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Elder Island working on new EP, play Secret Garden Party next weekend

17 July 2015, 09:01 | Written by The Line of Best Fit

Bristol trio Elder Island have been bubbling under for a little while now, having emerged in June 2014 with their self-titled debut EP for Four Thieves Record. A sinuous slice of neo-soul with all elements perfectly aligned Elder Island was the work of life long friends Dave Havard and Luke Thornton, with Birmingham transplant Katy Sargent's catalysing voice and cello making it three. We caught up with them ahead of their much anticipated performance at Secret Garden Party next weekend.

How did you all first meet?
Katy Sargent: I met the guys at uni in Bristol, but they had been friends since they were little. Dave and I lived in a ramshackle house near Brandon Hill and Luke came to live in the kitchen. Good morning cereal was had sat on the end of the bed, chatting with bleary eyed sleepers.

How did Elder Island come into being?
Dave Havard: It happened towards our last year of uni, when Katy started to play cello again. Luke and I were just playing around on whatever instruments we had at the time. Katy started to chip in with some cello and she started singing, it all happened from there.

At what point in your life did music become something so important, something you wanted to do?
Dave: I certainly didn't have much of a musical upbringing. My mum used to just blast out Streisand in the house so I would shut myself away from that and started to try and learn guitar - playing along to NOFX. I think it's more about the joy you get when you hear something that excites you, that triggers a feeling which can only be associated with music that you just want to share.

You released your debut EP last year via Four Thieves, can you tell us a bit about that record?
Luke Thornton: We spent a lot of time trying and experimenting over the years.
Katy: Lots of the tracks we'd had for some time, they transformed and coagulated with the new to end up as the final sound.
Dave: It was all made and produced by us in the house myself and Luke were living in at the time, using what ever equipment we had. We recorded the vocals in a make shift sleeping bag vocal room!

How do you feel the band has changed since then?
Dave: Playing live has had an influence on how we're making music this time around. We have quite a technical setup live so how some of the songs are performed will vary quite a bit to how they've been recorded, and this is feeding back into the writing.

Can you tell us more about your live set up?
Dave: We bring quite a lot of gear with us, but at the heart of each of our rigs is a looper. These are all in sync with each other so we build upon recording loops live. Its gives us more freedom when performing as well to manipulate and be much more loose. We respond to who were performing too or how we feel.

What are you working on at the moment? Another EP? An album?
Luke: At the moment we are working on both. We have enough tracks for a definite EP but we are also hoarding enough tracks to create an album. The final stage is the hardest part as we're trying to raise the money and find the time to complete the production and arrangement.

What do you think makes a good pop song?
Katy: Good hook, strong beat and a wealth of sound.

What’s the most important thing to you as a band?
Luke: Enjoying what we do; feeling it.

Have you been to Secret Garden Party before, what about that festival specifically excites you?
Dave: I haven't been in a long time so I'm excited for this new lake thats been built. Can't wait to have a swim. We've got a good slot on a great stage so it will be an exciting one. Hopefully get everyone in the party mood for the rest of the day.
Luke: The people, the partying and the Saturday night.

The SOLD OUT Secret Garden Party takes place from 23-26 July. Find out more about their incredible secret garden location and line-up on their website.

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