The Lounge Society is arguably one of the most exciting bands to emerge in recent years. Their plucky, fun, yet poignant songwriting is incredibly infectious, however, beneath the upbeat sound is a raw and real lyricism that is delightfully biting. Their voice is one mirrored through the younger generations of this country, it’s tongue-in-cheek matched with societal observations. There is much to be annoyed about in today’s political climate, yet at the same time, we all just want to live our lives in comfort, something that The Lounge Society has captured brilliantly through their music.
The band recently released their debut EP via Speedy Wunderground and its four-track wonderment of jagged-edged indie, similar to bands such as FEET, SHAME, and Fat White Family. It’s an incredible release that will leave you lusting for more, it certainly has us itching for the LP.
With all this in mind we wanted to catch up with the band to chat about them, their music, life in 21st century Britain, and much more!
Kieran: Firstly, thanks for taking the time to chat with us, I’m incredibly excited about this interview! Secondly, how have you been?
TLS: Thanks for having us! yeah we’ve been good, it feels great to finally have the EP out.
Kieran: How did you all meet and at what point did you decide to start making music together?
TLS: Well, we knew each other throughout high school but didn’t become good friends until towards the end really and it was around then that we started the band. We first started playing music together in music lessons so we started by doing a lot of covers, as i guess a lot of bands do, and then we slowly started writing our own music.
Kieran: Have you been preparing for the return of live music and are you excited for it?
TLS: We are incredibly excited for the return of live music, in fact we have our first gig in a couple of days although this will have probably already happened by the time this is out! Its been strange for us because I guess we felt like we had so much time so naturally started writing and working on ideas rather than rehearsing a set so we’ve ended up pretty much writing the album which is shaping up really nicely and then suddenly, after what feels like a decade without live music, our first gig is here so we’ve started hammering our live set over the last few weeks and getting ourselves in the live spirit, where we feel most comfortable. We’re ready for it and can’t wait!
Kieran: How do you feel your recorded music translates into the live sphere and what can people expect?
TLS: We’d like to think it translated very well. When we are in the studio with Dan we put time and effort into creating the live atmosphere and then Dan does what he does best and records it perfectly. It’s the ideal partnership really because we can basically just play a gig in a room and he captures it. If we spend too much time sitting around in the studio fiddling with stuff we would lose our energy and spark so for us the studio experience is very much like a gig, in front of Dan and Lex.
Kieran: I’m going to brown-nose you a bit here, but the ‘Silk For The Starving’ EP one of the most exciting releases of 2021 for me, when did you start writing it and can you explain the influence behind it?
TLS: Thanks! Some of the songs on the record are reworks of tracks from a really long time ago. The basic idea of Burn The Heather was written in high school which feels slightly scary to think about, so was the roots of Cain’s! But a lot of the developments of the tracks and beginnings of tracks came much more recently. During the start of lockdown, before we recorded, we spent quite a lot of time attempting to ‘perfect’ the tracks, particularly lyrically. Most of the words for this record came together very close to when we actually recorded.
Kieran: The EP is only four songs but feels like a totally complete body of work, leaving the listener extremely satisfied afterward, was this something you aimed for?
TLS: Yeah, that’s exactly what we wanted. This isn’t some slow experimental record, it is a burst of energy and hope a lot of the songs we are working on for the future echo the feeling of the EP as well, that feeling of intensity and urgency.
Kieran: What did you listen to growing up and how has that shaped you as artists today?
TLS: We all listened to all kinds of music which has probably directly and indirectly impacted us. Collectively our music taste has definitely developed a lot, now we all listen to a lot of funk and soul and hip-hop which may not always come through in our music but has shaped us. We take inspiration from a lot of artists like the velvets, modern lovers, bowie, eno, the doors. I think there is a sense of chaos in our music which maybe relates to some of the artists i’ve just mentioned. Chaos causes excitement, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.
“We put everything into this band and these songs so why wouldn’t we want every single person in the world to hear it?“The Lounge Society
We have no plans to sit back and let anything happen, we plan to get up and make things happen. We want to be as exciting and important to people as the velvets or the doors were and are and we are in no way ashamed to admit that. A lot of artists seem to believe, or want people to perceive that they believe, that they have no aspiration for success and that isn’t how we think. We put everything into this band and these songs so why wouldn’t we want every single person in the world to hear it? It is our duty as artists to spread our work to every inch of the planet and that’s what we want to do.
