New Noise: The Staycations

Dream of summer days with Cambridge band The Staycations.

Stormy weather got you feeling all blues-y? Well, Cambridge band The Staycations might just be your antidote. Their sun-drenched, infectious indie music is blessed out enough to make it seem like it’s summer all year round – how delicious. Finding their name after a chat about going on holiday together, The Staycations take their cues from bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Peace and Superfood, creating incredibly catchy up-beat indie pop. With Lewis Hall on lead vocals, Charlie Hall on lead guitar and backing vocals, Will Hasleham on rhythm guitar, Craig Sadler playing bass and Ben Udin on drums and backing vocals.

Their new track ‘The Enemy’ is an anti-love song, highlighting the toughness of a relationship consisting of unrequited admiration for someone. We’ve all been in one of those situs where you’d do anything for your beau and they give nothing back… sounds familiar, right? This song goes out to you. We’re not saying it’s downhearted, though. With racing guitars and strong drumbeats reminiscent of LA-style surf pop, this is a deliciously melodic slice of Indie, and who doesn’t love an Indie quartet?

Tell us how you all first met, what sparked the band?

Lewis: Myself, Charlie, Will & Craig met in school and decided as we all had similar interests in music and were on the same course we would start a band. We went two years without a drummer and then we met Ben, we heard he was a good drummer so snapped him up immediately without actually hearing if he was! (He is) Since then we’ve developed to receive some fantastic performance opportunities at festivals such as Secret Garden Party and have played in venues like the Cambridge Corn Exchange.

What’s the name about? Are you a big fan of the stay cation? What’s your fave thing to do on one?

Will: The name came about when Lewis & Craig were in school. We thought about how cool it would be to go on a holiday together (as we had never really done that before), at first we started throwing around suggestions of various countries to visit then Lewis suggested a Staycation and the rest is history.
Our favourite thing to do would be just to chill out in each other’s company, our favourite place to visit in the UK would have to be Brighton as we recorded our debut EP there.

What makes you stand out in a sea of indie-bands (note: we’re big fans of yours now)

Charlie: I think it might be our weird mix of music tastes through the band, when all of these influences come together it makes something a bit out of the ordinary, whether it’s an off-kilter riff or an idiosyncratic vocal melody we always try to throw something different into the mix, rather than just mimicking the bands we love. I think that is a result of our personal tastes, we can really add our individual influence to the songs. Ben likes the slightly heavier spectrum of music, Craig is in to his R&B and Soul music whilst the rest of us are into bands like Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals and Superfood.

How would you describe your sound in 3 words?

Infectious, Rhythmic, Intricate

How did your new single ‘The Enemy’ come about, what’s the story?

Lewis: The Enemy is an anti-love song. It’s about the feeling of an unrequited sense of admiration towards someone you really care about and who you’d do anything for but you know they wouldn’t in return. It’s kind of depressing the more we think about it.

How’s the Cambridge music scene? Have you ever been tempted by London or have you got your own scene going on there?

Lewis: The Cambridge scene is so vibrant right now. It feels like a tight knit community as everyone knows each other and we rate that. We’ve played a few times in London, it’s definitely somewhere we want to explore more.

What’s your live show like? What’s been your best gig so far?

Ben: Having seen the band perform before I became a member of the gang, I always admired how connected Lewis and the band made me feel as an audience member. Every show is a way for us to learn more about ourselves as performers, and ultimately a way to have a good time. One of our most memorable gigs was when we played at Rhythms of the World Festival last summer and that was mainly because the stage was HUGE and we weren’t expecting it to be. We’ve just played Cambridge Corn Exchange supporting Lonely The Brave, that opportunity was the best we’ve been given so far.

Musical influences? Pick five.

Bombay Bicycle Club, Genghar, Daughter, Foals, Pink Floyd.

What inspires you?

Charlie: I find inspiration in the things I do and what surrounds me in that one given time of writing a song. I find that is the best way to encapsulate emotion or what you want to portray in a song. What inspires me to make music and play guitar is that it’s what I love to do and it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. The band are a big inspiration to me because they are also my best friends that I share a lot of my greatest memories with.

One, two three — Desert Island disc?

Charlie: Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
Lewis: Ben Howard – I Forget Where We Are
Ben: Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On

What are your hopes for the band?

To enjoy making music and performing for as long as we are fortunate to be able to do so.

Annabel Lunnon
New Noise: The Staycations

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