ties in to a wider shift in the scene, with more artists diving into their folksy sound and experimenting with the tradition. Groups such as Bishopskin, whose mesmerising debut album was released last October, musically worship an England of the past. Frontman Tiger Nicholson has reflected that “English people have always thought of an ancient, better version of England, a more beautiful version than the reality.” The album sees them delve into the alluring ideals of a forgotten England, entranced by luscious countryside, religious imagery and storytelling in a way that mirrors many of the acts involved in the aforementioned collectives, not least Tapir!

The ripples continue to spread, from the intricate, moving live sets of Black Country, New Road’s Tyler Hyde (who performs under the pseudonym Tyler Cryde) to the fantastically delicate songwriting of Clara Mann, whose tales sound like the musical equivalent of tracing the fine details of a spider’s web. The primal, inherently feminine vocals of The New Eves, contrasted with harsh instrumentation creates an eerie yet alluring trad folk sound, something that wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack of a classic folk horror film. The appeal of trad folk is clear, and its roots are beginning to take a hold of many of the finest voices in alternative music, encouraging them to confront human truths and pushing them to make brilliant sonic offerings. What is less clear is its cause. Perhaps it is the desire for community, a deep need to regain the unity that was fragmented by COVID and a celebration of being able to get so many people in a room together, creating again. Alternatively, it could be a wider reflection of artists having the opportunity to explore further inspirations and experiment with their sounds. As Broadside Hacks’ Campell Baum has reflected in a previous interview, “it was because of lockdown we had an opportunity to dive into something brand new, because you suddenly had the time.” An enticing and empowering interpretation is that the revival ties into the defiant longevity of the art of the working class, something that resonates with artists as they face increasing economic difficulty in their pursuit of creativity. This sentiment is echoed in the words of Naima Bock, who featured on the Songs Without Authors compilation, describing how “there’s the history of working class people who made the land and communities that we have remnants of today. Singing these folk songs is honouring them and their history, rather than the history of the elite, their money and their wars.” Whatever the cause, the strange allure of trad folk is beginning to spread, and it only feels inevitable that the wider indie scene will follow. Soon haunting vocals, string instruments and vivid storytelling may become the norm. It is an exhilarating shift that is bound to produce some truly original and brilliant new offerings, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us.

Words by Eve Boothroyd


The image of Christian Music’s Josh Baker on our video

If you stay silent and say nothing, there are an infinite

call with giant posters of Fat White Family and King

amount of interpretations, and they’ll never know which

Gizzard & Lizard Wizard behind him says everything

one is correct.

that needs to be said about where his musical influences might lie. A good thing too, as any discussions regarding

I think that’s infinitely more interesting in a song. I aim

his actual music seem right at the bottom of his concerns.

to annoy people like you by saying nothing at all. You’ll

More within the twenty one year old’s remit - as

never make me talk.

observed from his eyrie in Stoke - is an intense scrutiny of the machinations of the UK Music industry; cross-

Cool! That’s all the questions done then! Bye.

examinations into what makes it, what doesn’t, and if so,

[laughter] Anyway… I was looking through your

why the hell not.

instagram this morning and saw a post from last summer that seemed to say you were splitting up, and

While his close friendship with new-risers (and erstwhile

were saying goodbye?

backing band) UNIVERSITY from across the M6 has brought welcome attention to Christian Music - “Zak sat

I just think that there’s no need to post anything if you’ve

next to me in art class. He tried to put his bogey on me,

got nothing to post! I’ll post if I’ve got a gig, or some

I stabbed him in the back of a hand with a pencil. We’ve

sort of announcement, or anything.. But anything else is

been friends ever since” - Baker is sceptical of all things

benign. To avoid that - I didn’t say the band are broken

hype, vacuous social media campaigns, and pretty much

up by the way, but people thought we had! - I thought

anything that detracts from the thing that matters most: the

it would be more interesting to go away, and then come

music, man.

back. All the most interesting bands to me do go silent. Take the Fat White Family. For me, they’re everything

