We love synths and drum machines of course, but on top of that we also felt it was necessary to add some more colors to the palette, reflect the world around us. Guitars alone just didn’t do it. So we bought new toys, dug deep, listened to inspiring sounds, both new and vintage, and then, armed with our new machines and a massive roll of paper to accommodate our Kindergarten approach to lyric writing, we went to work. Ideas came very fast and we decided to cut back to an EP instead of an album to create an even more immediate snapshot of where we were at.
By June we had five songs and, after picking OUT OF LOVE as the lead track, we went on to work on the video with director Arian Soheili. The location was very special indeed, the 6000 sqft Cirque School in Hollywood, a massive space dedicated exclusively to teaching people circus arts, which as we all know, includes clowning. We quickly learned that it's probably a good idea to stay off the trapeze when one has been drinking.
We had a brilliant couple of nights of shooting, breaking stuff (in the name of “light experiments”) and getting repeatedly and hilariously “video-bombed” by a baby possum (pic at the end) We very gently kept putting the little bugger outside, only for him to re-appear a mere few minutes later, wandering into shots, providing background, hanging out … but eventually we got it done. You can check out the finished Out Of Love video (minus possum) here .
With the video in the can, we decided on a name for the record, "Dear Electric Sun" and ShaunDurkan once again came up with some incredibly inspired sleeve art. Now we were ready for our summer release and tour.
First up our home, LA. We loved both the Bootleg with A Sunny Day In Glasgow and the Troubadour with the amazing EMA. Here are a couple of shots photographer Debi Del Grande took for LA record at the Troubadour.
Then it was on to NYC for two shows. We adore playing here and hanging with our friends and fans.
Especially the second night at RadioBushwick was a real treat, featuring a top-notch bill put together by DreamwaveRadio’s Steven Newcastle, whose support from day one means so much to us. After a great experience and some choice New York moments, we had to say good-bye to the city and to our US touring drummer and new great friend Joey Ponchetti . Many thanks, sir, more dates to come soon!
Time to get ready for the last leg, then: London. Someone asked me in an interview later what the biggest difference is between playing London and LA, and I said “Stairs and one-way systems”!! It’s true. In LA you drive up to the back of a venue in the sunshine, throw your gear out of the car and get ready for sound check. In London, not so much. First you get rained on, then you're lost in a maze of back alleys, including a vicious trap of one-way systems called the “Shoreditch triangle”, where a few times we could even see the venue, just across the street, but still couldn’t get to it in a car! We were later told that many bands have the same experience there, which made us feel a little better. For all we know, there's still some lost indie bands out there now, circling....
We have to give a hats-off here to those (most) London bands that negotiate said club circuit on public transport. There's something heroic about showing up absolutely soaked from a rainy bus or tube-ride with all your gear on a bloody hand-cart. That’s dedication for you. Maybe that’s why the scene there keeps coming up with a surprising number of great bands. The other ones simply give up and stay home.
Still, we absolutely adore London and as usual all was well once we got onstage. Both at VICE magazine’s new venue The Old Blue Last (check out the coolest poster of the tour) and, a few days prior, at the legendary George Tavern, famously saved from demolition by Kate Moss and some of her celeb friends after bands like the Arctic Monkeys and the Libertines shook the foundations and brought down chunks of dodgy ceiling and it was declared "unsafe". Needless to say we tried our best to make it more unsafe during our set!
UK media had once again been good to us, with major love from BBC6 DJ Lauren Laverne playing and plugging us on her “recommends” show and a slew of nice press, interviews (here's one with the lovely LA of Reprezent Radio) and of course, fans. Real fans are always the best part, especially those who travel from far away. There were those from way outside of London, even a couple of Germans. We made sure they all went home with autographed merch and hopefully memories of a top night. Love you all! Special thanks here also to our drummer for the UK leg. Glen, you’re a gentleman and you rock.
So, back on these shores now, grafting hard on what is to become our second album due out in 2015. In the meantime, the Dear Electric Sun EP is still alive and kicking. Remixes by some amazingly talented people are coming your way, starting with Wildbeliever’s take on Shine And Let Shine. Press is still coming in, too, check out the latest below by the always-on NY magazine (and site) The BigTakeover, which will hit the shelves this week.
Thanks to all of you for checking out the latest from camp UG.
Stay tuned for those EP re-mixes and 2015 live dates to be announced very soon.
Much U.G L.U.V. and see you all on the road!!