Along with releasing three powerful singles during the COVID-19 lock-down, the band have presented a unifying podcast, interviewing a variety of creatives to inspire others to follow their interests. I’ve had the chance to discuss with Alice Go the meanings behind their new album, the importance of art in lock-down and how crucial it is to promote gender equality in the music industry.
How would you compare your last record to So When You Gonna…?. Would you say that your sound has transformed and why?
The sonic and thematic landscape explored on So When You Gonna… definitely feels like an evolution of what we created with the first record. The songs on our debut were written, developed, and recorded around touring. Our live sound was pivotal to the manifestation of those earlier songs. We multi track live recorded the whole album in a week to get the live energy down; at that point we had a wild live show and lots of songs we just wanted to get out so the actual recording of the first album was this much quicker, rawer process than how we were able to approach So When You Gonna….
We began writing album two early in 2019, after taking a six week break post touring. We came back to the writing space as this well oiled machine from touring so relentlessly. We really locked in as a unit musically but also emotionally; having spent a lot of time as this family on the road. There were a lot of ideas, things we had been wanting to try for a long time, and the new songs came really organically in this enthusiastic and trusting space. Pushing the light and shade of the first record was the natural approach we took, embracing our softer, poppier, sensitive side, but also pushing the raw power we can conjure as a live band. I got hold of a an ebow and a guitar synthesiser, which suddenly opened up the potential of the sounds possible with the guitar. The guitar could now sound like strings (You Do You) or like an oscillating synth (Sports!), while keeping with the tone and drive of the guitar from the live show, I was able to embellish upon this with a new palette of sounds. It was really exciting.
So When You Gonna… was recorded over the course of a month late last year, at Pony Studios in London. This was longer than we had ever spent in the studio before so were really able to explore ideas and elevate the songs to new levels on record. We had the pleasure of working with the producer Marta Salogni, and full non-male team including engineer Grace Banks and mastering engineer Heba Kedry. The instinctive quality of the way Marta works and the conversation she allowed us to hold with her allowed us to dig deep into the themes and sounds of the songs, we were able to elevate our sonic palette in a trusting and exciting space.
Choosing to work with a non-male team on the recording of this record was incredibly important to us as a band, to support gender equality within the music industry and practice what we preach.
If you could introduce your new album to someone that has never heard you before how would you describe it in three words?
Raw Pop Power
Are there any stand out themes or stories that are carried throughout So When You Gonna…?
Being present with emotion.
What inspired you to create your uplifting new podcast and what would you like your audience to take from it?
Throughout the recording process we were having these really interesting conversations with Marta and other collaborators, everyone had their own story to tell and we really wished we could have had access to these sorts of conversations as teenagers. It feels vital to normalise roles in the creative industries in whatever capacity for non-males. Making a podcast felt like a positive way to use our platform in a way of encouragement, support, and hopefully education too.
You said in the first episode of your podcast with Marta Salogni that creating a connection with others through your music is just as important as the sound itself. Why is this?
Music can be community and solidarity in moment and message. We come together through it and. It is a hotline to emotion. That is the power of music. The intrinsic link between the way music sonically manifests and the way that makes you feel is magical and subliminal, it is a universal language that transcends time and space. The connection and the music itself are just absolutely intertwined.
How are you finding social distancing/isolation creatively? Has it been inspiring or the opposite?
This has certainly been a very thought provoking time, it’s kind of a cliché but I think in turbulent times people definitely look to art and music for sanctuary and a place to make sense of things. I have found, sitting down with my guitar, I can be still, it’s meditative. Also Bella and I live together in South East London so can still play music together. We have been singing with our housemates around this little fire we have in the garden. It feels good to all come together and engage in an activity as a household that you can all just enjoy and not have to talk about the rollercoaster of a year 2020 has been so far. Music can be so therapeutic. A rock show is kind of like group therapy en masse, and until we can all be together again, rock out with your household, form an acapella quartet, it’s good for your health.