Set to release their new album next month, Scottish duo Galileo’s Fan have previously received acclaim from the likes of Folk Radio UK and BBC Radio Scotland, and played at festivals such as Edinburgh Fringe and Yes Festival. Delivering cinematic alt-folk soundscapes with twinkling electronics and soaring emotion, they look to set to charm ears a plenty with their upcoming release.
We caught up with Galileo’s Fan to find out more…
Hi Galileo’s Fan, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hi! Thanks for having us. We are brother and sister, Martin and Fi Vass, from the Scottish highlands. We play guitar and piano/keyboards, respectively. We both write the material for Galileo’s Fan, so we each contribute (and lead) 50% of the songs, so it’s an interesting mix! The music is predominantly indie-pop with some electronic themes and textures, but I think our northern roots can be heard throughout as well.
How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
We used to play Scottish folk music with our other siblings, Mike and Ali, when we were all very young. Then, as we grew up listening to indie, electronic, pop and everything in-between, we began composing ourselves (separately, as adults). Music has been a hugely strong common bond for us and we have always loved sharing our songs with each other. Eventually, as we began to jam more and arrange the songs, we decided to try some recording and we made a demo in a studio on Loch Fyne, with our brother Mike at the desk. We had a lot of fun doing that, so I suppose the idea of Galileo’s Fan was conceived then.
Your new album I Won’t Be Found is out in September – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the album?
Yes, that’s right. The album is a collection of some of our favourite songs that we’ve written to date. The songs are stories about love, loss, political dismay and life experience, told from both a female and male perspective.
You’ve been compared to the likes of The Frames and The Cranberries, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Ooh, such a tough question. I think it changes so much over time and we’ve been writing these songs for years! In our younger years we listened to a lot of indie bands like Biffy Clyro and Jimmy Eat World and I think they are still a big influence. Also The Frames, The Cranberries, Sigur Ros. There are lots of bands we have enjoyed more recently too, like CHVRCHES, Dry The River and Kiasmos. Too many to name actually!
How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
We are based in Nairn (near Inverness) and St Monans (Fife) just now, and we both travel for gigs regularly… Every time I (Fi) see a live gig I vow to try to see more because each one is inspiring in its own way. In the central belt, you’re really spoilt for choice. There’s the Edinburgh fringe festival in August, Glasgow’s Celtic Connections in January and loads in between. I saw Olafur Arnalds (Kiasmos) in Glasgow recently and First Aid Kit in Dundee. Inverness always has plenty on too. There was a new festival run by the Feis in July called ‘Under Canvas’ and we’ve been along to the songwriters’ circle at Magregor’s Bar a few times now.
And what can fans expect from your live shows?
It depends! We love playing with the full band when we can – it’s always loads of fun and high-energy but we also enjoy a wee acoustic gig. The stripped back, more intimate performances are great in the right setting. We recognise that audiences will have a definite preference so we’re happy to offer both.
As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Absolutely! Wee bit of nepotism here for you but it is a truly outstanding album… Our brother, Mike Vass, is a well known instrumental composer but he has just released his first ever song album. It’s called Save His Calm and is stunningly clever and beautiful. Well worth a listen.
And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
There is so much good music available just now. The industry is incredible. It’s a steep learning curve, but there are definitely little tricks you pick up along the way. The internet offers a wealth of information for new artists, so you just have to be willing to put in the work and have realistic expectations to begin with. It’s also been really helpful having Mike (Vass) as a sort of mentor. We can always rely on his expertise when we need a bit of guidance.
Finally, what does the rest of 2018 have in store for Galileo’s Fan?
I’m hoping the rest of 2019 will provide a little respite… Hopefully just some time to decompress and get back into writing a bit more. There is a huge amount of work that goes into releasing an album, so we’ve had the blinkers on for a while. We have such respect for the musicians that are churning them out! It’s been an illuminating process. I’m not sure I’ll ever leave a gig without buying a CD now…
Huge thanks to Galileo’s Fan for answering our questions!
I Won’t Be Found, the upcoming album from Galileo’s Fan, is out 16th September via GF Records.