I want to start by talking about your latest release

that’s great about a band, or music, the whole picture. And

‘Marimba-Tragic Death Cult’! What were your aims

they don’t say anything.

for the song? There’s definitely a pressure on bands to feel like they My opinion is: once you put something out, you no longer

have to constantly be on people’s radar. Artists, maybe

own it. So to answer your question of what I want people

people in general, are scared to go silent on these

to get out of it, the answer is: whatever they want. I get

platforms, in case all the hype goes away?

my own experience out of [the song]. You might hate this as an interviewer, but I won’t tell anyone what I get out

Yeah, it means nothing. Hype isn’t real. In my view of

of it.

Christian Music, we don’t have any hype. People don’t seem particularly excited about [the band]. But people still

Say a band or artist puts out a song. Any artist. Let’s say,

come to gigs and people still listen to the songs. I follow

Royal Blood! And they’ll say, “this song is about this”.

the Fugazi thing - you’re not in a band to be in a band;

And all the people who listen to the song, who have heard

you’re in a band to create music, or art. Social media

the interview or seen this article will say, “that is what

doesn’t come into that. If you’re trying to do the ‘band

the song is about.” And their interpretation will be that

thing’, and want people to know you’re in a band and be


like “look how cool our band is”, you’ll probably post loads because you want people to see you. It’s fronting.


Words by Elvis Thirlwell, illustration by Josh Whettingsteel


There’s nothing really to it. If you do your art, and

I know, the thing around Stoke is real, because I work

put your art out, and you’re prolific with it because

in the Venue [The Underground], and I’ve been going to

it’s something you really want to do, because there’s

that same venue since I was 15, I’m now 21. And it’s real.

something inside you that has to come out; and if it

With real bands and real people. And I see it all happen.

doesn’t you get frustrated with yourself…then if you choose to put that to the public, and people enjoy it, then

I’m sure you’ve heard of Fat Dog? They got huge,

that’s all you need to do.

unbelievably big, having not put a song out. There was nothing. It’s baffling that it can happen. My girlfriend

But the reason I’m here at all is that people are getting

actually told me that their friends had been talking about

excited about you. It seems you have benefited from the

Fat Dog. And that this whole thing that was interesting

‘hype’ which you claim doesn’t exist. So there must be

about them, was that they hadn’t put out a song. If you

something to it?

were from anywhere else, and you were trying to play that game - we’re not going to put a song out until we get big

Depends what you mean by ‘hype. If you mean interest

- no chance! It’s a London thing! I don’t care if bands are

from people who have the power to make things happen

from London, or aren’t from London, as long as they’re

for your band. Then yes, definitely - that’s a positive

good. But it’s the fact that there’s an advantage being in

thing. However, the lie that, “if loads of people are into

that place geographically. That’s what bothers me. I’ll be

your band, and you do these specific things...”, it doesn’t

honest, it’s quite cathartic talking to you. Can you tell it’s

mean you are then through your door, and you get noticed

been stressing me out!

by someone on the other side. I think they are two very But also, now that you have this platform, and a chance

different things.

to shout about where you’re from, is that something In terms of the ‘Industry’, you can play the game as much

you’re happy to take on board as a symbol of pride?

as you like, but you have to stick to your own philosophies and ideals. I’ll play the industry game a little bit - but I’m

Partially. Because I don’t think that where you’re from

never going to bend to their will. If there’s something I

should matter. Nothing should matter except the music.

don’t want to happen, it won’t happen.

But unfortunately, you have to have an image. If you take everything away except the music, that’s your fair

I guess also, a factor is that so much of this ‘industry’

judgement right there. It’s, “do you enjoy it or not?” Not

is based in London and the south, with much less

even if it’s good. Once you’ve found your answer to that,

infrastructure from where you’re from in Stoke.

then, go ahead. I think it’s particularly unfair that the geography of a band will determine if they’re big or not,

I do think about that. A lot. My mentality is that I’m

or if they become big, or if they have the potential to get

doing this exactly how I did before there was any interest.

big, or even get noticed.

