Today’s track of the day comes courtesy of Architects of Grace with ‘Outsiders’.
Led by the enigmatic Duncan Roberts, the outfit have made a welcome return with their ‘Outsiders’ EP; its title track giving us an insight into its lyrical themes and rich musical layers. With dark gothic overtones, the song is a haunting slice of their signature gothgaze sound; with sharp melodic guitar lines and a vocal delivery that creeps into your consciousness with ease.
Having taken some time out since his 2011 debut album ‘Moments In Time’, Roberts returns a more accomplished songwriter, exploring the feelings of being an outsider and going against the tide with emotional depth. The accompanying video lends its own narrative to the track and is equally disturbing and compelling in its own way.
GIGsoup caught up with the frontman to hear more about the track and the EP.
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Can you tell us about the new song ‘Outsiders’?
Yes ‘Outsiders’ is the lead track on the new ‘Outsiders’ four-track EP. It speaks for itself, for all those disenfranchised outsiders that don’t fit into frontline mainstream culture. People that think differently, or look differently, people who challenge the tedium of mass production media. People that didn’t always fit in at school but went on to define art, culture their own way and didn’t give a fuck. Great things happen when such people come together.
What was the creative inspiration for the video?
I went down many pathways for ideas for ‘Outsiders’. The use of mannequins seemed to fit. Waking up, escaping their boxes, dancing, but do they get to escape from were they are captured, in that warehouse, destined for a shop window somewhere? This was all created way before the stupid mannequin challenge too by the way. Pure coincidence. These mannequins are doing the human challenge.
Is it a good indication of what to expect from the EP? What inspired your writing?
The EP follows the outsider or outsiderhood theme throughout. All the songs in some way tell a story on the theme.
It marks your first release in some time. Have you found that your sound has evolved since your earlier material?
I think this new material has more pop appeal, but maintaining the grit, angst, and darker themes. Light and shade overall. Much like life. The sound has developed since the last batch of material, I was conscious of wanting to push things forward.
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What was the reason behind taking a break and what did you get up to?
I could make something up here perhaps? In reality I was still writing and recording demos, developing ideas. I wrote a couple of albums worth of material and much more. It was only in the last year I started to have sets of material I was wanting to start to put out. Right now I’m working on the follow up to the ‘Outsiders’ EP which I’m very excited about I’m looking forward to sharing it in the new year. You will be hearing from Architects Of Grace far more regularly over the next year.
What are the challenges for an independent artist in today’s industry?
The main challenge is that you need to be driven, self sufficient and a serious multi-tasker. I would love to spend more time actually writing and recording songs.
What are your ambitions and plans for 2017?
There will be a new release in early 2017, most likely a song called ‘Change’, which moves things up a gear, and more to follow, building toward an album later in the year. My ambition would be to release a complete new batch of Architects Of Grace material for people to hear, some EP’s, singles and an album which is recognised and successful in connecting with people. All topped off by playing shows, both gigs and festivals. I have a lot of ideas beyond that, many in fact that may never reach fruition, but if I can at least try some of them and they connect with people then I’d be happy.