Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit


16 April 2013, 16:00 | Written by Hayley Scott

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…


Your live performances are quite organic and experimental; you play around with different sounds, alternate between various instruments and you often use house-hold objects including typewriters for percussion, plastic cups and tea chests. What started this unique way of performing?

Paying songs live always allows for different interpretations and versions of the songs to be realised. It’s sometimes possible and interesting to play melodies or beats on different instrumentation. It’s great to be part of an audience and feel that you are seeing something unique, it makes the experience of watching something live relevant and engaging.

You’ve just recorded your debut album Rambutan which is due for release on 17 June, can you tell us a bit about the recording process and if anything in particular inspired any themes within the album, lyrical or otherwise?

Recording has been a great learning experience for us, we didn’t realise but we were quite naive going into it, we probably used more time than average deliberating, a lot. There were a couple of times we spent an entire day laying down the live drums and bass only to come back in the following morning to discover it was a few BPM too fast and having to go through the whole process again. It’s very easy to spend days trying to create the perfect reverb, the more time you spend trying to find it the more variables seem to present themselves. An entire song got lost as well, the version of LJ Jones on the album is almost unrecognisable from the original. Learning to edit things and view things as a whole became part of it too. I’m glad we invested the time, it was important for us that we produced something perfect, that we felt belonged and we could be proud of.

Can you tell us a bit about the process for creating songs within the band context? Are you all song-writers?

Different songs have come about from different processes. Sometimes it comes form nothing more than us jamming together and chancing upon a sound, a rhythm, a melody anything that grabs our attention and we feel like developing. Other times we may have individually been working on something and bring it to the group and we all join in and take it somewhere. A couple of the songs on Rambutan were pretty much complete articles written by an individual, but the process of working out how to play it means it ends up changing and becoming more of a collaboration.

You worked with Ash Workman on the album, who is best known for his work with Metronomy, was there anything specific about Ash’s work that made you want to get him involved with production duties?

Ash’s approach made him great to work with. He managed to get our sound into focus, he is a perfectionist not in terms of getting everything necessarily into perfect time, but having a natural ability to know which take is perfect for that particular track. He has a really broad understanding and appreciation of music and was endlessly patient with us and our incessant experimentation!

Rambutan is a sublime listen, is the album an indication of what future Landshapes material might sound like? How have you evolved as a band since you formed?

Thank you very much! Our sound is in a state of constant metamorphosis, I suppose each new track encapsulates its progress momentarily, but, I guess it’s likely that future material will sound a bit like it, but different.

What does 2013 hold for Landshapes?

The release of our debut album Rambutan, playing some festivals, hopefully touring and without doubt making lots of new music, I’ll probably buy a suitcase full of new guitar pedals too. Our album launch party on 19 June at Corsica studios

Final words/thoughts?

Our album launch party is on 19 June at Corsica studios, we’d love to see you there!

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