Introducing Interview: Queen Colobus

Having received support from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Mary Anne Hobbs, as well as Jazz FM and Soho Radio, South London based indie-jazz collective Queen Colobus have recently released their new EP Think Fast. Filled with blissful hooks, luscious swooning vocals and glistening laid-back beats, it showcases the band’s ability to fuse together an eclectic array of influences to create wonderfully woozy, musically rich euphoric soundscapes.

We caught up with Queen Colobus to find out more about the EP, what inspires them and what to expect from their live shows…

Hi Queen Colobus, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hiya! We’re a genre-bending 4-piece based in South London. We’ve been together for about three years and Beth (sax/vocals) and Jelly (guitar) live together in sunny Camberwell in a house full of musicians. Our name was derived from an Old World Monkey called King Colobus, which we thought reflected our wise and playful nature (but being a female-led band, Queen felt more apt). We all love marmite.

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
Beth & Jelly met at a jam session in Southampton years ago and bonded over being the only female instrumentalists in the room. We forged an alliance and, upon realising how weird we both are following a raspberry-blowing-on-a-random-person’s-stomach incident, we roped in our frivolity-filled mates Will & Adam to create Queen Colobus. We thought the weirdness might seep into the music too and, sure enough, our music has been repeatedly described as wonky.

Your new EP Think Fast is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any specific themes running throughout the album?
Yes, we’re really proud of this one! It’s our second EP. Beth wrote the bare bones of most of these songs and then brought them to the band, so they’re fairly personal. The EP covers themes that are often not talked about in society; grief, mental health struggles and unrealistic body ideals. ‘Think Fast’, the title track, hits back at body ideals and their damaging effects on women, especially young women, whereas ‘5/9’ was written about Beth’s Dad’s relentless positivity as he underwent cancer treatment. The final track of the EP, ‘Old Friend’, was recorded live in one take and is a sweet song on learning how to be alone.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote and Arlo Parks, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We’re lucky to all have such a wide spread of influences. For example, Beth always says that she sort of fell into jazz because she plays saxophone, but listens to so much indie and rock music that this weird amalgamation of them all comes out in her writing. Then when we come together, everyone brings their styles to create an even weirder combination that we often struggle to identify. We can feel a lot of the underground scene’s genre lines becoming blurred and us slowly moving into a post-genre music world, and we’re excited to be part of it. If we had to name one or two influences, Hiatus Kaiyote and Led Zeppelin are probably top of the list.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
As Beth & Jelly live in a house of musicians we were lucky to have a full band in the house over lockdown. As things started to open up but venues hadn’t yet, we would host jams for our community in our back garden, so we were really fortunate to still experience live music throughout the pandemic. Our music community is incredible – everyone is so supportive of each other. We see a lot of live music because we’re passionate about it but also because we want to support all our mates!

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
Lots of cathartic rage channelled through a saxophone, followed by sweet calming sounds soothed by Beth’s voice. Extreme guitar solos from Jelly via a concerningly un-grounded plethora of guitar pedals. Will’s head bobbing so furiously you feel his neck must be a slinky. An absurd rhythmic wizard named Adam via the medium of drums. Seriously, though, the audience are very much a part of our performance – we’re always so inspired by everyone’s energy in the room. We always try to create a space where everyone on and off stage feels like they can let go and be completely immersed in the moment.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Yes! We’re loving Holysseus Fly ‘Marigold’ and Stanlæy ‘omnibiguous’ – two singles released last month that are incredible. Shoutouts to Plumm ‘Flame to Flame’, Nina Fine ‘Little Lies’ and t l k ‘Frame Of Ted’. Also we became completely obsessed with Jessi Mac’s tune ‘Carry On’ last year. Excited for Marla Kether and China Bowls to drop their new music soon too.

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 hard because the pandemic stopped so many artists’ trajectories in their tracks – it sort of felt like we were over-saturated as a scene as venues started to open up and bands released music they wrote over that time too. Having said this, the saturation is also super inspiring – everyone is creating and pushing boundaries with their art and it inspires us to do so too. There’s always an element of luck too which is impossible to predict.

Finally, what does the rest of 2022 have in store for Queen Colobus?
We’re working on some new music and will be back in the studio early 2023 – lots more weird sounds coming your way!

Think Fast, the new EP fro Queen Colobus is out now. Listen to / buy it on Bandcamp now.

