The alt-pop trio talk their new album Volume 01, staying creative in lockdown and what’s next for the group.
It’s new music Friday and we’ve currently got Liimo’s debut album Volume 01 on repeat. Released alongside their new single “Miracle” today, the album introduces us the joyous aesthetic of the band, with carefree lyrics and soaring productions. The trio have delivered an album full of aspirational anthems mixed with alt-pop melodies and euphoric vocals.
Speaking on the release, the trio said, “Volume 01 is Liimo’s first collection of tracks written over the past couple of years. It felt right wrapping up what we’d done so far into the first little chapter of Liimo.”
The trio that formed as teenagers have been working their way up in the scene, catching the attention of US R&B sensation Khalid and BBC Radio 1’s Adele Roberts. We sat down with the alt-pop band talking lockdown, the new album and what’s next.
Check out the interview below…
Hey Liimo! How are you?
We’re great thanks, obviously buzzing that we have a new track out along with Volume 01. Releasing music in the current climate feels very cleansing and refreshing, a lot of pent up emotions over the past few months so the record coming out feels like a needed deep inhale exhale.
How has lockdown been, do you think it’s affected your creativity?
Honestly…yes. Technology’s been great with bringing friends and family together during a tough time, but for writing a song, you can’t beat being face to face and catching a vibe in the room and riding it. We kinda feel the world needs to be moving to catch inspiration. Consistency is the playground of dull minds, and that lockdown life has been pretty consistently dull. But hey ho, everybody has their own obstacles to overcome in this situation and we’re making the best of it. Finding new ways to keep that creative flow! On a positive note, we’ve managed to spend a prolonged period of time with our families in Scotland. Something we haven’t done since we moved to London so that’s been emotional.
How did you guys all come together?
Jamo and I (Kieran) met in high school, with CJ at a school not too far away. Me and Jamo cemented our friendship staying back after school in the music department jamming on shitty nylon string acoustics trying to play John Mayer. I met CJ when he played the drums and I sang in a sort of ‘school of rock’ project called ESRE that gathered bright musicians across Edinburgh. We actually keep in touch with a lot of those guys to this day! From there, we bounced around in different projects and kept in the same musical circles, but it was actually when we moved to London a while back that everything clicked and Liimo came to be!
You all grew up in Edinburgh, how did the city impact your sound?
Not in the way you’d think actually. Edinburgh is where we cut our teeth, gained our first fans but we wouldn’t consider Liimo to have a quintessential “Edinburgh” or “Scottish” sound. Like, what even is that anyway? I guess maybe, indie jangly guitars? a Scottish singing accent? That’s just never really been us. That being said, Edinburgh did set us on the path of trying to stand out rather than fit in and going all out pop and being fearless with it and for the most part the city welcomed that. We’ll always be proud and grateful to call it home.
Congratulations on the single “Miracle”! What was the inspiration behind this tune?
“Miracle” is a song about a summer breakup, something we’ve all been through. Where you thought everything was heading in the right direction until it all came crashing down with no warning. We wrote the song with a couple good friends of ours, Jon Maguire and Corey Sanders at their studio in Newport. We started working from a jam we had and we kept throwing the word, “Miracle” around then Jon put a slant on it with, “halfway to a miracle”. We liked that a lot and worked from there, everything started falling into place.
What is the process in making one of your songs?
It chops and changes really, sometimes we’ll go from a vibe on Logic or we’ll explore a cool song title or lyric. The actual writing process can be pretty quick melodically yet sometimes you’ll be banging your head against a wall after hours of trying to find the exact lyric needed. You could say it’s a balancing act, trying to keep the essence and soul of what was originally laid down but still trying to improve and push the track further to get to another level. Push too little and it’s mediocre, push too hard and you lose the sauce. In danger of sounding corny or cliche, we just try to keep it real and find lyrics that will tell the story in the least amount of words with the most amount of impact; create melodies that you can sing along to but you as a listener really believe and feel what I’m singing and what we as Liimo are saying.
What can people expect from your debut album Volume 01, and what do you want people to take away from it?
Volume 01 is the story so far, it’s awesome to be able to punctuate our journey with this record. You can expect sad bangers, more hooks than a nightclub cloakroom and truly, genuine pop songs straight from the heart. If you’ll allow us to be frank though, within ourselves I don’t think we’d call it an album, we feel that it’d be a disservice to our fans who’ve been with us the whole way to only give them one new track in “Miracle”. We’d like our debut album to be an unveiling for everyone involved, not just new listeners. That being said, we hope anybody who is dipping their toe in the Liimo pool for the first time wants to take the plunge with us for the next part of the trip after hearing it.
Your lyrics are very authentic and honest, where do you guys pull your inspirations from?
Between the three of us, there are years of experiences to vibe off and we use that. It’s tricky but being able to transport ourselves back to past situations and heartbreaks to write a track in the current moment means that nothing’s ever lost, even if sometimes one of us wants it to be. Like we mentioned earlier, it’s just being as authentic as possible and really getting in touch with yourself and using that to reach out to others.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I think we mentioned him earlier, but John Mayer would be a biggie for us, they say never meet your idols though! We’d love to work with someone like Lauv or Troy Sivan, we definitely look up to them as contemporaries so being in a room exchanging ideas would be dope. We have to chuck Ariana Grande in there too as I am an uber-fan but would be petrified putting my pipes to the test compared to hers!
What’s next after the album is released?
We’ll be shooting a video for “Miracle” which is super exciting! We are itching to get gigging again too, we had to cancel a tour earlier in the year so the sooner venues can get open safely the better and we will be hitting the road hard – watch this space. There’s also a tonne of new material to come so expect Volume 02 in a jiffy!