Nothing has changed. Maybe I can do some bigger gigs. But I write in the same way. Record in the same way. No

Where do you want to take the Christian Music

one else can push me to do anything else other than that.

Project? Where do you want to play, what do you want to do?

Us and UNIVERSITY are kind of from the same place - and people are saying “yeah, there’s this new scene in

I set out to play gigs regularly, and create and put out

Stoke!” But it’s not a new scene - this scene’s been going

music. That was my goal. And I’m doing it. I’m already

as long as any other scene. Except, it’s new because the

living the life I want to live. Anything else is a bonus. I

people from London have only just found out about it!

hope that people enjoy the music, but if they don’t, that’s

You know that thing about history, that it’s written by the

not my problem. I make music for myself. I’m not afraid

victor. It’s that, except, things only exist if London pays

or ashamed to say that. As long as there’s people to dig it

attention to it.

- despite the fact that I don’t care what anyone thinks - if they dig it I do however appreciate it!


Christian Music

Deep beneath the feedback-soaked waves of their new

Thanks, man. We recorded this album, and I think we’re

album ‘Expensive Thrills’, London’s C Turtle weave

all just excited to get it out because we’ve been playing

through reefs of loud mercurial, moody guitars and

these songs for a while now.

howling drums. Dip your toes into this sonic seafoam, and surrealist lyrics will come at you, sometimes whispered,

It’s such a long process…

sometimes screamed, snapping with slickly spun lyrical poetry. Propelled by the undulating currents of Pixies,

Feels like forever. We recorded it in July? So I guess it’s

Guided By Voices, and the transformative epochs of

not been that long, but it feels like we wanted to wait until

grunge, alternative rock, and indie.

we were able to do these songs justice and have them put out the way we wanted.

Once out of their shells, vocal/guitarists Cole Flynn Quirke and Mimi McVeigh, backed by the rhythmic

Does it lose any of the magic waiting for so long?

undertow of bassist Finlay Burrows and drummer Jimmy Guvercin, feel wild and unpredictable in all the best ways.

A bit here and there. Then, when a single comes out and

Amidst their inaugural project with Blitzcat Records, I

you get the reaction, it makes you excited about it again.

had the pleasure of catching up with Cole to dive into the

Yeah, in the interim of waiting, it’s a bit of a slog. I hope

deep, captivating world of C Turtle.

that doesn’t sound really ungrateful; I’m just impatient.

It’s been about a year and a half since we last checked

A big thing in the last interview was your position on

in. How have you guys been?

analogue recording. How’s that impacted making this album?

We’ve got a new drummer now. Joel is also a filmmaker, and he wanted to concentrate on his work a bit more. Now

We’re not allowed to say, and it’s annoying, but we

we’ve got Jimmy, who also drums in a hardcore band, Bad

recorded at... You could say a studio that rhymes with

Breeding. It’s brought a big energy to everything, having

flabby toad... We’ve obviously never recorded in a big

someone who’s a heavy hitter. But it’s sad to lose Joel,

studio before, so none of us really knew what to expect.

because we’ve been friends since we were twelve and

I met this guy at a show we did for Blitzcat called Mack

started this together.

Kniese, and he’s basically doing a year at that studio as a trainee engineer. He came up to us after the show and

Is Jimmy on the new recordings?

said, “Would you have any plans to record?” I said we’d probably just do it ourselves as it’s served us well so far,

No, they were the last things that we did with Joel. He

and he was like, “Well, I work at *flabby toad* and I’d

was like, “I’m going to just fucking smash it for these

love to record you.” *Flabby Toad*, you say? Obviously

recordings, and then I’m done.”

from that, we met up with him for a drink, and he’d done a dissertation on analogue recording and tapes, and he felt

It’s easily my favourite stuff of yours so far.


like the guy for us.

Words by Will Macnab, illustration by George Goom

We basically recorded it on a reel-to-reel eight-track, this

They’d never done anything bad, and then there was that. I

big, weird machine. I think it was some big Teac thing. It

know it sounds a bit mean, but why are you doing it? Give

was funny; it broke during recording, and the engineers

someone else a chance. I guess it’s the future, though, isn’t

came in and just started bashing it to get it working again,

it? Endless Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

which was quite primitive. Yeah, the studio is crazy, and it was really weird being there, but I think Mack did a really

You make a point with ‘Have You Ever Heard A Turtle

good job.

Sing?’, with it being a reflection of humanity and seemingly going backwards.

Can you see yourselves in the future going fully into hifi, or is that something you want to veer away from?

Yeah, some of the lyrics are about a regression, a reflection of everything that’s happened recently.

It’s not something I would say we want to stay away from.

Everything you think humanity has gotten past and

Though, I think the next thing we’re probably going to do

adapted from. It just somehow carries on with the same

is go on four-track again because Mack’s now left *flabby

old shit, fighting over land. It’s like mediaeval shit and not

toad* and we’ll definitely want him to record us. Then

something that should be happening. It’s just stupid shit

it’s just easier when you have a little home studio you can

going on that just doesn’t need to.

bring to a practice space. Would you say this is an underlying theme throughout I wanted to ask, then, what’s your view on AI and its

all of ‘Expensive Thrills’ or just a mix of all these

introduction into the music industry?

tracks together?

It’s pretty weird. I watched this anime show called Pluto,

I’d love to say that all the tracks have a meaning and

which is all about Astro Boy, AI, and shit, and it made me

there’s depth to everything, but there isn’t really. For

quite excited for it. But not in music. I like the idea that

example, there’s this little skit song that we put on there,

one day there will be AI robots, and they’re just doing

‘Harry Who Knew How To Fly’, and it’s just about a

their thing like iRobot; maybe you won’t be able to tell.

friend back in Brighton who did a tray flip across a roof.

But in terms of AI writing songs? I don’t know; I don’t

It’s just supposed to be funny and a little bit playful, to put

like it at all.

some light into all the world’s seriousness.

It’s a strange thought, and it’s always going to be more

Alright, so, ‘Expensive Thrills’, what’s the most

interesting with real people than with holograms, robots,

expensive purchase you’ve made but then instantly

or whatever. I’m staying in a hotel at the moment with my


brother in China, where there are these little robot butlers that wheel around and bring stuff to your door. They’re

Um, there’s been so many. I bought a four-track over

actually quite cute. These little Dalek-looking things

lockdown. £250, and it was completely broken. I did fix

roll about and get the lift with you. They’ll have robot

it with a step-by-step YouTube, and it was fine, but I did

guitarists soon.

do it wrong, and I could never get the tape to rewind, but thought, fuck it, it’ll do. In the end, I had to just get a new

How did you feel about the Beatles track?


I’m not going to lie; I didn’t really like it. I love The Beatles, but on that track, I felt like it just didn’t happen. Why ruin an already good thing?


C Turtle

My first introduction to you playing live was the So

I have one last question, and this is from Elvis. If each

Young x State 51 performance. How was that?

of you were an insect, what would you be?

Yeah, it was fun. We had to do it twice because there

I don’t want to pick a really insulting one for everyone

was an interlude thing with a tape record, but it got


unplugged. It was annoying because I actually think the first performance was so much better. I fucked up so many

Okay, maybe just the band as a whole?

times on it, and I kind of watch it and think, “Oh, I can’t believe I did that.” But I don’t think anyone else really

… I reckon... we’d be a bunch of beetles. They got the


shells, like turtles. Turtle mania. Beatle mania. I’m basically John Lennon man, playing at Flabby Toad. Nah,

Honestly, I think my favourite thing was the noise,

Finlay’s John Lennon, for sure. He was the secret weapon

dissonance, and rawness of it. It makes it sound so

in the recordings—all the piano parts and the good guitars.


