Stroud based band Low Chimes bear a lavish sound that grasps alternative-folk and indie-rock genres. This year has seen the band return for their second BBC 6Music session with long-time admirer Marc Riley and gain the attentions of fellow 6Music DJs Lauren Laverne and Tom Robinson. The band have also begun to appear at some of the best-curated UK festivals: Glastonbury this year and previously Green Man, Kendal Calling and Festival No. 6
‘Dust Will Blow’ follows next as their newest single from their debut album, ‘Illumine’.
We catch up with the female fronted alt-folk act to get the lowdown on their album, tour memories, their upcoming UK shows.
To new listeners what are the lyrics behind your new single ‘Dust Will Blow’ about?
It’s about life taking unexpected turns, saying goodbye to an old chapter in your life and embracing a fresh one, starting a new relationship, being so absorbed by certain aspects of your life that you realise you’ve been neglecting others, and learning about different ways of thinking which are new to you and in a way being overwhelmed by this, but also trying to put them into practice.
Are there any moments in ‘Dust Will Blow’ that were captured through improvisation in band practices? If so, would you say capturing these grand moments is a key factor to building songs as a band?
The whole groove and riff of the song came from jamming in the rehearsal room, rather than consciously constructing it for the purpose of the song. The lyrics and melody came from Marianne, who had written them a few weeks previously and had them on the backburner for a while.. Luckily they fused together really nicely and that was the birth of the song. And yes, capturing the essence of those spontaneous moments is really important – this is sometimes the seed of inspiration for Marianne’s songwriting.
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This is the last single to come out before the release of your debut album, ‘Illumine’ out October 6th. How long has the writing process leading up to this taken?
It depends what you’d call the beginning! I guess it begins with the first songs we wrote following our last EP under the old name, Hot Feet. That was released back in 2014. The first session for tracking this album was November 2015, and by then we had the majority of songs written. The recording process took the best part of 6 months as we did it in a few sessions.
In the artwork behind your singles you capture both nature and vivid landscapes, how do you feel this projects into your music?
Marianne’s lyrics are full these landscapes, using them as metaphorical devices as her thoughts and emotions are reflected by the outside world. Sometimes this is quite direct and obvious, other times its abstract. Musically these scenes are echoed with a big spacious sound which Greg our producer developed really nicely in the studio.
Are you hands-on with the production behind your songs?
For this record we were very hands on. In fact we recorded a lot of the overdubs at home, where we had the time to work them out and define the sound a bit more ourselves. Its nice to be able to do this without the time constraints that are always there when tracking in a proper studio.
You’ve had an extensive background of playing major festivals including Glastonbury, Green Man and Festival No.6. If you can share with us a great memory from one of these, what would it be?
Oh Gosh. So many! Lots of them are hazy.
Where are your favourite places in the world to play? If you can select a few..
We haven’t ventured too far beyond the UK just yet. We’ve had a couple of shows in France and played a couple of tunes in Stockholm once upon a time. We’re always open to invitations to other countries 😉 There’s a whole world out there. Everyone says Germany is a great place to play. If we could reach some other continents one day that would be grand!
Are there any plans to tour the UK after the release of the album?
Yes. We’ll be touring in the second half of October, covering a fair bit of the UK from Edinburgh to Winchester and lots of places inbetween. Then some more shows in December including London on the 5th.
How would you describe Low Chimes in three words?
um err umm.