Interview: Pumarosa talk their debut album, live shows and recording in Italy
The London five-piece's debut album is out now, arriving just in time for a performance at Glastonbury.
Fresh from selling out a bunch of Aussie shows with LANY earlier in the year and sharing international bills with names like Glass Animals and The Pixies, Pumarosa is a London-based group doing some good, good things. The five-piece just dropped their debut album The Witch, a 10-track ode to their indie-pop sound which dazzles with softly-sung vocals and relaxed, laid-back instrumentals, that blend guitar and percussion with driving melodies and harmonies that feature across the album (such as the sax line in Priestess). 2017 is shaping up to be a big year for the group - with a heap of international shows including a slot at Glastonbury eyed off by the group off the back of their debut. To celebrate the release of The Witch - which is out now through Fiction Records and Caroline Australia - we sent a couple of Q's to the group to talk about the album and its creation, their live show, and what they've got planned next (including Glastonbury).
Hey everyone, congrats on the release of The Witch. How long has the record been in the works for, from the initial development of its first songs right up to Friday’s release?
Thank you. Some of the songs were written a long time ago, others written in the studio pretty much... maybe 5 years? But we rework things quite a lot so everything is relatively new in another way.
So you guys started out in a warehouse in England, before recording inside an Italian cinema (which is incredibly cool) and finishing up the record in a London studio. How do the different recording environments shape the album and its creation
Well, we recorded the whole thing in London actually but we experimented, wrote songs and recorded demos in Italy. It's amazing the effect of playing in different environments, musicians seem to play intuitively to fit the space the music is heard in. The cinema was really cool because it's such a huge cavernous space... we wrote some really spacey music there. It's always good to expand the way you express yourself, it all influences the album when you come to recording.
The Guardian praised you as the “missing link between Joy Division and Pendulum” back in 2016, but from the singles released from the album thus far, it’s quite hard to fit you guys into a genre or a sound. How would you guys personally describe the sounds explored on the album?
I think the album explores a lot of styles, more consistently there are running themes in the meanings of the songs rather than the particular genre of the music... We don't fit into a genre I don't believe, everyone is obsessed with trying to make it fit, but it's completely pointless... For us, there's so many important references, influences and styles [so] it seems a shame to constrict yourself to a genre.
Describing the single Dragonfly, you guys mention that it’s a track about letting go and opening up when you have to. Could you explain what you mean by this? Why did you feel that there was a need to ‘protect’ each other within the group?
For me Dragonfly is about liberation, being brave enough to accept and act on desire and the tension between what you feel and how you act, but it's a song, so you can interpret it however you like. In fac, it means different things to me at different times.
You guys have played some pretty big shows in the past, such as support slots for Glass Animals and Everything Everything. How important is to have a good live show for an act like yourself?
It's as important as the artist thinks it is, some musicians don't really play live, they experiment with recorded music, and that's fine. Others are almost impossible to capture in a recording and get completely misrepresented... It really depends on the project. We are somewhere in between because we love production some of us have backgrounds in dance music and we are all experimenting with recording and producing music all the time. On the other hand, we write a lot of our music out of live improvisation and spend a huge amount of time experimenting live together - it's what we really enjoy together I think. So sharing that experience with people is something we love, It's very important to us, live music is the best, it unifies us.
Album now officially ticked off on the list, what are the next moves for Pumarosa? Touring the whole year?
Yeah, lots of touring.. and writing.. Glastonbury soon which is always a high point in the year... :))
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