FIVE FAVOURITES: The Elephant Trees

Formed of Martha Phillips and Sam Hugh-Jones, The Elephant Trees have been gearing up to release their debut EP ‘Monachopsis’ for a while. Whilst their music is super catchy, it’s the message of solidarity behind it that makes them a worthy listen. On their upcoming “Depressed Kids Disco Party” tour, they’re promoting a safe space for women and LGBTQ+ people, and they’re encouraging anyone who feels stressed out by life’s demons to come down and shake it all off with them for an hour or so.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Martha to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her songwriting techniques. Check out her choices below, and make sure you listen to The Elephant Trees’ brand new track ‘Idiot’ at the end of this post.

 

1. Coldplay – Viva La Vida (Death and All His Friends) 
After Growing up in a household soaked in the best combination of Christian rock and Disco (?!), the first time I heard Coldplay, my ears pricked up. I’d heard classics like ‘Fix You’ and ‘The Scientist’ and been moved, and in hindsight this was probably the first time I’d made a connection between music and emotion. I asked for a Coldplay album for my 12th birthday, and discovered Viva La Vida for the first time. ’42’, ‘Yes’, ‘Death and All His Friends’ – all of these tracks stirred emotion in me, but new emotions. Most artists can easily convey happiness or sadness in their music, but this album introduced me to music that could make me feel hope, discomfort, curiosity, a full spectrum of emotions I was only just beginning to understand myself.

2. Twenty One Pilots – Vessel
Later, after I’d started writing my own music, Sam and Tom (Aka guitar master and Drum King of The Elephant Trees) pointed out one of my songs sounded like ‘Car Radio’ by Twenty One Pilots. They forced me to listen to it in our first ever band practice in high school, I’d never heard anything like it. The way Tyler Joseph flips between genres, tempos and instruments, whilst spitting mind bending and intensely relatable lyrics blew my mind. This album is still one of the most influential on my writing.

3. Alt J – Relaxer
Rock – but also Jazz – but also Orchestral? but also pop and groove? Sign me up. The movement of these musical pieces made me feel the same way Twenty One Pilots’ lyrics did. I think the common theme for my favourite albums is the intensity of emotion I feel when listening to them, and that’s what I carry over into my own music.

4. Lianne La Havas – Blood
I heard ‘Green & Gold’ on one of Tom’s playlists and couldn’t help drumming along on the table to it – I had to listen to the full album. This woman has an incredibly poetic way of looking at life. Her lyrics are witty and make me feel empowered, her music has groove and technicality to it. This is a timeless album that I always come back to when I need reminding what true romantic storytelling song-writing looks sounds like.

5. Eliza Doolittle – A Real Romantic
I’m pretty sure everyone who are up in the noughties loved Eliza Doolittle. This album is the more mature and broody comeback. One thing I’ll take is the melodies, they’re gorgeous, full of passion, and the bass lines and hooks underneath are diiiiiirty. The contrast makes for sexy and empowering listening. I only started listening to it a couple of months ago and it’s been on repeat since.

Thanks to Martha for sharing her five favourite with us. Follow The Elephant Trees on Facebook for more updates.

WATCH: Anteros – ‘Call Your Mother’

Anteros have delivered another shimmering indie-pop gem in the form of ‘Call Your Mother’, with a sweltering new video to accompany it. Released via Distiller Records and produced by Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Marika Hackman, Bloc Party), the track fluctuates between heartfelt youth and heady fun.

The video is the first in a series of short films shot in Marrakech, co-directed by frontwoman Laura Hayden and creative director Bella Howard (Lana Del Rey, Charli XCX, HAIM.) Speaking about the inspiration behind the video, Laura says: “Growing up, leaving home, the first taste of freedom is the sweetest. It leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Confusion, mess, self-awareness, little big disasters, discovering the grey area. Having to stew there for a while. Communication, self-reflection, the BIG picture, the small ones that get you there. Where to look? What happens next? Excitement. Melancholy. You stand still, you move on. You build your own home.”

Anteros have been busy playing live shows alongside the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Sundara Karma and Circa Waves – as well as appearing as guests on one of our previous Get In Her Ears radio shows! Expect plenty more new music from the band in the coming months, with their debut album set for release in 2019. The four-piece have also announced a new UK headline tour for October, including a date at The Garage in London.

Watch the video for ‘Call Your Mother’ below and follow Anteros on Facebook for more updates.

Anteros 2018 UK Live Dates
Oct 10th – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton
Oct 11th – The Garage, London
Oct 12th – Rough Trade, Bristol
Oct 14th – Soup Kitchen, Manchester
Oct 15th – King Tut’s, Glasgow
Oct 16th – The Wardrobe, Leeds
Oct 17th – Rough Trade, Nottingham

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Anteros – ‘Bonnie’

A staple of their live set from their very first shows, ‘Bonnie’ has proven to be an instant crowd-pleaser among Anteros’ loyal following. The track is a call to arms for women; asking them to stop competing against each other and unite in the face of adversity and intense media scrutiny.

Speaking about the track, which was produced by Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Marika Hackman, Bloc Party), Anteros’ frontwoman Laura Hayden says: “We wrote ‘Bonnie’ about the pressures of being a girl in a world of people who never seem to be happy with what they have. It’s time to break away from that; to love and accept ourselves. To stop comparing ourselves to each other and work together. ‘Bonnie’ is our tribute to girls.”

We’re in the process of learning all the words to ‘Bonnie’ as we type, and we reckon you should learn them too…

Follow Anteros on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut