Back in full force after retreating to a remote cottage in Wales, Post Louis have returned with their new single ‘Little Jack’. Truly unique in what it delivers, it got our attention straight away delivering much more experimental and lyrically darker music than any of their previous offerings. Not being able to get the new single from the angular art-rock quintet out of our ears, we jumped at the chance to have a chat with them.
We caught up with vocalist Stephanie Davin to find out more about their new collection of songs, raising money for Women for Refugee Women and what to expect from their upcoming show at Paper Dress Vintage…
Welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about Post Louis and how it all started?
Robbie and I started making music at university. We tried all sorts of formats… From acoustic performances as a pair with a guitar, to working with a string quartet and full band. We even played quite an ambitious show at a student party at 3am with just the two of us on stage making lots of noise with loopers, guitar pedals, synths… We should have known better. Finally, we moved back to London where we’d both grown up, started playing music with friends and began forming the band into something approximating its current state.
Post Louis has just resurfaced with a collection of new songs, can you tell us a bit more about the process of creating these new songs? A mix of retreating to a remote cottage in Wales during the winter, then experimenting further in a Norwegian Church in South London?
Exactly. When Post Louis started it was more of a bedroom project, with Robbie and me writing, recording, experimenting and producing it all at home in quite an isolated way. By the time we wrote this current batch of songs, Post Louis had expanded and had been playing for quite a while as a solid group of five. The songs are designed to expose the playing styles and personalities of each band member, and this came out more and more as we developed them. After the time at the church, we recorded drums and bass live in two intense two-day batches at 123 studios with Brett Shaw, who we’ve worked with before. Then we added all the other parts at the church and in a home studio. At different points in the process we pulled in several mates and other jazz and classical musicians we know. There are lots of incredibly talented friends sprinkled throughout the new songs. And then the final stage was many, many hours of production and mixing. Robbie leads on the instrumentals, I lead on the vocals and then we glue it all together.
Did you intentionally choose to rehearse in a church and what impact do you think that has on the music?
I’d love to say it was intentional and made it somehow more spiritual or substantial. The truth is that we did it out of necessity. Our drummer lives and works at the church and it meant we could use the space for free, something for which we were amazingly grateful. If anything it probably made our sounds a bit drier. The church is incredibly echoey so we had to be careful with delays and reverbs.
We’re loving the new single ‘Little Jack’ at Get In Her Ears HQ, which we’ve played on the radio show. It seems like an incredibly apt and on point song to be releasing now, can you tell us a bit more about the song and what it’s exploring?
Thank you for playing it! Essentially, ‘Little Jack’ is a character study of someone who lives mainly in their own head. It’s about the pains of loneliness and low confidence, and what happens when these mix with naïve sexual desire. I wanted to hint at the potential for harm or even domination. I have said elsewhere that Little Jack isn’t a monster, but the song is in part about how monsters – or wolves – are made. I believe we need to rethink how we make, force and mould some children into being ‘men’. As you indicate, discussions on these kinds of topics are growing in force in some spaces at the moment. I find it exciting and moving, but am also filled with some trepidation. Feminism gaining prominence often provokes a nasty backlash which I think we need to be ready for. At almost the opposite end of the scale, but also worrying, is co-option.
You’ve just played your first of two London shows at Stour Space, how was that?
It was wonderful. I live in Hackney Wick and have spent quite a bit of time at Stour Space. It’s an area that is changing quickly. The people at Stour have run a sort of locals night on Tuesdays for a while. They have pay-what-you-feel dinner and donate the proceeds. We asked for it to go to Women for Refugee Women to mark both International Women’s Day and the hunger strike that had just started at Yarl’s Wood. It felt good to be relaunching the band with a small event in our neighbourhood. A whole bunch of our friends came down to Stour Space and we had a great evening.
Your next gig is at Paper Dress Vintage on 27th April, what can people expect from your live shows?
I’m really proud of our live show. The musicianship is tight and I think you can tell we love doing it. I trust the four of them, which means I feel I can let go on stage. The live show is quite intense as a result. I don’t really do irony or distance (in music or otherwise); it’s full-on communication for 60 minutes or thereabouts.
What’s the rest of 2018 got in store for Post Louis?
Releasing good music, playing good shows and juggling the rest of our lives in the process.
Finally as we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new/upcoming bands or artists you’d suggest we check out?
Our drummer Mattis is part of a project called amini and our guitarist Andy has his own band called milkd – you should check these out. A friend of ours has also just started releasing music as Lokki, we played with him at the Stour Space show – you should also have a listen to his new single.
Huge thanks to Post Louis for answering our questions!
Catch Post Louis live at Paper Dress Vintage (for Parallel Lines) on 27th April.