In the fast-paced world of Music 2K17, it’s easy to get your knickers in a twist all too soon, only for the band in question to turn out more Wombats than Wolf Alice (sorry lads). Sometimes, however, you just know. Such is the case with London-via-Glasgow trio Dama Scout.
When DIY invited them to join the roster for this year’s annual ‘Hello’ series – essentially a guided tour through all our favourite new acts – they’d played precisely six gigs. “Yeah, that was pretty scary…” gulps bassist Lucci Rossi, recalling the show. But Dama Scout have nothing to be scared of.
Before we wax lyrical, however, let’s cement the basics. Dama Scout initially came together when drummer Daniel Grant upped sticks to London and joined childhood friend and fellow Scot Lucci who had started making music with a new mate – singer Eva Liu. “I’d moved to this flat in Kentish Town which is like a halfway house for Scottish people. It’s a portal,” he jokes. “It’s this weird, cheap flat that everyone moves into when they come here, so then Danny came and lived there too.” Far from laying the bones for the band up North, however, the pair had spent their formative years in the city’s “alternative scene” (their air quotes, not ours), rivalling it out in various groups. “Danny was a punk and I was a metaller so that was an issue,” says Lucci. “Our friendship broke down walls”.
“We didn’t want to overthink it too much.”
Eva, meanwhile, had been raised on a diet of “The Beach Boys, Cantonese and Japanese pop and ‘90s bands like The Breeders”. An unlikely pairing of histories, perhaps, but one that the band shrug off like it ain’t no thing. “We never had any real reference points for sound,” she says. “And we’ve got quite different tastes and styles in terms of how we play.”
“Yeah, it’s pop sensibilities but with no real rules,” agrees Rossi. “The main thing is just fun – not the band, the concept. We didn’t want to overthink it too much.”
And there’s perhaps the key spark that makes Dama Scout, in all their infancy, such a truly exciting thing. ‘Forget It’s Good’ is a gauzy, gorgeous thing that begins on dappled guitars and dreamy nostalgia before piquing in a chorus that shoots straight for the heart. ‘All In Too’, meanwhile, is wonky and weird, full of scrappy riffs and monotone vocals shot with moments of hypnotic, kraut-y melody. Both are playful, unexpected and assured in their choices, in ways that belie a band so young.
Next up is a summer single to boost their current output by a solid 50% and then an EP later in the year. They’ve already got a clutch of tracks in the bank ready to go, but they’re in no rush to hurry them out and fit into the industry machine just yet. And really, why would they want to? Confident and happy to take their time and forge their own path, Dama Scout are only just beginning. When you know, you just know.
Taken from the April 2017 issue of DIY. Subscribe below.