Dancing Years have just released their new EP ‘Learn To Kiss’ and have had recognition from the likes of BBC Introducing. Their imaginative take and honest approach to music has resulted in a real gem of an EP – and more importantly it’s a 4 track that will no doubt bring the band to the attention of a deserved larger audience.
From the EP we’ve chosen ‘Neon Lights’ as our Track of the Day. Produced by the incredibly talented Colin Elliot (Richard Hawley, Slow Club) the Leeds 5-piece have captured beautiful melodies and an ear worm-esque chorus that is quite possible one of the strongest releases of 2016 thus far.
GIGsoup caught up with the band to find out what Dancing Years is all about!
Your new single ‘Neon Lights’ has a great melodic feel, what is the inspiration behind the song?
We wanted to express how the seasons have such an impact on our lives, and how our emotions can rise and fall alongside them. The song is about someone being in a tough place in the winter, as the days get shorter and darker. Ultimately it’s about fighting those winter blues, and trying to appear okay.
Your new EP ‘Learn To Kiss’ which came out on Feb 12th has already had acclaim in the industry and attracted the attention of the likes of Radio 1’s being their BBC Introducing Track of The Week. What is the story behind the EP? Are we getting tips on the notion of love?
We’re chuffed to bits with the momentum this song has picked up.There is definitely a ‘love’ theme running through the EP but there aren’t any straight ‘love songs’. It’s about how we deal with relationships, fights, struggling to meet another’s expectations, loneliness, depression and a number of other cheery subjects.
Your lyrics in your material are very emotive and imaginative. Are they songs you guys have experienced? And do you feel your songs are a way for audiences to relate to common emotions/events?
Writing music and lyrics is a very natural process for us. We simply write about what has moved us in our own lives. I think if you’re successful in expressing yourself in an honest way, then people will relate to the content. Good lyrics can transcend what they were originally written about. It’s funny when you talk to someone about a song you’ve loved for years and they have a completely different take on it.
David Henshaw, your vocals on the track paint a vivid feel to the track and a nice use of tempo. With great instrumentals accompanying the track. What are your musical processes in the band? Do you all co-song wright? And how do you decide on the direction of your music?
In terms of the writing process someone (usually David or Joe) comes to the band with a framework of a song, often with lyrics (or most of them) too. From there we tend to play around the ideas for a while until things start clicking together. We’re really comfortable around one another so often help each other out and suggest ideas for different parts and arrangements, so it’s a pretty collaborative effort in the end.
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You worked with producer Colin Elliot on your upcoming EP? How did that come about and how was the experience?
We’ve been fans of Richard Hawley for a long time, who Colin has produced a lot for and plays bass in his live band too. We got in touch with Colin and sent over some of our singles we’d released and some new demos we’d been working on. Thankfully he was into them and keen to work on the EP with us! It was really fun making the EP with him over at Yellow Arch Studios and he’s got a real knack for creative input around arrangements etc. He vamped up our dubious basslines and even features with a high pitched backing-vocal note or two on the EP.
You have had massive media attention recently, with your previous song ‘Learn to Kiss’ being played on Radio 1 as BBC introducing! Congrats! This must be a surreal experience. What has been your best highlight to date?
Haha yeah, hearing Learn to Kiss on Radio 1 all week is certainly up there as one of our highlights! Playing at Leeds Festival in 2014 was really cool too as it’s the festival most of us used to go when we were growing up as teenagers, so that brought back a few mad memories. Supporting Richard Hawley at Motorpoint Arena in his hometown Sheffield last year was pretty surreal as well; a bit daunting but a definite highlight! Picking between those is tough…
How did you come up with the band name and what does it represent in terms of you guys personally and your music?
When we decided to start the band properly we were bouncing names around for a while. We had ten or so and narrowed it down. David found the name in a library on the spine of a book and we all took to it. At the time we didn’t think of the consequences of playing pretty un-danceable music to people who’d never heard us before…
You are new in the industry. How did you guys meet? How did you get into the industry?
Joe, David and Dan met at secondary school and played in various bands and wrote music together. Joe later met Dom at uni in Cardiff, shortly after finishing Monty joined and we’ve been going since. It’s hard to say when we got into the industry really – we’ve just kept playing, touring and writing and it’s just grown pretty naturally to where we’re at at the moment
Any advice to up and coming bands who want to follow in your footsteps?
The main thing really would be to just stick at it because you love doing it. Get out there and play to as many people as possible and keep writing and recording music. There’s not one foolproof way of building a career in music because some people will hear your recordings whilst others will stumble across you at a show or wherever, so make sure you’re working hard and covering every avenue really.
Dancing Years are hotly tipped as ones to watch in 2016, which is awesome, any exciting plans for the year? Are you working/collaborating with any notable producers/artists?
Well our debut EP comes out on February 12th; we’re really looking forward to having that out there as a bit of a longer body of work having only released singles up to now. We’ve a couple of release shows for it in Leeds and London which we’re excited about and then looking forward to getting into festival season. We’ve nothing booked after that just yet but we’ll be out doing our first headline tour in a while later on in the year.
This Dancing Years article was written by Sarah Ebockayuk, the GIGsoup Track of the Day Editor