Ebbb talk festivals, signing to Ninja Tune, and their debut EP 'All At Once'

Festivals Ebbb: “By not focusing our attention on social media, we just put all of our energy into the music”

We chat to the elusive London trio ahead of their debut EP release and their set at Ipswich’s Brighten The Corners Festival.

Having quickly built a cult reputation in the capital via word-of-mouth buzz around their live shows - all backed up by their mesmerising recent singles ‘Himmel’ and ‘Swarm’ - London trio Ebbb are now setting their sights further afield. Their debut EP, ‘All At Once’, is imminent, and the band will be marking the occasion this weekend at Ipswich’s Brighten The Corners - a multi-venue affair that’s set to play host to both big names and buzzy new talent alike. Ahead of their visit to Suffolk, we caught up with Ebbb to chat about developing their live reputation, their forthcoming EP, and what punters should expect from their festival set…

As a band, you’ve not been together all that long. Can you tell us a little about how you met one another and decided to begin Ebbb? Your origin story, if you will?
We all moved to London from different places to make music. We met on the London band circuit and played shows and supported one another. I (Lev) played guitar in bands and started doing some electronic production during lockdown, as a move to gain more independence when the future of live music was up in the air. In early 2023, I asked Will to sing vocals on some of the tracks as I was always a fan of his voice, and so the project started life as a bunch of recordings. After we’d got a load of songs down we brought in Scott on drums, as we’ve been playing together for a few years in previous bands. 

Rather than go straight into releasing music, you’ve built up more of a reputation by playing live first, and didn’t have too much of a presence on social media; was that a conscious decision, or one of necessity? How do you think doing that has helped to shape these early days for you as a band? What do you think you learned from doing things this way?
Essentially, we wanted to draw people’s focus solely onto the live shows, so we only ever put up info of when the next gig was. If people wanted to know what we were about, they had to come see it live. Having little social media presence meant people had no preconceptions, other than what they might have heard through word-of-mouth. By not focusing our attention on social media, I guess we just put all of our energy into the music and crafting a live set we were 100% happy with.

You’ve also just signed to Ninja Tune - how did it feel to find out you were going to join their roster?
Beyond excited! We’ve been a fan of the label for a while and felt like it was the ideal home for our music.

You’re about to release your debut EP ‘All At Once’. What were you inspired by when making the EP? What did you find yourself inspired by, and what did you hope to explore within its five tracks?
The songs that have made it onto the EP were songs we recorded before there was any fixed plan or campaign to release music, so I guess they came from a kind of innocent, care-free place in which we were just enjoying the newfound creativity that came with the project. We’ve chosen songs that we feel represent a full spectrum of who we are as a band and delve into quite varied musical territory so that we will continue to explore with future releases.

What do you hope ‘All At Once’ says about Ebbb, and this first chapter of the band?
To build on the previous answer, we hope the EP showcases a variety of colours and sounds. The electronic nature of the project brings a flexibility and open-endedness to the songwriting, and enables us to flesh out musical ideas to their full potential and bring in so many of the elements we like in our own listening.

You’ve got a busy summer of live shows ahead of you, and have already played a bunch of festivals; how have the shows you’ve played so far been? Do you find that live performances are ever-evolving processes?
The live shows have been great, and it’s been particularly exciting to bring the music to people outside of the London ‘bubble’. We definitely feel there’s a constant evolution - it’s good to have the opportunity to try out a load of new material and adapt the setlist for different settings, whether it be more late-night ‘ravey’ gigs or an afternoon outdoor stage.

You’ll be playing at Brighten The Corners fest this week - what should people coming to see you expect from the set? Are you going to try and watch anyone else playing across the weekend?
There’s quite a big distinction for us between the live set and the recordings online - the added live drums create an intensity that perhaps people aren’t always expecting… We’re excited to see mui zyu again (who we saw in Leeds a few months back), Theon Cross, and Ugly (we’re a big fan of the new EP!)

What else are you looking forward to this year?
Supporting The Smile in Switzerland is a massive one for us, and generally we can’t wait to play European festivals and have more music out!

Ebbb's debut EP 'All At Once' is out on 14th June via Ninja Tune.

Brighten The Corners takes place on 14th and 15th June across various venues in Ipswich - find out more here.

Tags: Ebbb, Brighten The Corners, Festivals, From The Magazine, Features, Interviews

As featured in the May 2024 issue of DIY, out now.

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