Hot off the heels of their debut album, British pop-trio Flawes talk touring, escapism and the future of music.
Considering their hearty tunes are all about the best bits life has to offer, it’s fair to say even Flawes have found the apocalyptic landscape of 2020 a little testing. The pop musketeers hit the ground running this year, kicking the new decade off with the release of their debut album, Highlights, and a mega-tour across the UK. But as COVID ravaged the live music scene, the boys had no choice but to slam the breaks on hitting the road.
It doesn’t matter though, the trio – consisting of Huss, JC and Freddie, still retained their musical mojo by throwing themselves straight back in the studio, what else could they do after all? Writing and recording individually, the group would go on to give themselves an accidental sonic facelift, ultimately culminating in their upcoming EP Reverie,, which is set for release on February 26th.
To tide over their fans until the new year, the boys have delivered the project’s first eerie-pop offering – “Holding Out For The Win”. Studded with synths and retro vocal swagger, an ‘80s undercurrent runs straight through the heart of this track, which explores the split-second realisation that you’ve fallen in love and have to fight for what you want. Offering an escape from the fearsome world we currently live in, Flawes dare us to dream of someplace better, and even offer to soundtrack it too – what a bunch of heroes.
We caught up with the British pop-trio below, and delved further into their escapist sound and what they hope the future holds…
Hey Flawes! How have these uncertain times been for you?
JC: At first it was definitely a shock to the system, like many bands we had a tonne of shows to look forward to and all of a sudden our calendar was empty. My coping mechanism was to limit the amount of news reports I watched in a day to just one and to lock myself away in the studio for the rest of the day. I definitely felt super fortunate that I had that escape, which I guess in turn influenced the music massively.
How did you all meet?
Huss: Well, me and JC actually went to high school together. We grew up in rival bands (not really hah, my band wasn’t very good) We randomly bumped into each other in London about 6 years ago when JC had first started writing for Flawes. Not yet knowing what it was going to be. He’d met Freddie through a mutual friend, and after one rehearsal together, that was it, we never looked back. I’m not sure if it was by complete chance that it worked so well, or whether it was just meant to be…
Where are the majority of your influences from, and what inspires your lyricism?
JC: I always tend to lean towards positive themes, I feel like that’s what the world needs right now. We’re a very optimistic band and I always naturally try and find the positive in any situation. Most of the time it will be looking back on experiences I have had; where I have been challenged. Other times it will be thoughts on previous relationships and friendships written as a series of letters to myself.
How would you describe your genre?
Freddie: We see it as alternative pop! We’re definitely influenced by some mainstream acts but I think there’s another element in the music that comes from listening to genres like hip hop and even blues. I’ve always been inspired by guitarists like Stevie Ray Vaughan and BB King so I try to sneak those influences into the music where I can haha.
Congratulations on your new track “Holding out For the Win” – what is it about?
JC : ‘Holding Out For The Win’ is all about that split second in a relationship when you realise: this is something special. The song documents that moment of falling in love and realising there’s something to be lost here. It’s a really exciting moment that i don’t think I’ve ever consciously thought about and explored before.
And you’ve got your EP Reverie coming up too – how long has it been in the making?
Huss: Reverie has been created purely from being in lockdown. Like JC said, we’d lost all of our touring due to covid and decided to write some new music together. Initially it was quite a challenge setting up recording studios in each of our homes (I had to do a bit of sweet talking to my neighbours about the drums haha) So the creative process was different but really fun. I feel like this EP has a lot more individuality to it, you can really hear how we all play our instruments and come together as flawes.
Why is it called Reverie and what ties it together as a body of work?
JC : We’ve tried to create a whole world with this EP for people to escape in. The word reverie itself is defined as ‘a state of being pleasantly lost in one’s thoughts; a daydream.’ We love the idea that anyone can get lost and join us there for half an hour. The uplifting, positive vibe will leave people ready to take on the world. We hope it’s empowering.
What was the biggest challenge of putting it together at a time like this?
Freddie: As the guys said, being in lockdown has meant that the entire EP had to be recorded remotely. It was pretty daunting at first but we saw it as an opportunity to become better producers and record our own parts well from home. We were really fortunate to work with some great producers too (Toby Scott & Keith Varon) that were super patient with our intermittent wifi connections…
How do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
Huss: I’d like people to feel happy and somewhat uplifted, that’s why we make music at the end of the day. This EP has a real ‘believe in yourself’ message throughout, it’s something all of us in flawes live by. I think people need a bit more positivity right now and more self belief in general, so hopefully Reverie will help.
What’s next and what are you looking forward to?
Freddie: We’re really excited to release the remaining tracks and videos from this EP. The video for ‘Holding Out For The Win’ ends on a bit of a cliff hanger and is actually Part 1 of a trilogy! It was great to be so hands on with the artistic direction for the campaign and see it all come to life. There’s a much more playful feeling to these visuals in comparison to some of our previous releases which feels like a better representation of who we are as people. Hopefully it’ll be safe to start playing live shows again before long but until then we’ll look forward to more live streamed gigs!