Interview Spilling The T with deep tan

The London post-punks bringing darkness to the dancefloor.

We’ve all missed the sesh, and no more so than deep tan who, back in February, dropped a video for their angular track ‘camelot’ consisting of videos of drunk people dancing with the wry caption, ‘21st of June, sometime just after lunch’. “You’re not gonna see me for the first week of June,” vocalist Wafah laughs today. “I’m going off the rails!”

Though the return to ‘normality’ (fingers crossed) might be the biggest cause of celebration for most this month, deep tan have an extra reason to get a bit merry: the beginning of June also marks the arrival of their debut EP ‘creeping speedwells’.

A long time in the making, the trio have been buzzing around East London’s alternative scene for a while, originally forming when Wafah recruited housemate Celeste as bassist, before the departure of their original drummer led to Lucy responding to a shout out via Instagram. “I don’t know how it felt before - maybe it was better! - but I feel like it fits really well,” Lucy smiles. “I agree, it was such a natural fit,” Celeste adds. “Lucy’s our sister!”

“I was seven, watching Jake Shears strutting about in thigh-high boots. It was a real moment for me…”

— Lucy

Finding their footing with their current line-up, the group’s blend of pop licks and dark post-punk grooves pulls influence from the musical heroes they idolised growing up. Wafah declares her love for The Cure’s ‘Disintegration’, while Celeste always wanted to be The Fall’s legendary, crotchety frontman Mark E. Smith and/or Sinead O’Connor. And as for Lucy’s teenage faves? “The Scissor Sisters!” she beams. “My mum and nan are obsessed with them and took me to see them when I was like, seven, and it was just Jake Shears strutting about in thigh-high boots. It was a real moment for me…”

Marrying together their shared influences, deep tan’s resulting debut EP sees the trio welcoming us into their surreal and spellbinding world, with track themes ranging wildly from feeling disconnected in life to meme page @doyoueverjustfuckingascend. “It’s my favourite meme page,” Celeste notes. “I know, for me, memes have definitely helped my mental health over the last year.”

With the end now nearly in sight, deep tan are hoping that ‘creeping speedwells’ can provide a moment of escapism from reality’s various bites. “Creeping speedwells are a type of garden weed,” Lucy explains. “They’re really resilient, and the meaning behind it is obviously that the past year-and-a-half has been really hard for everyone, so it’s a nod to the resilience of everyone.” Celeste nods, “That’s the T!”

As featured in the June 2021 issue of DIY, out now. Scroll down to get your copy.

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