Free download – ‘Moth-Eaten Memories’ By Exlovers.
‘Blowing Kisses’ By Exlovers.
As a conscientious blogger every feature obviously requires a degree of research, a re-checking of a few basic facts, possibly re- listening to a bands back catalogue, hacking their phones, rummaging through their wheelie-bins, and in this case quite literally interviewing ex-lovers. Standard News International procedure really (allegedly!) When preparing for this particular feature I was somewhat perturbed by one nugget of information I’d unearthed, it stated that north London quintet Exlovers had formed in late 2009. This struck me as odd because I first came across the band in early 2009, supporting Emmy The Great in Liverpool. Just shows you, you can’t trust the net and great band they may be, but I’m not entirely convinced they have quite mastered the art of bending time and space just yet. On that cold night in February 2009 they produced a hugely enjoyable set, put up with my ramblings and as a result I’ve followed their releases with an interest that has generally been equaled only by my enjoyment ever since. A truly f*cking great band who share this blog’s ethos – ‘Don’t ever make music if the main aim is to make money from it. Do it because you love it and that will be the reward.’
Some things in life seem inevitable; a Tory government will always put Rupert Murdoch’s wishes ahead of the public interest, every time Liam Gallagher opens his gargantuan mouth his Lilliputian brain disengages and a stream of verbal diarrhoea issues forth, and bloggers and journalists will always strive to describe music via ‘the comparison.’ Thus musicians will always be compared to artists from times gone by and Exlovers have certainly been compared to many. Elliot Smith, Teenage Fan Club, The Cure, Belle and Sebastian are just a few of the names that have been bandied about when trying to describe the band’s sound. And so in the spirit of this great tradition, let me add to this ever growing list and humbly suggest that their latest single ‘Blowing Kisses’ sounds a little 4AD vs Blast First, or if you prefer, Pale Saints jamming with Dinosaur Jr. This, I’m sure you will agree, is a whole world of good. They’ve also been described as breezy, whimsical and dreamy, again this is true to a degree but there’s much more substance to them than to be simply constrained by these somewhat tired clichés. There’s a kind of bruised poetic nobility about Exlovers music, bittersweet, heartfelt, honest and eloquent. They produce songs which give hope and inspiration to the lovelorn and the lost, and although their world view may suggest they have experienced their fair share of heartbreak and emotional turmoil, Exlovers are not devoid of optimism, for within their shimmering melodies there is the hope of brighter days ahead.
The band grew round the initial nucleus of singer and songwriter Peter and guitarist Chris, both from the Cornish fishing town of St Ives and both relocated to London. Pete already had written a clutch of songs inspired by everything from the Beatles to punk and after being introduced to co-singer Laurel the three of them began recording demos. The songs started to take shape, juxtaposing the fragile vocals of Laurel and Peter with the sometimes frenetic guitar work of Chris and soon the trio became a quintet with the addition of Brooke on drums and Danny on bass. Exlovers were ready to step out into the world.
After a string of well received singles the bands fourth release ‘Blowing Kisses’ is about to drop and they have also been putting the finishing touches to their debut album at Rockfield Studios in Wales with Demian Castellanos and Jimmy Robertson (Florence and the Machine, Big Pink) which is set for release later this year.
We had a chat to the ‘reclusive’ Peter about the bands progress to date.
VP: You have a new single out ‘Blowing Kisses’ what’s the song about? Heartbreak, betrayal, lust, yearning? Would you say your lyrics are mainly auto biographical?
PETER: It’s about the failure to commit to someone and the unconscious will to destroy your relationships. Yes, to different degrees they are all auto biographical.
VP: And you’re currently recording your debut album? How are you enjoying the process and what can we expect from it? Will it include older tracks such as ‘Photobooth’ and ‘Just A Silhouette’
PETER: We’re most of the way through recording the album now. It has been really enjoyable but also quite draining for me personally. It’s mostly new material though it will include some older songs like the ones you mentioned and they have all been revised and re-recorded for the album.
VP: Peter, performing in front of 100’s, pouring out intimate emotions and thoughts may seem an odd choice for somebody who is often described to as a loner and ‘a bit of a recluse.’ Do you get fazed by performing live or do you kind of lose yourself in the music?
PETER: Sometimes it can be a daunting prospect especially if I’m not feeling particularly stable-minded but I’m capable of enjoying myself too and when there’s an audience of people who are receptive and encouraging it can be a beautiful experience.
VP: It’s said that during your earlier gigs you had to use public transport carrying your equipment, have you reached the point whereby you can now use a tour bus?
PETER : Thankfully yes, things are a little easier for us now.
VP: Your singles always seem to have quite striking art work, they kind of remind me of The Smiths cover art. Who produces or selects the images and what do you look for in an image? Is it something that may resonate within the context of the song or do you just go for images that appeal aesthetically?
PETER: It’s something I do with my friend Danny. Not really sure what it is we look for a lot of the time but if we find an image that seems in keeping with the tone and mood of the music then we go with it. Quite a lot of the images that we’ve used are people that I know and people who have made some kind of imprint on the music.
VP: What are your plans for 2011?
PETER: For me the main priority is the album, we’re all really looking forward to releasing it. I imagine we will be doing a fair amount of touring etc too.
VP: What have been your highlights as a band so far?
PETER: Making the album I think. It would be difficult to single out any particular shows that we’ve especially enjoyed as there have been quite a number of them now.
VP: What’s been your weirdest experience as a band?
PETER: Making the last video [Blowing Kisses] was quite a strange experience. We had people standing in front of us the whole time holding leaf blowers and blasting petals, dust and anything else that happened to be floating around directly into our faces whist we performed a song.
VP: Name one artist [and/or album] that each of you has been massively influenced by – and why?
I always find it very difficult to explain why I feel the way I do about certain music. I wouldn’t know where to begin with Sparklehorse, there’s too much to talk about.
Explaining why someone likes the Pixies is like trying to explain what the colour Blue looks like.
BROOKE: Belle and Sebastian.
Their albums have been a constant soundtrack to my life for the last decade.
CHRIS: Blink 182, Dude Ranch.
I loved that album when I was young and it was pretty much the sole reason I started playing guitar.
LAUREL: PJ Harvey.
I love her. She’s opened doors for female musicians simply by getting on with it and doing it bloody well. She is ace.
‘Blowing Kisses’ – Exlovers
‘You Forget So Easily’-Exlovers.
- Caught in the Net: Emmy’s funding makes the Great (independent.co.uk)
- Love Is A Wonderful Colour – GROUPLOVE Interview (vonpipmusicalexpress.wordpress.com)