You know a band is good when they’ve only got a couple of songs online and yet you keep hearing their name everywhere. Well either that, or they’re massively shit. Luckily, the former is definitely the case for up and coming indie darlings, Stereo Honey.
Based in London, their signature sound of haunting vocals and delicious melodies is, quite rightfully, drawing in some much deserved hype. Creating songs that are magically melancholic, previous releases “The Heart” and “Where No One Knows Your Name” are sizzling cinematic sensations with the kind of infectious rhythms that you just have to sway along to.
Now dropping their newest offering, “The Bay”, the track sees lead vocalist Pete’s beautiful falsetto narrating a tragic love story over a brooding backing. A stirring piece of songwriting, it’s a completely all-consuming track that will cement the quartet, even more than they already are, as ones to watch.
Taken from their upcoming EP “Monuments”, we caught up with Pete and guitarist Nick to find out more.
How did you all meet?
Nick: Well, I’ve known Ben, the bassist, since we were like seven years old. We went to school together and then we met Pete through a mutual friend. We were in a punk band, Pete was actually on drums, and then about a year or two after that band began, we actually started our own project, where Pete started to sing, and he knew Jake, the drummer…
Pete: Our dads go back a long way, me and Jake.
N: We were auditioning for a while for a rhythm guitarist, a drummer, a singer. But eventually it just clicked with the four of us.
So what spurred the idea of making music together? When did you realise it was meant to be?
N: Honestly, like, the first time we all played together it was a fairly funny moment where we kind of looked at one another like, “oh shit, you can play!”
P: The chemistry was there. And we knew we had a lot of similar influences and we knew that, if we wrote together, we’d be happy with each other’s contributions.
And with your song writing, is it a collaborative process? Do you all get involved?
N: Yeah, everyone works together on our songs.
P: They’ll have different origin points. It’s very much, you know, someone will come up with something and we’ll sit in a room together and hash it out until we feel happy with it. And it’s frustratingly democratic, because we won’t move forward until we have a majority. So like, if three of us are alright with it and one person’s not feeling it as much we’ll move forward, but if we’ve got like a stalemate of two vs. two, which often happens…
N: That’s when it gets heated!
P: I mean, we’re all pretty passionate and into what we’re doing, and you know, I think a part of making music with people is like, yeah, thrashing stuff out and arguing and debating over stuff.
“But basically, yeah, we write really happy songs, don’t we?”
Lyrically, where do you find inspiration for your songs?
P: A lot of what I write is almost story based. We’ve got this track coming out called “The Bay”, and I grew up in the North and my grandparents used to have this caravan on Grange-Over-Sands near Morecambe Bay. I used to play there when I was a kid on the beach and the tide’s really dangerous, like, it comes in like a pincer, and in 2004, 23 Chinese migrant workers drowned.
It’s proper deep, man. I remember when it happened and it just, it cut me, because I used to play there, so I had like a physical connection and a memory of that…. And honestly, I find it easy to write stuff like that, that’s not necessarily about my own feelings or my own emotions, but I try and create a narrative or a story and write a song around that. So “The Bay” is like, out of the 23 people that died, they didn’t recover two of the bodies and so it’s like a love story about these two people. I imagined that they were together and holding onto one another. But basically, yeah, we write really happy songs, don’t we?
N: It’s amazing, because I just had the guitar riffs to begin with and then just Pete somehow got all of that just from that guitar riff.
P: Me and Nick work very well together, I would say. It’s a match made in heaven and then with, Ben and Jake, Ben the bassist and Jake the drummer, like it just works really well. We argue with each other all the time, but it’s like good arguing.
N: It just means we’re passionate.
P: So “The Bay” is about a Northern landmark, and then we’ve written other songs around similar themes. So, we have a song called “Angel” that I wrote the lyrics for after I took this really long coach trip from London to Edinburgh. It’s like 10 hours in a coach, so plenty of time to go over ideas and stuff like that, and we went past this horrible car crash on the A1, past the Angel of the North.
Basically, this bloke had been rubbernecking, he’d been looking at the statue, and he just slammed into the barrier. So I wrote this song about Antony Gormley’s statue, about how she’s like a little siren luring motorists off the road to their deaths. So again, really cheery. But stuff like that, we find more interesting. I’d rather write a song about something I care about, something I have like an experience of, than write about a break up, do you know what I mean?
Yeah completely. So is this working towards an EP? Or an album? What’s the next big project?
P: Yeah, so the EP’s coming out on the 1st of December. We’re doing it with Beatnik. We really love what they do, it just made perfect sense to us to work with them. So yeah, that comes out on December the 1st and we’ve called it “Monuments”, after the themes of the songs, so like “The Bay” being about Morecambe Bay and then “Angel” being about the Angel of the North. There’s another couple of songs on there that are also tied to that theme of, like, almost poems, like places of memory. That kind of thing.
Cool, and what are you up to between now and then?
P: We’ve got the Hopscotch Tour, starting on the 17th to the 21st of October. We’re playing with Anteros and Yonaka.
P: Yeah, we’re super psyched.
And finally, where does the name Stereo Honey come from?
P: We spent weeks being “the band with no name”, again, because it had to be democratic, we all had to agree on it, at least the majority did. So we’d come up with names and two of us would like it and two of us would hate it. Then I’d been listening to this shoe gaze band called The Daysleepers for a little while and one of their tracks is called “Stereo Honey” and I was just like, “oh, this is perfect.” Me and Nick, our favourite band names are like Audioslave, Soundgarden, Deftones. Like phonic, sonic related. So we wanted something that had sound in the name and we kind of rounded it on this one just because, well it shows up first when you Google it and that’s important.
That is important. Amazing, thanks guys!