The Hackney-hailed duo talk new single “Photograph” and their upcoming EP.
Hackney-hailed futuristic pop duo 0171 are back with their new single “Photograph”, taken from their upcoming EP “Change Nothing”. Widely praised for their experimental approach to electronic pop, the duo blend fast-paced percussions with nostalgic vocals, pushing the boundaries of techno-pop. Speaking on the tune the duo said: “It was inspired by looking at a photo of an ex. A photo that records a moment when everything seemed perfect, but now it’s a lie, and it makes you feel strange, like you can’t really remember who you were in that photo, when you loved that person. Like a life that never happened. We’ve all picked up old photos like that we find in our bedroom, that make you sit down and feel sad for a time that is lost, even if you don’t regret the relationship ending.”
Following up from their critically acclaimed debut EP “Red Light”, “Change Nothing” explores a variety of emotions and dives into the struggle of clinging on to what ultimately brings you down. We caught up with Georgie and Joe talking the new single, challenges and early beginnings.
Check out the interview below…
Hi both, how have you been spending lockdown? How have you been staying creative?
We’ve been good. Finishing our current EP but also trying to write as much as possible. We live in a house with a bunch of friends and have been trying to make music there. With everyone in the house we’ve been slightly self-conscious as usually we have it all turned up so loud when writing and producing and belt vocal ideas over and over again until something sticks. Our friends have been like ‘that sounded so nice” when we know full well, it did not. Apart from that we’ve been playing a ridiculous amount of games and doing communal cooking and other classic wholesome monotonous lockdown stuff.
Who did you both listen to growing up and what/who influenced you? Georgie: My mum and dad both have really good music taste, I loved hearing R.E.M in the car. I was fully immersed in the pop punk era growing up, Avril Lavigne, Sum 41, Blink-182 etc and then moved onto Eels, Grandaddy, Sparklehorse, Elliott Smith and Sufjan Stevens. I like sad songs and sad music, Perfume Genius is one of my all time favourites. If not sad it has to be sexy. Sexy or sad. Or both. Joe: Before I hit the inevitable teenage indie/rock/alternative and then dance music world, my musical upbringing was all disco, the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Queen.
How did you guys meet? And what do you both bring to 0171? And what does your name mean? Georgie: I met Joe through our mutual friend Freddy who is Joe’s best friend from school and a uni friend. I used to play acoustic sets in a little cafe to earn a bit of money and Fred saw me play once. Joe mentioned to Fred he wanted to work with some more musicians and so Fred introduced me to Joe. I went round one day to record some vocals to a song, and then I think we’ve spent every single day together making music since then. Joe: In the studio, our roles are very fluid – we both produce, both play keyboards and other instruments, both write the vocals and lyrics. Our name is the old telephone code for this area of London. But really we were interested in a name that doesn’t mean anything to most people who see it.
Congratulations on “Photograph” – what’s it about and what do you hope people will take from the song? Joe: It’s definitely a concept everyone can relate to – the power that photos have to make you feel wistful or sad about your past, and a part of your life you know can never come back to. A lot of our songs are about a struggle with letting go and being who you want to be. In this instance it’s obviously centred on a break up – I can’t get over the past, and Georgie tells me it’s all over.
And you’ve got your EP “Change Nothing” coming up – what is it tied together by?
“Change Nothing” is the name of the next single, the one after “Photograph”. We called the whole EP “Change Nothing” because we like the dual meaning there – it is like saying “don’t change anything” or “nothing ever changes”. The songs are all about a craving for a paradise, or a perfect feeling, which may be impossible to get to. We were definitely channelling our own feelings of frustration at the process of trying to create something amazing every day – the feelings of futility and insecurity you can get if you come away from the studio and you’re disappointed by what you did. It can be a hard thing to do every day. But when it goes right it’s so electric, so the songs are about the search for that kind of feeling.
What were the biggest challenges in putting it together?
The interesting thing about the songs is how you feel about them when you write them seems to have no relation to how difficult they are to finish. With “Photograph”, we were about one day away from giving up on it, until we just ripped it apart and completely reinvented it in about one hour. After that, it all came smoothly. It took us months on and off to write the verse to “Follow”, although the rest of it was easy. In general, we find writing songs much easier than finishing them or changing one section of them. So we’re very excited to begin writing a new bunch again.
Your songs have quite personal narratives – why is this important for you to relay? Joe: When I write, usually there’s just a mood I feel, whether I’ve just thought of one phrase or one concept. I try to be open with the sort of thoughts or emotions that I’m obsessed with, but the narratives themselves are often kind of abstract, or I’m playing a character. The important thing for me is that I can feel like I’ve become the world of the song that we’re writing, whether it’s based on real memories or not. Ultimately though, writing music is emotional. Georgie: I find it really takes a lot out of me every time I write. I throw an idea away too quickly because I’ve grown to hate it within three seconds of writing it. I always know exactly what I want my voice to be and how I want it to sound and until it gets there I feel frustrated. I basically feel completely useless and insecure until I get to where I need to be. It’s important that all that energy doesn’t go to waste, so I put it in my music.
What’s next for you?/what are you excited about in 2020?
Writing and moving on to a new 0171 era. We want to move as quickly as possible. We have so much writing potential in us and it’s what we love the most. We’ve already got a few songs we’re excited about.