Introducing Interview: The Deep Blue

Releasing their debut single, ‘The Jealous Sea’, today, Manchester-based band The Deep Blue create wonderfully uplifting, shimmering offerings. Flowing with glistening harmonies, the new single showcases Georgia, Sophie, Niamh and Katie’s beautifully rich vocals and an endearing heartfelt sentiment, reminiscent of the likes of HAIM or The Staves.

Despite only forming last year, The Deep Blue have already secured bookings at festivals such as Liverpool Sound City and Focus Wales, immediately cementing themselves as firm ones to watch. We caught up with the band to find out more…

Hi The Deep Blue, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Hello! Thanks for having us. We are an all-female indie-folk band based in Manchester. This city has a special place in our hearts but our homes are far and wide; Georgia is from Scotland, Sophie from Wales, Niamh from Ireland and Katie from Down South (official term). We spend our weekends blending weird and wonderful vocal harmonies with Sophie’s punchy beats and Georgia’s catchy guitar lines. If we’re lucky, Sophie cooks us dinner after rehearsal (her cooking is out of this world). ‘Jealous Sea’ is the debut single from The Deep Blue, released under Liverpool-based indie label Snide Records. It was produced by the talented Alex Quinn.

How did you initially decide to start creating music together?
Niamh, Sophie and I used to be in another band named Café Spice but in 2020 we began making new tracks that didn’t fit with our old sound, so we decided to start something new. Katie joined us in the summer lockdown 2020 and The Deep Blue was born. It’s been so joyful painting on a fresh musical canvas with this wonderful group of women! A key component of our music is three-part harmonies and with Katie’s voice, the mix was luscious. Silky, warm and velvety. 

You’re about to release your debut single ‘Jealous Sea’. What inspired this track? Are there any particular themes running throughout it?  
The never-ending onslaught of airbrushed social media has been giving us all motion sickness these past few years. It’s both spectacular and terrifying, but we can’t deny that it often leaves us feeling a little green with jealousy. We wanted to capture that in an honest, hair-down, mask-off song. We reached for a gritty rawness and paired it with our soft folky singing and out popped ‘Jealous Sea’. 

We love your uplifting, shimmering sound, which brings to mind the beautiful alt-folk of The Staves, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
What a compliment! Thank you. It’s a tricky one. For this song in particular we listened to a lot of Phoebe Bridgers and ‘Emily’ by Clean Cut Kid. HAIM’s album Women in Music Part II had just come out and we all became obsessed with it. We played it in the car all the way to Giant Wafer Studios in Wales (where we recorded ‘Jealous Sea’). We have a good mix of favourites among us. Everything from Arlo Parks to Jessie Ware, Big Thief to Katy Kirby. We love it all! 

You’re from Manchester – in ‘normal’ times, one of the best places for live music! What have been some of the best gigs you’ve ever been to?
Well, obviously it attracts some big names. Some of our top gigs include Maggie Rogers at the Ritz, Parcels at The Academy, Everything Everything at the 02 Apollo, Honeyfeet at Niamos – all mind-blowing. Some of the best live acts we’ve seen are the more local ones. Rocking up to Matt and Phred’s or The Whiskey Jar on a Tuesday night, you’re bound to hear something brilliant. Those music nights are intimate and special. Manchester’s local musicians are unbelievably talented.

And what can fans expect from your live shows? 
Our gigs are quite intimate even with a lot of people in the room – we like it that way. We want people to feel things and we also want people to dance. Dance their feelings – there’s time for stories, but also time to just move to the music and have a wee boogie! Expect vocal lusciousness, catchy guitar riffs and four-to-the-floor grooving; expect to laugh and maybe cry; expect to be lost and then found again, and then, by the end, expect to be our new friend and have tired feet.

How have you been connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
I’d love to say we’ve been writing our fans letters and serenading people on their door steps but the fact of it is, we’ve been doing the usual social media dance. We’ve had fun covering some of our favourite female artists – Sorcha Richardson, Aurora, Caroline Polachek. I guess we’ve mostly been focusing on ourselves, building The Deep Blue and writing songs.

And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times? 
We all have sisters and I feel like we’ve become a surrogate sisterhood in replacement of our absent sisters. Having each other has been hugely supportive, I can’t even find words. The Deep Blue has been our family when we couldn’t go home.  Now for the serious stuff: Sophie’s cooking, HAIM, chocolate digestives, Niamh’s poetry phase, the thought of releasing this song.

How do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
Yes, it certainly is hard to get noticed but I think if you’re out there just to “get noticed” there are far easier routes to success than being a musician. It’s tricky not to stray from your path of passion and we’ve all had bizarre ideas like “Oh maybe if we just start a cooking channel on TikTok where we sing and toss pancakes we’ll double our fan base in 30 seconds”. Making the music we love is the most important thing and that keeps us grounded. It’s difficult to be heard, there are so many new bands and artists all the time. It takes a hell of a lot of organisation and hard work to even get one song written, rehearsed, recorded and released. There are seven of us in this team working to make it work! But it started with one and grew over time. My advice to new acts would be: take your time, figure out who you are and what your sound is and let that be the centre of your universe. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming bands that you’d recommend we check out?
Yes! Morgan Harper Jones, Nina Cobham, Quiet Houses, MYTBE.

