Having played at SXSW earlier this year, as well as receiving support from the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq, welsh band Kidsmoke have now shared infectious new single ‘She Takes You Under’. A dreamy and uplifting slice of shoegaze-tinged indie pop, it marks them out as definite ones to watch.
We caught up with Sophie from the band to find out more…
Hi Kidsmoke, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hey! Sophie here, I play lead guitar and sing backing vocals in Kidsmoke – thanks for having us.
How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
Lance (lead vocals/guitar) and James (bass/vocals) met when they were four at primary school and have been in bands together since they were teenagers. I grew up not too far away from them, so when they were looking for a lead guitarist a few years ago, a mutual friend put me forward. A few months later, the drummer left to take on a new job and I drafted in Ash, who I met at uni and knew would be a perfect fit!
Your new single ’She Takes You Under’ is out very soon – can you tell us what it’s all about?
‘She Takes You Under’ is a dream-pop mini-epic and has been a live favourite of ours for a while now as it’s so much fun to play. It’s definitely influenced by an ’80s aesthetic, which you can hear in the jangly guitars, synths and rhythms. You can hear in it our love for groups like The Cure, Prefab Sprout and Wild Nothing. Lyrically, the song is about dealing with your demons in order to move forward; being at odds with yourself and being aware that issues need addressing, but feeling reluctant to go back down the rabbit hole.
You’ve been compared to the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club and Sunflower Bean, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
There are a lot of influences between the four of us. We all have quite varied tastes but are ultimately just completely obsessed with music and are glued to Spotify 99% of the time. I’d say major influences on Kidsmoke would be The Beatles (which is where our love of vocal harmonies comes from), The Smiths, Kate Bush, David Bowie and Wilco. Songwriting is really important to us, hopefully you can hear that in our music, which means that we’re always trying to write something that would be interesting to us if we were listening as an outsider.
How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
We’re quite lucky to be pretty close to Manchester and Liverpool, which tend to be where touring bands go for the bigger venues. We are based in Wrexham, North Wales which is home to FOCUS Wales music festival and conference, which takes place every year in the town. We feel super proud to have FOCUS on our doorstep, they’re doing such great work with putting Welsh music on the map and it just keeps getting bigger and better. We recently joined them and several other Welsh bands to showcase at SXSW, which was an amazing experience!
And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Loads of energy, some questionable dancing (from me…) and the happiest drummer you’ll ever see.
As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
We’d definitely recommend checking out Denuo, Seazoo, Enni The Little Brother, Baby Brave and if you haven’t already (you probably have) we’re all big fans of Boy Azooga. Personally, I’ve been digging out a load of old Sleater Kinney stuff in anticipation for their new album – can’t wait for that!
And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It’s certainly not easy, the industry isn’t in the same place as it was even a few years ago, but we believe in what we do and we have loads of fun doing it. It’s easy to get bogged down and frustrated about progress, but you just have to try and take the positives as they come. For example, we’re just adding the finishing touches to our debut album at the moment, which we’ve done pretty much independently because we figured that if we wanted it to happen then we could make it happen. Also, being part of Kidsmoke has meant that we’ve been to places and met people we never would have otherwise, so it’s worth the hard work for that alone.
Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for Kidsmoke?
We’re playing a special showcase for Big Indie’s Big Nights in London on 12th June, which we’re really excited for as we are releasing ‘She Takes You Under’ in conjunction with them. We’ll be doing a bunch of gigs over the summer and finalising the release details for our debut album. We’re so excited to release the album, it’s been a long road but we’ve had some great support along the way (thanks PRS Foundation, FOCUS Wales and Horizons Cymru) and we can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Massive thanks to Sophie for answering our questions!
‘She Takes You Under’ is out now via Big Indie Records. Catch Kidsmoke live at Two Tribes Brewery on 12th June.