Introducing...Let's Buy Happiness
This month saw the release of Tyneside five-piece Let's Buy Happiness new single 'Works Better On Paper', leaving us suitably impressed - remind yourself of our verdict here - and wanting to find out more.
With an average age of 20, the five-piece self-released their first EP No Hot Ashes at the end of 2009, leading to two Maida Vale sessions for BBC6 Music and Radio One, as well as an invitation from Michael Eavis to play the John Peel stage at Glastonbury and tours with the likes of The Temper Trap, Primal Scream and The Futureheads.
Let's Buy Happiness are also a self-contained creative outfit guitarist James Hall (who also plays keys) handling studio production, bassist Mark Brown in control of their various social media and lead singer Sarah (James' sister) directing all their videos. Check out her work on the video for 'Works Better On Paper' below.
So if that lot didn't keep them busy enough, we decided to chat to Sarah and guitarist Graeme Martin about their career to date, ahead of a busy summer of festivals, including LeeFest, Tramlines, The Magic Loungeabout and Fieldview among others.
What's your earliest musical memory?
Graeme: I can remember listening to my dad's Black Sabbath vinyl when I was like seven or something. At that age, I used to just listen to whatever they did. I remember the first album I ever bought was Red Hot Chilli Peppers - By The Way, I thought it was so cool.
If you could hold a recording session with any five artists, who would you choose?
G: Radiohead, Elbow, Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse and Explosions In The Sky.
You want to describe your music to a stranger on the street, who do you compare yourself to?
G: I would compare us to a whole range of influences rather than just saying "we sound like this". There really aren't many bands that sound like us. Perhaps the Yeah Yeah Yeahs? But even then they're not that similar. In terms of influences the list is endless. To name a few... Arcade Fire, Tegan and Sara, Bright Eyes, Animal Collective, Thin Lizzy, Radiohead, Elbow, Modest Mouse, Bonobo.
You are going to live on a desert island for a year, which three albums do you take with you?
G: Radiohead - In Rainbows, Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake It's Morning, Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
Everyone has a defining music moment, one that lives on in the memory, what is yours?
G: I would say in terms of the band, when Sarah sang on a track for the first time, that was a pretty amazing moment. I would also say when we played with Temper Trap back in 2009/10, we were only young and very new and played an amazing sold out show. It kind of kicked off the live side of things for us, and made us want to play more.
What is the best gig you've ever been to and why?
Sarah: When I saw Bright Eyes play at Benicassim Festival, 19th July 2007. I was 17, it was my first festival and the first time I'd travelled anywhere alone. I got lost in Alicante, missed the first train, slept rough and then when I finally got there the next day on my 18th birthday, Bright Eyes were playing all in white and they were amazing. Completely all worth it. A total coming of age moment.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
G: I really don't know, if I'm still making music with LBH that would be amazing. We want to be together for a very long time and make loads of amazing albums.
If we were to look at your MP3 player, what is the most embarrassing track or album that we'd find?
S: Nothing at the minute as my iPod recently took a spin in the washing machine, but days yonder, I think the most embarrassing album would be my beyond-corny vocal warm ups. The guy on it sounds like one of those shoeless bearded hippy teachers that would act zen but then perve on their students... Oh and... 'Safety Dance'.
How would you sell your recent single 'Works Better On Paper' to us?
S: It is a really soothing track with lush delicate vocals, which makes it perfect for a lazy summer's day.
What awaits us on your debut album?
G: Lots of surprises [laughs] Hopefully it will have all the ingredients to make it a beautiful album.
S: Our baby! We've worked long and hard on it, we specifically didn't want to rush the process so we could develop it further and make an album that we were truly proud of. Well, expect a variety of all our tastes coming out at various points. Some harder, louder moments; some more frail and dreamy. Its definitely not a one tone mood album... peaks and dips, sways and jumps.
What's next for Let's Buy Happiness?
S: Just pushing forward. Playing shows everywhere and anywhere and working towards getting our album finished. Things are pretty exciting at the minute. We're getting lots of great shows and nice comments from all over the world. So hopefully we can build on that.
'Works Better On Paper' is out now. To find out more about Let's Buy Happiness, visit their official website - www.letsbuyhappiness.com/ - or follow them on Twitter - @LBHappiness