Track Of The Day: Alaskalaska – ‘Still Life’

Fresh after announcing their upcoming album Still Life, South London band ALASKALASKA have released the record’s title track in an exploratory and curious single. Arriving this Autumn, Still Life will embrace a free-form electronica disposition filled with digital sounds, rich melodies, drum machines and the sparse involvement of acoustic instrumentation. 

With the latest single of the same name, Alaskalaska grasp at a knot tangled by existential dread and the simplicity of life’s simple pleasures, painting an enchanting teaser for the album. Paired with an abstract music video, ‘Still Life’ builds a world with melodic, arpeggiated synths and circular lyrics. With a lyrical refrain building the tension, ALASKALASKA’s story feels interpersonal – oozing a profound immersive soundscape, spinning thoughts of uncertainty. 

Building with intensity, layers of sound are interwoven, building to a climax of fuzz emulating irritation. This distinct arrangement later comes to a burst as the tension of ‘Still Life’ peaks. Eerie reverbs and modulations shift the tone of ALASKALASKA from left to right, delving into a sonic chaos that pays off as stirring, ethereal vocals echo in the background.  

As the track settles, ‘Still Life’ remains in the back of listeners’ minds; swirling and dancing around our thoughts; creating a sparkling moment for reflection. ALASKALASKA has set the scene for a captivating ‘Still Life’ – one that is multidimensional and full of character.

Of the track, the band explain:

“‘Still Life’ asks is what is supposed to connect us on a worldwide scale being used more for vanity/ego, distraction or even surveillance/control? ‘Look at it breed, modern greed…’. It’s a bit of a cautionary tale, much like 1984…if you get my drift. Still though, there are glimmers of hope – ‘I’ve got the seed in my pocket….’ as in I’ve got seeds to sow, seeds to grow. Small gestures can make big changes.”

Watch the stirring new video for ‘Still Life’ here:


Still Life, the upcoming new album from ALASKALASKA, is set for release on 14th October via Marathon Artists.

Jill Goyeau
@jillybxxn

Photo Credit: Abi Sinclair

Track Of The Day: Murman – ‘Falling Down’

Since forming back in 2018 via a Gumtree Ad, London-Brighton band Murman are now a refined four piece who’ve shared stages with the likes of Lucia and the Best Boys and Porridge Radio at esteemed venues such as The Scala and Camden Assembly. Now, following the success of recent singles ‘Baptism’ and ‘Achilles’, they have shared an infectious new offering.

Propelled by swirling, scuzzy hooks and an anthemic, emotion-filled drive, ‘Falling Down‘ oozes a gritty energy in the vein of rock greats such as Bruce Springsteen and The Killers, with an added unique colourful pizazz and impassioned swooning vocals. If you’re in need of an instantly catchy, joyously jangly slice of Americana-tinged garage-rock, then look no further… ‘Falling Down’ offers a perfectly danceable antidote to all of life’s worries. Of the track, the band explain:

“It’s one of those songs that just sticks with you and you keep hearing in your head. We feel incredibly privileged to have collaborated with extraordinarily talented people like Josh Hayward (The Horrors) who worked with us in the studio, Garmo Mandica who mixed and produced the song, and Swedish vocalist Wiktoria who is featured on backing vocals on the track... I’m a big fan of BlondieI remember hearing ‘Dreaming’ for the first time and it was like a kick to the gut. I wanted ‘Falling Down’ to have that same impact.”

Watch the new video for ‘Falling Down’ now:

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: deep tan – ‘rudy ya ya ya’

Following last year’s creeping speedwells, London trio Wafah, Celeste and Lucy – aka deep tan – have now announced the release of an upcoming new EP, diamond horsetail. Having been captivating us with their spellbinding post-punk for a few years now, we’re super excited to see what they have in store for us next.

Taken from the EP, latest single ‘rudy ya ya ya‘ offers a bizarrely witty ode to the former mayor of NYC. Maintaining all the wonderfully wacky yet seductively dark sentiment we’ve come to know and love from the band, it’s propelled by an instantly catchy, jangly drive. Beset with haunting, glitchy hooks and sweeping, sultry vocals, the track oozes a swirling discordant allure as it builds with an immense frenzied tension. A strangely addictive, fizzing cacophony, driven by a fierce post-punk energy reminiscent of the legendary The Slits.

Of the meaning behind the track, the band explain:

Caught with your pants down, brown ooze slides down a furrowed brow as sacha interrupts — ! (aka the rudy giuliani diss track you never asked for)…

diamond horsetail, the upcoming new EP from deep tan, is set for digital release on 6th May and physical copies will be available on 22nd July.

Mari Lane
@marimindles