Formerly Lulu & The Lampshades, the newly renamed Landshapes are a London based quartet who hone in on a playfully skewed sound that doesn’t pertain to one genre.
Their music recalls primitive folk-pop with subtle nods to psychedelia, all atop of ethereal soundscapes of melancholic pop melodies, stomping percussion and layered harmonies, weaving in and out of joyously ramshackle at times and mournful at others.
They’re set to intrigue with the release of their debut full-length Rambutan on Bella Union this June- but they’ve already made harmonic waves with their idiosyncratic take on the YouTube hit ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me (when i’m gone)’. I was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of the long awaited album, and it’s the result of a band who have meticulously taken their time to evolve since their previous incarnation. Best Fit wanted to find out more – so Landshapes kindly took the time out to answer some questions we put to them about their music.
Tell us a little bit about the history of Landshapes, how did the band come into fruition?
The formation of the band has been quite organic, initially it started with Heloise and Luisa who were school friends, I (Jemma) was invited to play bass on very short notice for one gig liked it and ended up staying. We saw Dan playing drums in another band at a gig we were playing and found his creative approach as something that we thought could work well with what we were doing.
Was the name change an indication of a new direction or growth as a band, or was the reasoning behind it far less deep-seated, i.e. was the original name just not working for you/you wanted a change?
The more we played and wrote together the more the original name just didn’t seem to fit. We are definitely a project comprised of four members working together, so a unifying name to represent that seemed like the best idea. We spent a lot of time trying out different things but in the end fate intervened. We played a show in Paris and our name was miss-spelt as Landshapes. It seemed to evoke a lot of imagery for us and so we have stuck with it.
Your music explores quite a diverse range of soundscapes; it’s quite difficult to pin-point any definitive influences, is your sound inspired by anyone/thing in particular?
We all have quite varied tastes, we are all always listening new music, by which I mean music that is new to us (so it could be old) I think it’s inevitable that these investigations then influence the music that we make. With anything creative I think that the inspiration can often come from the actual act of creating, so in our case practicing together a lot and teasing out ideas. Often the most exciting things happen when you aren’t thinking about them at all which is why it’s important for us to record what we do and listen back, you don’t always realise at the time that something sounds good.
Despite your genre-defying dispositions, it seems kind of inevitable that you’re going to get pigeonholed with other female-majority bands with folk tendencies. Do you find yourselves getting constantly compared to bands like Stealing Sheep et al, and does it bother you when you’re quite clearly doing something that, while it does share some similar qualities aesthetically, still sounds your own?
It hasn’t really happened yet, but maybe this is something we should prepare for. Women playing guitars is not that radical, I guess sometimes its easier to define things by their physical composition rather than their musical content. That said I completely appreciate how it’s necessary to categorise things and I would struggle to know which genre we should put ourselves in.
You recently signed to the wonderful Bella Union; you seem like a good fit for the label, do you feel at home there?
Bella Union are great they are really supportive we couldn’t be happier; we can’t wait for our record to come out. There are loads of bands that we love on Bella, it’s a real privilege to be part of such a respected label. I’ve heard Simon Raymonde has quite an interesting collection of guitars, I’d love to have a look…