It’s not often that an unknown new band finds themselves plonked into the infamous rotating cast of Later… with Jools Holland, in amongst jazz supremos and chart-toppers. But back in October last year, that’s exactly where Another Sky made their first break into the public consciousness. Needless to say, it was a bit of a moment.
It’s in the time since, however, that the London-based quartet have found themselves growing all the more powerful. While they were quick off the blocks with a series of dynamic and intoxicating tracks – including the tirade against the 1% of the darkly driven ‘Chillers’ - it’s been over the last twelve months that they’ve spent time building themselves into an even more intense prospect.
“It’s just been non-stop, really,” reflects front woman Catrin Vincent. “We really had to get down and grind, as they say. Or no one says… I’ve never heard that before in my life!” she laughs. “We’re all still working, so it’s literally been [about] every chance we get, being in the studio, practicing for gigs, going on tour…”
A quick glance across their recent gig schedule and social media proves as much. Alongside the release of second EP ‘Life Was Coming In Through The Blinds’, the quartet have spent much of their year performing on both sides of the Atlantic. “[We went on] a US tour which was actually quite successful,” she continues. “We didn’t think anyone would turn up at the shows, but then there were people singing the lyrics. That was really, really cool.”
“You have to grow, you have to explore and evolve.”
— Catrin Vincent
Chatting today after a photoshoot filled with a rather deceiving kind of ice cream - “It looked good! I nearly had some! It did smell of mashed potato though…” [that’s because it was - sorry guys...] - it's clear Catrin and the band are already champing at the bit to keep things pushing forwards. Having already made a name for themselves via intricate instrumentation paired with mammoth soundscapes, they’re also hugely focussed on creating songs with a real message. “We've been doing some of the songs in our own studio and really trying to experiment,” she confirms. “And I’ve been reading a lot, trying to figure out the lyrics, and really make something of them. I’ve spent a lot of time with them.
“Every time we see another band play, we take inspiration from it,” she continues. “It’s just about constantly being aware that doing music, you have to grow, you have to explore and evolve. I don’t think any of us like staying in one place or getting comfortable. That’s probably why all of our tracks sound like completely different genres! I think it’s just how we like to work; we like to work from jams, we like things that excite us and they’re usually things that we haven’t done before.”
As with their releases to date, which have delved into weighty topics including toxic masculinity, social unrest and the possibility of mass extinction, their debut is set to make an equally strong statement. But, according to Catrin, it’ll also provide an opportunity for her to be more personal with her views.
“Essentially, I’m always trying to say something, but what I did for the album lyrics was I gathered all of our songs together, and thought, ‘What is the common thread? What am I actually trying to say?’” she offers up. “They’re all quite old songs, so they’re actually things I was saying in 2014, and there’s almost this youthful naivety to it. What I realised is that it’s kind of about trying to escape your hometown, and then discovering that you never really can.
“The album’s going to have more of a theme, and it’s how these issues personally relate to me and the things that I’ve been through. I’m really excited to make it more personal because I think that’s what everyone is trying to do when they write lyrics, or make art.”
It's not just a sense of catharsis that'll accompany the release of their first long-player, which is set to include “really new material that isn’t actually new at all! Literally one of its tracks is the second song we ever wrote.” Their first record has a different appeal, too. “It’s been so long, and it’ll completely clear the slate for the second album, which we’re really excited for. We’ll be able to reinvent ourselves and move on.” An ambitious band through and through, for Catrin and her cohorts, the limits are sky high.
More like this
There’s little ego at play here, just an intense wish for a bloody good time.
Another lush cut from the London foursome.
Bo Ningen and She Drew The Gun are also set to play this year’s edition of the Oxford fest.
A glimpse into how Another Sky are a band capable of deftly soundtracking the looming future.