In The Studio: Childhood: “We’ve surprised ourselves”

London daredevils set about making the ultimate festival album with ‘Lacuna’.

At the tail end of 2013, a very new sounding Childhood emerged. These Nottingham-formed, London-based youngsters still knew a thing or two about packing a ton of ideas into the space of one song, but this song was stretched out, all of a sudden.

‘Pinballs’, a seven-minute giant of a track, was the band’s first alongside producer Dan Carey. Recorded in just one day, it proved that breakthrough moments can happen in a flash. “I remember thinking ‘I can’t believe we just made that in a day’,” recounts Ben Romans-Hopcraft. “We’d never made a song like that ever. It was daunting, initially.” On record, it sounds like a group of guys staring a completely different band in the eye and embracing their new beings.

Following this watershed moment, out stepped an album. ‘Lacuna’ is partly the product of four years’ worth of work, although Ben’s keen to state that they only felt like a “proper band” in 2012.

“I think we’ve surprised ourselves,” he says. “The main thing for us is we’re really happy with it. I never wanted to do an album that was in any way personally underwhelming. We could have recorded most of the songs that people already know, stuck it on an album and moved on. We made a conscious effort to do lots of new stuff; just for us, mainly.”

‘Lacuna’, in Ben’s words, is said to “encapsulate everything about guitar music that I really enjoy.” There’s a balance between “wig-out moments” (like ‘Pinballs’) and the more tightly-packaged pop they became renowned for through ‘Solemn Skies’ and ‘Semester’, the kind making Childhood such a fixture in festival tents. Arriving midway through the summer, it’s a record that’s set to assert these newcomers as something truly special, ready to challenge the heavyweights. Be it through prog freakouts or hook-crammed pop triumphs, they’re reaching these heady heights very quickly.

Taken from the June issue of DIY, out now. Childhood’s debut album ‘Lacuna’ will be released on 11th August via House Anxiety / Marathon Artists.


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