To say AlunaGeorge’s journey so far has been ‘unusual’ would be a mighty understatement. Back in 2013, the duo – Aluna Francis and George Reid – found themselves placed at the top of ones-to-watch lists for the coming twelve months. They came good on their promise, releasing the infectious debut ‘Body Music’ later that year, all the while setting the charts alight via their feature on Disclosure hit ‘White Noise’.
For most bands, that would be where the story draws to a close; they’d take a break and start work on a follow up. Yet, for AlunaGeorge, things were set to pan out a little differently.
“Yeah, I mean, our whole career has been pretty bizarre,” begins Aluna, who’s currently about to begin her day over in Los Angeles, “so you kinda get used to not expecting things.” One less-than-‘expected’ instance was the massive success of the DJ Snake remix of ‘You Know You Like It’ in the US, back in the summer of 2015. While the duo were busy beginning work on their second album, the remix began to climb the charts Stateside, before going on to be certified double Platinum.
“‘I Remember’ feels to be a real step up.”
— Aluna Francis
“One of the surprising parts was definitely when America started to take notice of us,” she continues, still seemingly getting her head around the track’s rapid rise, “and deciding that they wanted us to give more music to them. It’s such a big place, you know? So, to be able to reach all those states and make any kind of impact is pretty amazing.”
In a twist of events, the pair found themselves reevaluating the work they had already put into their second effort. “We probably started writing in the second half of 2014 and by January, we had a full album,” Aluna admits. “Then, we sort of decided not to release that, and to carry on writing.” What with the circumstances, it didn’t feel right. “It felt like starting over again.”
Now, the band’s second album finally seems ready to be unleashed into the world. They may not have worked out the final tracklisting just yet - “I think we’ll be working right up to the deadline, but I kinda wanna know what’s going on right now!” - but ‘I Remember’ feels to be a real step up.
“I’ve found it easier to write my own stories and be more personal.”
— Aluna Francis
“I think we’ve set the bar higher, for sure. Both in the sounds that we’re using and the songwriting skills that we’ve come to have over time. I wouldn’t say that we’ve perfected the art of the song, but we’ve certainly gotten better than [on] ‘Body Music’.
“We’ve done a few collaborations too,” she adds, “because over the years, we’ve met so many people on the road, and it’s just nice to be able to collaborate with people in the studio; it’s kind of what it’s all about, in a way. We’ve done stuff with Flume, Diplo, and obviously we have Popcaan on the single, so that’s been really fun. It makes it all the more surprising!”
The record also sees Aluna herself growing as a lyricist. “I think there’s definitely been a turn,” she offers. “I suppose maybe because I’ve been developing on my lyrical writing skills over the years, I’ve found it easier to write my own stories and be more personal. I think there’s a theme on this record, especially around the album title ‘I Remember’. It’s about how, in a way, a song can be a reminder to you of the person you can be if you put your mind to it and just remember some simple things. Some of the songs that I’ve written are almost an anthem for standing up for yourself in life.”
It’s a sentiment epitomised in the record’s lead single too, which has finally been let loose on the world. “‘I’m In Control’ is one of those songs where, if you sing along to it, you feel like you can take control in more situations and trust your instincts and do what it is that you wanna do, rather be swayed by other people’s desires or interests.”
AlunaGeorge’s new album ’I Remember’ is out later this year.