Yeah, he came out of his shell, so to speak. Yeah, you tell Elvis I’m a beetle.

Thank you. I think that’s what we’re all about. I’m not the best guitarist, so if I just make a racket with it, then it kind of pays off. All the noise and feedback interludes came out really nice on that, so I was pretty pleased about it in that sense.



The musical history of Sheffield is a proud one. Pulp,

Hello City Parking, it’s great to meet you. Would you

Arctic Monkeys, Reverend & The Makers have worn their

please tell us a little about how you came to be and

heritage on their sleeves. Writing music that captures

about the music you’ve been releasing recently?

the essence of the Yorkshire city and sharing it with listeners around the world with pride. What these acts

We started all of this for a laugh to be honest. Me and

have in common is understanding the beauty in a turn

Dan (who plays guitar) always talked about making music

of phrase. Romanticising their home with a sharp as

together but it was always something we just joked about

nails back-handed compliment. A sort-of sibling love:

and never actually did. When I bought my first bass a

“you can’t take the piss out of them, that’s my job.”

couple of years ago it gave us an excuse to play together.

City Parking, a new duo from Sheffield, appear to have

One night we were in Dan’s car and ‘Strong Feelings’ by

fallen into these illustrious shoes. It might have been by

Dry Cleaning came on and I was totally captivated by it.

accident but they seem to fit like a glove. On their debut

It made me realise that you don’t always need to sing and

EP, ‘It’s Mad Round Here’, they showcased an ability to

have a melody you can just say whatever you want and

tell an engrossing tale, romanticising the sharp edges of

it inspired me. So, one night we came up with the music

Sheffield into beautiful depictions of real life. Combining

for ‘Mad Round Here,’ I whacked some poetry I had been

the spoken word delivery of Dry Cleaning or John Cooper

messing around with on it and we decided to put it on

Clark with a sound that is at once understated but in your

YouTube for a laugh. And then we uploaded it to BBC

face. It makes for an engrossing mix. Having recently

Introducing for a laugh because we thought that there was

released two new singles, we exchanged some emails with

no way anyone would care so let’s just take the piss and

the band to learn more about how they got to this point.

upload it. And the rest is history I suppose because people did end up caring!


City Parking

The music we’ve been releasing recently is just us finding

Usually, I see one thing or person and it’ll start a whole

our sound and experimenting and me getting some ideas

idea in my head. Sometimes it’s just a place or it’s

out that I’ve had for quite a while. A lot of the stuff

something I’ve overheard or observed. Sometimes it’s

coming out is poems and such that I’ve had for a few

graffiti on a wall even. Inspiration is everywhere and

years now.

even the most mundane or ugly things can provide the best ideas. Jarvis said something about that…I might be

Last September you released two tracks, ‘Carl’ &

nicking that from him. But it’s true.

‘Hannah’. Are they part of the same narrative? It feels like Carl is who broke Hannah’s heart.

It’s a brave thing to be vulnerable and release spoken word music. How does it feel to have people hearing

If that’s what you interpret it as then maybe it’s best to

your stories, and when people connect to your music?

leave it there. They are whatever you want them to be. I would prefer people form their own ideas of what it

It’s very surreal because that wasn’t the main motivator

is rather than me spell it out for you. Leave some of it

for us doing this so when people stand in front of me at

to the imagination. That’s what it’s there for. And it’s

gigs and are dancing and really into it it’s a very strange

entertaining to hear people’s interpretations about it

but amazing feeling. Even knowing that the music is

sometimes as well! Why would I ruin that fun?!

on platforms and has been shared around the world is terrifying!

Where does the inspiration for the lyrics come from? Are you able to place faces to the names you mention or are these stories imagined? Words by Sachin Turakhia, illustration by Josh Whettingsteel

Your music has a clear direction and style, has it

Is the Sheffield music scene/community a thriving and

always been this way or has there been some trial and

motivating place to be right now? Are there any artists


who you think deserve a large spotlight?

