Following on from the wild success of their track “New Cold War”, indie collective Khartoum are bursting back onto the scene with their lockdown anthem “Vultures”. Ahead of the release of their forthcoming EP, the band have drawn on the angst of the past year in their latest song in a bid to reject the perils that come with being negatively labelled by society. Indie sensibilities clash with crashing symbols and rock’s influence on the band’s work shines through as alternative vocals call listeners to shed their worries and “dance away those demons.” And, with the group citing the likes of Wolf Alice and The Rolling Stones as their muses, it is clear that they are situating themselves amongst indie-rock royalty with their latest track.
“Cam was at the helm for the production and the bare bones of the song were formed in a cabin at the end of a garden in Devon during the first lockdown in 2020,” explains the band when speaking on the song’s production. “We wanted to make the most of time away from the struggle of the daily grind so he had a pretty rigorous routine of “stay in the cabin, don’t leave the cabin until something happens that makes your spine tingle”, then share it with the rest of the band and start bringing all their parts together. It was mixed by Eduardo De La Paz who really brought it to life, having his outside perspective on it was pretty useful.”
Accompanying the track is a dizzying self-directed music video depicting a counselling session. Featuring cameos from Jaime Winstone and Drag Race’s Cherry Valentine, the video offers a message of persevering in the face of adversity, all the while highlighting the band’s quirky creativity. And, with the group boasting legends such as Mick Jagger as a fan, it is clear that their upcoming EP drop on August 20th will be a display of indie-rock perfection, like all of their offerings that have come before.
Head below to check out our interview with Khartoum…
Hey guys! How has this year been for you so far?
Hello Wonderland. Having lost friends to Covid it’s been terrible but we’ve also managed to reset, write and stay productive. There’s a lot to look forward to beyond the gloom.
With last year being so difficult, do you think it affected your creativity?
We’d like to think it’s pushed us to be more creative in our art but also the process of getting things done. We’ve tried to rise to the occasion by focusing on our songwriting and production. We recorded a lot of this EP ourselves between our respective homes and our rehearsal room in the break between the lockdowns, sending parts to one another and hoping on facetime.
You formed way back in 2017, how do you think your sound has evolved over the years?
It started very much as an acoustic thing with Cam and Oscar, we were really exploring the vocal side of things – harmonies, layering and kind of looking for a true direction. Before long Scarlett and Jake arrived to complete the rhythm section (and the band) and the sound evolved through our shared influences whilst still hanging onto things like harmonies which is still something we carry through into the live show. It’s cool pulling inspiration from heroes like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young whilst surrounding ourselves with eclectic sounds from bands we admire like Wolf Alice, Sunflower Bean, Primal Scream etc.
How did you meet? What sparked the interest?
Cam and Oscar struck up a friendship over a love of music at school, we found Scarlett at a rave in a field and Jake and Cam met at university studying music. We all started going down to the same kind of gigs together and that kind of bled into making music. Once we started playing together it was obvious that we were all on the same page and it continued from there.
You released your single “New Cold War” last year which had an incredible reaction, how did this make you feel?
That song was quite personal from a political standpoint from the four of us, so to see people connect with it was great and kind of affirming. Because of Covid we haven’t been able to play it live since it made its way in the world, but we’ve got some shows lined up in July so we’re looking forward to giving it a run out!