GIGsoup caught up with Scottish-born, London-based Cocoa Futures about their latest release, ‘The Blue’. The band specialise in distorted, but catchy pop music. In this case, ‘The Blue’ is all about allowing yourself to feel bad, whilst remembering that it’s OK to let yourself feel good again.
The band managed to catch the attention of Marc Withasee of Micachu and the Shapes who helped produce the record which is due for release on the 16th September. GIGsoup asked Greg from the band a few questions about the release and all of the work that has gone into the forthcoming tune.
Your track has been composed around a looped ice cream van siren. How did you come to record this sound and how did it build into the final tune?
It’s not a real one! I tried to mimic the ice cream van sound using a messed up acoustic guitar sound and a mono sequencer. I’ve got no idea how mono sequencers work so I pressed a lot of buttons and twiddled a lot of knobs, and after a while it sounded pretty good. There’s something really fun about making music with an instrument or plug in that you haven’t got a clue about – I’m glad this time it worked out!
You worked quite closely with Marc Withasee from Micachu and the Shapes to produce this record. Tell us more about what that process was like?
It was great. Marc’s a really good producer who’s keen to bring out the best in the songs. We started with the basics; trying out different keys and different speeds. It was hard work to sing or play them higher/ lower or slower/faster and felt a bit like going to ‘music gym’. But it was a really useful process to get a speed and a key that we were happy with. From there, Marc then recorded the songs roughly to get an idea of what production we could add, and how we could improve the structures. Once they were settled, we recorded everything properly – as live as possible. It was a really fun process.
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‘The Blue’ is quite bittersweet- it seems to have a message about letting yourself feel sad but not dwelling on it. Letting yourself become cheerful again- what more can you tell us about the content of the song? Does it relate to personal experience?
Yeah, you’ve described it well. I guess it explores the idea that sometimes it’s a good idea to feel sad, rather than avoiding it. I wanted to contrast that with the music – which is quite fun and bouncy. To get across the idea that the things that you can do to avoid it can be really, really fun and enticing.
Following on from the last question, what’s your favourite pick-me- up?
A fantastic chocolate bar. For example, a Topic or a Picnic.
After the single release, what’s next for Cocoa Futures? Can fans expect a tour?
After ‘The Blue’ has come out, I think we’ll put another song out before the whole EP is released in December. It’s coming out on a lovely label called Lost in the Manor – thanks guys! We’ve got a few shows in the run up to that, and then hoping to arrange a lovely tour next year. Stay tuned for more announcements!
It sounds like Cocoa Futures started off as a bit of a solo project of yours and then you gathered people to form your band. What has it been like moving from being a solo music maker to working with others?
Even though I’ve been the one writing the songs, it’s never really felt like a solo thing. Drumer Dave’s been there from the start helping to work out which ideas are good (and also which one’s aren’t). Synth/SPD player Zoe and guitarist Jack joined later on to help with that process. They’re all great musicians so it’s been brilliant to develop the songs with them, and we’re really looking forward to playing them live.
‘The Blue’ is released via Lost in the Manor records on Friday September 16th
This Cocoa Futures article was written by Fraisia Dunn, a GIGsoup contributor. Photo credit : Sara Amroussi-Gilissen