2016 has been a rocky year to say the least. Yet while we’ve had some iconic musicians leave us, we’ve been introduced to just as many.
Indie four piece Syd Arthur released their third album this year, and though they’re not a new group per se, it’s a new lineup that’s resulted in a fresh, unexplored sound for the Kent locals. Drawing on the psych fades of Tame Impala and the catchy garage rhythms of The Strokes, their record Apricity is their most addictive yet.
We chatted with Raven Bush (yep, nephew of Kate Bush) about the new record, writing on the road and his favourite tracks.
What separates Apricity apart from your other albums?
Well firstly the line up is different, we now have one more Magill on drums! It’s also the first record we didn’t make in our own studio, which is on the outskirts of London, Apricity was recorded in LA. I also would like to think this is our most succinct statement we have made as a band.
‘Apricity’ is Out Nowhttps://t.co/cBKMH7xkIm
— Syd Arthur (@sydarthurband) October 21, 2016
Did most of the writing take place in Canterbury? How would you describe the scene there? Is it much of a music town?
The rest of the guys live in Canterbury or the surrounding towns, I however live in South East London and commute to Kent for band, family and loved ones. So it was written between the two places mainly. With this record we created all of the demos in our studio, worked out how to play them as a band, then recorded them live at Jonothan Wilson’s studio in Echo Park. So the music has been on a bit of a journey before it ended up as the finished album.
I would say that Kent as a whole has a really healthy music scene, about 10 years ago Canterbury had a couple of venues that played a pivotal role in our formative years…However now it has moved out to places such as Deal.
Are you able to write on tour? Or do you need to be tucked away in your bedroom with the door locked?
I actually write a lot on tour, especially when touring the US as there are such long drives! It’s really inspiring looking out the window and being in your own world, plugged into your laptop with a keyboard or whatever.
In your opinion, how do you know when a song is finished? Were there many “oh we should change this” moments?
I actually hate finishing songs! It’s the hardest and most un-creative part for me. At that endpoint it has become so defined, it’s not so flexible and living with possibilities anymore. I’m always most excited about the next thing I’m going to write, that’s basically what drives me forward. So in answer to your question I would have to say deadlines! If you have a song for a long time it will keep changing with you. A recording is your statement at that moment in time, so the longer you hold onto that song, the more likely you will want to keep on changing it.
Would you say the album has an overbearing theme?
Life, Loss, Love…We like to leave it open so you can draw your own meaning.
Parts two and three of the video trilogy aren’t out yet, but what was the idea behind them all merging?
Well I’m not sure it’s a trilogy in the sense you might be referring to? But each video will be made by the same people and have an aesthetic that binds them together. It’s our abstract trilogy, let us know what themes speak to you…
Do you have a favourite song off the album, or is that like asking you to pick your favourite child?
Yea pretty much! Live though certain tunes are really fun to play, like ‘Rebel Lands’ or ‘Sun Rays’ are a blast.
Apricity means the warmth of the sun in the winter: What place do you think of when you think of the definition?
I think anyone who lives on our tiny island, with the unpredictable shifting weather can experience it. It’s really about contrast, when it’s cold the warmth of the sun hits you that much harder, or when you have had a tough week and something comes along to brighten up your day, making it all worthwhile.
So I think of lots of places really, even when we were out in sunny LA, we were staying in a canyon, you get the same feeling there before the sun rises.