We never really focused on the style or the direction too

There’s a lot going on in the Sheffield music scene. We’ve

much to be honest we just put out what we think sounds

met a lot of local bands while doing gigs and discovered

most like us and what we’re proud of. We don’t want to

new ones from being on the same lineup or whatever.

end up being stuck in one particular sound so we always

There’s a lot happening and people should support it. Go

like to just mess around and see what fits the song. There

and see your local band and go to your local music venue.

have been some songs that it’s took a while to figure out

It’s what it’s all about. We need local music. I’ll tell you

what it needs to really bring it to life but that’s where

who you should listen to, Astrels. We saw them at The

Dave Sanderson, a producer from Sheffield, came in. We

Other Festival last year during Tramlines and they were

have Joe Green on drums and his drumming, especially

fucking amazing.

live, is just insane and really sets the tone for some of the tracks. ‘Nymphomaniac’ definitely wouldn’t be what it is

You released a cover of the John Cooper Clarke classic,

without him.

‘Evidently Chicken Town’, on his birthday. Is the Salford Bard a reference for you?

On your debut EP, ‘It’s Mad Round Here’, it feels like you’ve captured the essence of Sheffield. Do you feel

He is, of course. He’s one of those who writes about the

particularly connected to the city? Does it inform a lot

ugly and makes such brilliant material out of it. I mean

of what you do?

Chicken Town is a great example of that. You can picture everything he’s talking about and everyone can relate to it

I feel very connected to it, as I mentioned earlier there’s

in some way. Ninety Degrees In My Shades is my all-time

a lot of beauty that can be found in things that you might

favourite of his.

not even pay any attention to and living in a city is perfect The vocal inspirations and comparisons come to mind

for finding things like that.

relatively easily, but musically City Parking is quite Sticking with Sheffield, you’ve had the public

diverse. Is that a product of discovering your sound

approval of Rev Jon McClure. Do you have an ongoing

over time or intentional to show vast inspiration and

relationship with him and his music? Does that local

interest? You’re not afraid to get heavy.

yet established validation breathe confidence into the project?

As I mentioned before, we didn’t want to get too caught up in one sound and end up unintentionally stuck in a box.

I reached out to Jon before City Parking was even a thing

So we always try just to do whatever sounds good for each

and told him that his writing had inspired some of my

song. We have a very diverse music taste between us so

own and I shared some poetry with him. He was very

there are always bits of inspiration from various places

supportive and when we released a remix of the demo of

coming in and out.

‘Mad Round Here’ by Dean Honer, a Sheffield producer What can we expect from City Parking in 2024?

and mixer, he was one of the first people to share it and let people know about it. We’re big fans of his music and they’re a great band, especially live. Obviously, he’s been

Well, a lot more gigs. We’re supporting Joe Carnall on his

on the scene for a long time so having him show such

Good Cop Bad Tour show at Leadmill on 20th April. We

strong support for what we’re doing is really great.

recently announced that we are playing Tramlines on 27th July, which is going to be massive for us. And of course, more music.


City Parking

Editors Sam Ford

Josh Whettingsteel

Writers Sam Ford

Amber Lashley

Natalia Quiros Edmunds Eve Boothroyd Mia Lambdin Leo Lawton

Peter Martin

Josh Whettingsteel Alicia Tomkinson Reuben Cross

Elvis Thirlwell Will Macnab

Sachin Turakhia

Printed By Ex Why Zed




@soyoungmagazine (Twitter)

SoYoungMagazine (Facebook) soyoungmagazine (Instagram)


Josh Whettingsteel Ned Mundy

Mamo Kawakami Eline Veldhuisen Chi Park

Gabriel Hollington Vanessa Branchi Elli Antoniou REN

Eugénie Lavenant George Goom

Cover Photo Steve Gullick

Photos for Collage Charlie Harris

Chris Saunders

Luca Pellegrino Ashley Birks Jono White

Seren Carys Inigo Blake

El Hardwick

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