After another round of UK tour dates and the kudos of some Spotify playlist support, Manchester alt-rockers Elephant Trees are back with new single Uncomfortable and a tweak to their indie-pop sound. The catchy choruses and powerful vocals of frontwoman Martha Phillips remain, but they now come with glitchy, off-kilter electronics, some spacey reverb on the verses and an exploration of mental health issues.
We sat down for a chat about the new release and other cool stuff…
For the uninitiated, what can we expect from an Elephant Trees show?
Sweaty moves and groovy tunes.
Tell us all about the new release, Uncomfortable. Why did you choose it as the new single?
We’ve been writing a lot lately and out of all the new tracks we’ve been working on, uncomfortable took the longest to write. I felt l had a lot to say about the world we’re living in right now and I couldn’t find the right words to express it. So, when I finally finished it, it became the song I was most proud of.
You’re based in Manchester, which seems to be a hotbed of new indie bands at the moment. What is it about the city that drives that kind of creativity?
I think its openness and inclusivity makes it a much more vibrant and inspiring city. All of us found our feet in Manchester, it’s the kind of place where people listen when you try something new rather than shoot it down.
You played a lot of festivals this summer. If you could put a dream festival line-up together, who would be playing?
Man that’s a big question…I’ll pick a few for the boys, I hope I get it right. I’d say Sam would want Biffy Clyro on there, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard for Will and Saint Vincent for Alex. And I’ll have Nina Simone and Halfnoise please.
Outside of music, what other kinds/examples of culture and art inspires you?
Social change inevitably influences all of us, society is becoming a lot more open about mental health and suicide, which is so great and I’d love for Elephant Trees to be part of that progression. Politics too, I think if you believe something so strongly and you have the platform to encourage change for the better, you should use it.
What’s next for the band?
We’ve got a few shows left of the tour, then it’s straight back into the studio for the next single. We’re sitting on a lot of music at the moment that I can’t wait to get out, we’re really proud of the sound we’re making and it’s been so cathartic playing it all live through the tour. Watch this space for the next single!