Kieran: Where does that influence fit into the music you collectively make with The Lounge Society?
TLS: I guess with influences it’s often difficult to pinpoint how or when they impact our music. I don’t feel as though we are one of those bands who you listen to and think ‘ah yeah they’re obviously trying to be whoever’ because we take inspiration from so many weird and different things. If we sounded like we only listened to one genre of music I’d be worried.
Kieran: There is a political element to your music, in an observational sensibility, do you consider yourself political or is it more commentary?
TLS: Yeah of course we’re political, it seems insane to us that anybody can not be political at the moment. We are not telling anyone what to do or believe, that’s not our job. We are doing our best to shine light on topics that need to be thought about. However we don’t force it, if our words were too forced they would instantly lose their meaning. That’s not to say it always comes easily, there have been times where we’ve had a, musically, completed song but have spent the best part of a year working on the lyrics.
Listen/watch ‘Cain’s Heresy’ here:
Kieran: Like us, you’re from a rural community, what is it about these places people from cities don’t understand?
TLS: Being from where we were from definitely feels like we have a different perspective. I think some people who have only ever lived in city centres maybe have a false impression of somewhere like Hebden Bridge, it seems to be increasingly common for people to only think about Hebden Bridge as some sunny, happy town with loads of nice toy shops which of course it is to the average tourist in August but if every person who visited hebden on the warmest day of the year visited on the coldest, most miserable day of the year they would have a very different view. This valley can be a dark place and can provoke some very dark thoughts, which is kind of the meaning of ‘Valley Bottom Fever’.
We urge everybody to watch Shed Your Tears and Walk Away, a documentary about Hebden Bridge and its various issues. It’s a really well made, fascinating film which highlights many of the problems in the valley. It’s a tough watch but crucial for people to get an insight into the other side of this area. For us seeing all the supposed ‘excitement’ in cities like Manchester we naturally want to get out. but as well as all of the darkness it can be a really beautiful place, although it can be frustrating I can see why people come from all over the world to visit it!
Kieran: How has this affected and influenced your music?
TLS: I think on occasions we have to draw energy from elsewhere, Hebden and its surroundings can provoke lots of musical and lyrical creativity but when it feels as isolated as it often does we find ourselves feeding off the buzz of different places. When we’ve been away, either gigging or recording or whatever, it can spark some fresh ideas, not always instantly but more often long term. I find myself looking through my phone and finding things that were written down whilst walking through Streatham or something that i didn’t even realise i did or we’ll be working on an idea at home just after we’ve come back and we will be playing it differently for no particular reason other than maybe we’re playing it with a different perspective. Those little developments of tracks are often the most important.
Kieran: Do you see real change happening in this country or are we destined for flag-waving and clapping for eternity?
TLS: The various fascist governments we’ve had in power have been just as sly and selfish as this one now and it’s taken a pandemic for some people to see the relentless fuckery and how little any of them care about the people. We are living in scary times, part of me thinks surely after the last year or so no one will vote for these morons but of course they will because they always find a way of twisting it. All this government cares about is helping out their billionaire mates and making sure they come out of this lockdown appearing as the saviours and they will do it. It doesn’t matter how many times they fuck up, break their own lockdown rules or how many affairs they have they will make sure the public sees them exactly like they want to be seen. All they have to do is give the bbc a ring and they will be sorted.
“All this government cares about is helping out their billionaire mates and making sure they come out of this lockdown appearing as the saviours and they will do it“The Lounge Society
Kieran: Did you ever see your music getting the attention (well deserved!) when you first started?
TLS: Not really, no. When things were starting to move really quickly with us and Speedy, we didn’t really stop and think about it we were just thinking about what was next. We put everything into this band so to see it pay off is really nice, occasionally something will happen, we’ll get a message from our manager with some news and we’ll just say to each other ‘this is what it’s about’, you know? sometimes nothing will move for a while and we’ll just be constantly together writing, rehearsing, recording etc and then we get some big news when we’re all together and it’s one of the best feelings.
Kieran: How did you get signed by SpeedyWunder and what’s it like?
TLS: It all went so fast. One day we got an email saying they loved a demo or two that we’d sent. It all kinda flew from there. Going down to the studio for the first time was mad too, it’s like a creative jungle in there, nothing out of bounds.