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: ARXX – ‘deep’

Following last year’s emotion-driven ‘Call Me Crazy’, and with acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, John Kennedy on Radio X and BBC 6Music’s Steve LaMacq, GIHE faves ARXX are back with a swooning new single.

An empowering ode to leaving behind all your anxieties and getting what you want, ‘DEEP‘ is propelled by a sweeping, impassioned energy. Interweaving a more electro-infused, glitchy sound than previous releases with their signature ferocious grunge-fuelled drive, it instantly hits you with its raw, anthemic rush and gritty, sensual prowess. Showcasing the fierce power of Hanni’s vocals alongside Clara’s distinctive thrashing beats and scuzzy riffs, it oozes an immense, stirring splendour reminiscent of alt-pop heroes HAIM. A swirling slice of rousing power-pop that leaves me longing to see the Brighton duo in all their live glory once more.

Consistently honing their sound with each offering, impossible to pigeonhole into one genre, ARXX continue to impress us with everything they do and remain one of the most exciting bands I’ve ever come across. I can’t wait to hear where they take our ears next!

‘Deep’ is produced by Steven Ansell and mastered by Katie Tavini (Pillow Queens, Arlo Parks). And, to coincide with the release of ‘DEEP’, ARXX will be sharing a special remix EP, featuring the likes of Dream Wife’s Alice Go, Anna from Brighton’s LIME and Linda Buratto.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Jessie Morgan

Five Favourites: MarthaGunn

Having released their debut EP Caught Up And Confused last year, Brighton’s MarthaGunn have received acclaim from the likes of The Independent and Radio X’s John Kennedy. Following recent single ‘Nowhere To Run’, they have now shared their latest offering ‘Honest‘. Confronting themes of fear and trauma, it oozes a soaring soulful splendour and celestial emotion-strewn power, showcasing MarthaGunn as definite ones to watch.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with front woman Abi to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums or songs that have shaped her as a musician, and in turn influenced MarthaGunn as a band. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch the homemade lyric video for ‘Honest’ at the end of this feature. 

Mystery Jets – Serotonin
I was about 16 or 17 when this came out. Mystery Jets were the first band I truly understood. It was a real coming of age album for me, and I think whatever album you listen to around those years of your life tends to stick with you forever. It’s not necessarily something that would hit me in the same way now if hearing for the first time, but at that age it just captured so much of what I was feeling and it had just the right amount of angst. For me, this was the album that made me want to start a band. I loved the idea of singing and writing songs with mates and being in a gang together. It was also the reason why I used to make Max sing everything in harmony with me, as Blaine and Will used to sing a lot together.

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
In our first year as a band, we were playing in a pub and I remember this guy coming up to me afterwards and saying we reminded him of Fleetwood Mac. At the time I had no idea who they were. I asked Max and he was like “you know who they are, you know – ‘Dreams’, ‘Go Your Own Way’?”, but I genuinely had no idea. I went home and looked them up and from that day I had them on repeat for about two years solid. I didn’t listen to anything else and I watched every documentary under the sun. I love the fact this album has the song writing perspective of three people, there’s a lot to work with there. It was the main inspiration behind our song ‘Heaven’. Funnily enough, the song that inspired ‘Heaven’ was ‘Oh Daddy’. When I first wrote ‘Heaven’, it was at the speed of ‘Oh Daddy’, which if you know that song, is much slower than now.

Haim – Days Are Gone / Something To Tell You
I was going through a bit of a rough patch in my song writing, not knowing what the hell I was trying to make. Someone showed me a video of Haim ‘Night So Long at the Greek’, and I just thought it was amazing. From there I dived into every song and documentary I could. There’s a pattern here isn’t there? If I love something I become quite obsessive and I want to squeeze it dry of every drop of inspiration. These two albums for me made me realise I had been over complicating song writing and actually it was meant to be a fun process. Haim’s lyrics are simple and to the point (which is actually the hardest, most skilled thing to do). I really focussed on rhythms in drums and vocals after this and trying to make both as hooky as possible. I owe them a huge thank you for helping me to fall back in love with song writing.

Prince – ‘I Would Die For You’
This was one of those songs that I listened to on repeat for a whole year. Even now it still makes me feel the same. I think music is able to help us feel emotions we aren’t able to express. This song kills me every time I listen to it. To all those I’ve loved who have no idea, or don’t want to know, I guess this song is my way of communicating it without actually having to. The combination of the two Haim records and this song really lead me to experimenting more with rhythms in drums and vocals. This helped me find my voice for writing drum parts. You don’t need to play an instrument to write for the instrument. Haim and Prince also made me become obsessed with the Linn Drum, but I am yet to own one. It’s on the wish list.

Daft Punk – ‘One More Time’ / ‘RAM’
This isn’t so much of a direct influence but we are all obsessed with Daft Punk. Humph and Frank are probably the biggest fans in the band. Frank is always the DJ in our van on tour so they come everywhere with us. When I think of our band it is soundtracked by Daft Punk, up and down the autobahn. ‘One More Time’ as a song does something to me (and I’m sure many others), it instantly puts me in a good mood and gets me ready for a show. I’m slightly obsessed with a new bit of info I just discovered on this song about how it was sampled. I won’t bore you here but if interested, google it. I guess there is a dance element that us three in particular are interested in exploring and I’m sure at some point in the future there will be a dance track from us subconsciously influenced by the hours and years listening to Daft Punk.

Massive thanks to Abi for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Watch the poignant homemade lyric video for MarthaGunn’s new single ‘Honest’ below:

Guest (video) Blog: ARXX

Covid 19 and the necessary restrictions surrounding it have brought about a number of cancellations of music events, including what would have been Get In Her Ears’ very first festival. It would have taken place on Saturday, 18th July, and was set to be a pretty special day, filled with some of our favourite female and non binary artists. Fingers crossed we can finally make it happen next year…

One of the bands set to play was total faves ARXX. The Brighton duo have been wowing us for some time now and, with their raging ferocious energy and unmatched raw power, they’ve blown us away live at The Finsbury on more than one occasion. We just can’t get enough of their immense, empowering anthems, and had been really looking forward to hosting them again.

In the absence of our festival, and any gigs, at the moment, Hanni and Clara from ARXX have recorded a special video, just for us – all about their favourite albums and the music that’s been getting them through lockdown. Have a watch!