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for The Deep Blue?
Write, record, release and finally play some live shows! We cannot wait to perform, we’ve got so many songs we want to share with the world. We’ve been working hard in the studio so keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned.

Massive thanks to The Deep Blue for answering our questions!

Produced by Alex Quinn and recorded in Giant Wafer Studios in Wales, ‘The Jealous Sea’ is out today, 13th May, via Snide Records.

Track Of The Day: Clara Byrne – ‘To Rome’

A soft, nostalgic tribute to her hometown of Bray in County Wicklow, Irish musician Clara Byrne has shared her latest single ‘To Rome’. The second single from her upcoming album Handstitched, the track reflects on Clara’s trip to the ancient city and documents the thoughts she had about her hometown whilst wandering amongst its famous ruins.

“Bray, this seaside town has been there to meet me at all the different stages of my life. From my first day of school, to my first love, to my first gig, each patch of the town holds a memory,” Clara explains. “During a particularly bad slump in inspiration, a dry patch in creativity, and even a lull in passion for music, I received a lump sum of emergency tax back. Though I was a struggling student at the time I decided to head off and explore the city of Rome as a stark contrast to my little town. I brought a pen and paper for company and this song is the result of that trip.”

‘To Rome’ is the result of Clara’s journey to Italy, full of gentle alt-folk guitar sounds and her rich vocals. “The evidence of the cities previous empire is scattered on every street corner in the form of these beautiful ruins. In a strange way, it gave me hope,” Clara continues. “Those living during that time must have seen their world as I see mine; seemingly impossible to change and difficult to imagine the end of all they’ve ever known. I think the contenders for the biggest impact in your life feel like they could go on forever. Whether it’s a relationship, the current political system, a pandemic or a great empire, nothing lasts.”

Watch the accompanying video for ‘To Rome’ directed by Bray artist Ed Cleary below.

Follow Clara Byrne on bandcampSpotifyTwitterFacebook & Instagram for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Brí – ‘More Than’

In a melancholic release that lays mellow in a delicate landscape of sounds, Irish indie-pop artist Brí opens up a captivating sonic realm in her new single ‘More Than‘. With an effortless vocal reminiscent of the elegance of Mazzy Star, Brí’s silky words cast a spell across this entire tune from the very moment it begins. 

Despite a sweeping haunting aura, ‘More Than’ does not shy away from an idea of hopefulness which seems to lead Brí’s lyrical nature when she declares “I want more than this…” Brí seems to toss and turn with these demons for change, and she embodies her needs in every way as they catch up to her. It is the small things that add up and weigh heavy, as Brí depicts that even she finds trouble pretending to care about “the music in the air”. Smooth guitar riffs flutter and further carry Brí’s vision with just enough eagerness to reflect her will for metamorphosis. Additionally, with shuffling, dainty drums, the track feels continuously airborne in disposition.

Of the track, Brí explains:

“‘More Than’ is about craving more than the situation you currently find yourself in. It’s a place where passion and emptiness meet, the point where two conflicting paths overlap and where all that is cloudy becomes clear.”

With an earnest confession that is undeniably genuine and refreshingly raw in emotion, Brí’s ‘More Than’ is a captivating moment that motivates us all to follow that butterfly in our gut, out to the forest.

Watch the exquisite video for ‘More Than’ here:

 

Jill Goyeau
@jillybxxn

Photo Credit: Constance Vance

Interview: Naz & Ella

Having been charming our ears for some time now with their beautifully poignant creations, and having been guests on the radio show back in 2019, alt-folk duo Naz & Ella have now announced a new EP set for release this Spring.

Taken from the new EP, latest single ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’ reflects on the all-too resonant theme of sexual harassment whilst oozing a gritty, grunge-infused aura alongside the duo’s traditional folk-inspired musicality. Tinged with an eerie majesty with shades of grunge pioneers Alice In Chains, it’s a beautifully stirring offering, exuding a subtle, stark power.

We spoke to Naz and Ella to find out more about the song, their songwriting and inspirations, and what plans they have for the rest of the year…

Hi Naz & Ella, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and what you do?
Hi Get In Her Ears! We are an alt-folk duo from north London and are currently in the process of releasing our second EP. Naz is the lead vocalist and Ella is lead guitarist, but we both sing and play guitar. Our music is sociopolitically focused and we’re currently transitioning from a more acoustic folky sound to something more post-punk and grunge influenced, whilst retaining some of the folk influence. Our sound is like The Cranberries meets Nirvana, with a dash of Simon & Garfunkel.

How did you both initially decide to start creating music together?
Naz: We met in our English class after our teacher made a new seating plan. We were 15 and I was starting a band and asked if Ella wanted to join – she said yes! We played together in a band for a few years but disbanded when everyone went off to uni, but Ella and I stayed in touch and continued making music as a duo. 

We love your gritty, folk-strewn sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We are inspired by all types of music, from traditional English folk to metal, but some of our current influences which have inspired our upcoming EP include The Cranberries, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, The Raveonettes, Marika Hackman and Big Thief.

You’ve just released your poignant new single ‘No (Doesn’t Mean Convince Me)’. Dealing with themes of sexual harassment and gender-based violence, it seems especially resonant right now. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired you to focus on this theme? 
Naz: It is especially resonant at the moment which is interesting. We’re glad people are talking more about this stuff because these conversations need to be had and we really need to start working together to make the world safer for everyone. In terms of this song specifically, the violation of women’s bodies and that of marginalised genders at the hands of cis-men is so normalised within society that we tend to just brush it under the carpet. I wanted to write something that addressed this bluntly. As a queer woman, I’ve had countless experiences on nights out – and I didn’t even go out much before COVID – where straight men would harass me. Telling them I’ve got a girlfriend made it worse because queer women are both fetishised and seen as a fun challenge or game because we “just haven’t met the right guy yet”, apparently. That’s where the initial inspiration came from for the song.

The powerful sound of the track seems a slight step away from some of your other material –  was this heavier sound intended to fit with the track’s subject matter? 
We’ve been experimenting with our sound for a while now, veering towards a grittier and slightly heavier sound. It was particularly fitting to go with a dark grungy feel for this track as we wanted to convey the intensity of the atmosphere in those situations, whilst through the melody and lyrics we wanted to get across holding onto or taking your power back.

The track is taken from your upcoming EP (DE)HUMANISE – are similarly poignant themes running throughout the collection? 
Absolutely – we have more personal songs about identity and autonomy on the EP: ‘Exotica’, which is a song about the exotification of women of colour, ‘Internalised’ which we released in February about overcoming internalised queerphobia and ‘We Are The Enemy’ which highlights the hypocrisy of speciesism. One of the messages we intend to convey in this EP is that for anyone who feels dehumanised, that they don’t have to tolerate it or participate in their own dehumanisation to comply with social norms.

As you know, we’re extremely dedicated to and in support of creating safe spaces for women and gender non conforming people at gigs. What more do you think can be done to help ensure safe environments and prevent the all-too-common instances of sexual harassment at events? 
The main way to prevent this type of behaviour is education from a young age. We hate to say it as we’d like to think it’s obvious, but unfortunately there are many instances where people don’t realise that their behaviour is threatening or considered sexual harassment or assault. However, this does not absolve people from taking responsibility for their behaviour. Perpetrators of this behaviour are usually men and we need more men willing to call out this behaviour and explain why it’s not okay, especially if it’s one of their own friends. Once this is normalised, perhaps gigs and clubs will be safer.

How have you been connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
The main way we’ve been connecting with our audience is through social media. We’re kinda shy when it comes to social media, but we started using Instagram a bit more and recently decided to make use of the ‘Close Stories’ function to connect with people who want to see what we get up to behind the scenes, that we wouldn’t usually share on our main stories – that’s been quite fun! We’ve also been attending online talks and networking with other musicians in chats and groups – it’s been reassuring to hear about other peoples’ experiences during this time and learn from each other.

And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times?
Naz: One thing that really inspires me is discovering a song that makes me feel – it’s hard to explain! I’ve discovered so many cool artists over the past year or so – mostly post-punk and goth rock – and that’s really motivated me to push myself creatively. Music documentaries have also inspired us to create music. 
Ella: Setting up our home studio last summer and figuring out how to use Logic was a huge motivator as we had never recorded ourselves before and we really learnt a lot, and it helped having more spare time to do so. I also read a lot of music books, most recently ‘Revenge Of The She Punks by Vivien Goldman and Carrie Brownstein’s autobiography, which really motivates me.

As we’re a new music-focused site, are there any other upcoming artists that you’d recommend we check out?
Naz: So many! Los Angeles-based band Aurat who are darkwave/goth-influenced and sing in Urdu, grunge/pop-punk band Pinkshift from Baltimore, grunge band Passionless Pointless from Berlin and UK-based post-punk band Ghum.
Ella: We created a playlist which we update regularly with new artists we’ve discovered! Some recent additions include Belfast-based politically-minded rock band New Pagans, Leicester “sad punks” Kermes, London Dreamy grunge-pop Gold Baby, and Faultress whose music includes lots of layered harmonies and intricate sounds.

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for Naz & Ella?
Our EP (DE)HUMANISE is out on 7th May which we’re looking forward to! And we’re hoping to do a few gigs, so we can share the songs in real life. We have one gig booked so far this year which was rescheduled from last year for Colchester Pride on 28th August! A lot of our time is actually going to be spent rehearsing as our setup has totally changed – we have so much to learn with pedals and samples which is both a bit daunting, and also very exciting…

Massive thanks to Naz and Ella for answering our questions!

(DE)HUMANISE, the upcoming EP from Naz & Ella, is out 7th May.

Photo Credit: Poppy Marriott