Having recently declared them one of our 19 picks for 2019, as well as putting them on at our gig night last year, we’d be card carrying members of the Foundlings fan club if such a thing existed. The band look set to get a whole lot more people swooning over their indie-pop gems with the upcoming release of their self-titled debut EP on, the world’s first crowd funded not-for-profit record label, Last Night From Glasgow. The EP is set to drop on the 1st of March, and ahead of that today, we’re premiering the latest track to be shared from it, Enemy.
Enemy is quite possibly Foundling’s finest track to date, recalling acts like Night Flowers or Worst Place, it’s a perfect juxtaposition of energy and melody. Special mention must go to the fantastic work of the rhythm section; the flittering intensity of the snare drum playing off against the gently rolling bass-lines, give the track a beautifully organic propulsion throughout. The whole thing builds to an anthemic triumphant end, the jangling guitars, thumping bass-drum and soaring vocals building to their most obviously pop-moment to date.
With each new track, Foundlings seem to sound more and more ready for whatever opportunities come their way, a band with limitless potential and an ambition to explore a multitude of musical horizons. Don’t be surprised if they turn out to be one of the break-out acts of the year ahead.
Listen to Enemy below, head over to Last Night From Glasgow to pre-order the EP, HERE, and then read-on for a Q&A with Matt and Olly from the band where they discuss musical ambitions, breakfast meetings with record labels and why they’re still learning all the time.
FTR: For those who don’t know already, who are Foundlings?
Matt: Foundlings are a four-piece indie-ish band based in Brighton and London.
FTR: Your debut EP is out next month, what can you tell us about the recording process?
Olly: With this release, we were lucky to have more time and freedom in the studio than we’ve had before. We got all the bass and drums tracked over a couple of months (booking studio time in the evenings after work) and then we hired out the studio for a weekend to work on everything else. Doing it like this took some of the pressure off and gave us a license to be more creative in the studio. I think that’s evident in the finished EP. We’ve come out with richer arrangements and enjoyed exploring harmonies and different effects, which we’ve hinted at in our previous singles but never had the time to fully develop. Don’t get me wrong, it still felt like a rush to get everything done on time, but I think that pressure can result in people’s best work and is often a good thing.
FTR: The record is coming out on Last Night From Glasgow, how did that come about?
Olly: By chance, basically! Ian, who’s one of the founders of the label, happened to be scrolling through a blog and saw our single Horizon being described as, “as if Fleetwood Mac had been signed to Sarah Records” and that must’ve ticked a box for him because he got in touch with us not too long after that. Amber and I happened to be up in Shetland, so we organised to drop in at his place in Glasgow on our way back down South and, after a brunch meeting of Lorne sausage, fried egg and multiple cups of tea, we shook hands and began plans to release our first record with LNFG.
FTR: We’re premiering Enemy today, what can you tell us about the track?
Olly: Enemy was written in May/June 2018 and I think since we first started playing it we wanted it to be a single. In the context of this EP, it really captures what we were aiming to do: create a record that reflects the diverse influences of the band whilst creating a distinctive sound of our own. Lyrically, I liked the idea of creating a scenario and a set of characters where some sort of event or conflict is hinted at, but you’re never quite sure what it is. There’s a vagueness or obscurity in a lot of good pop music that keeps you coming back to it and projecting your own interpretation onto the song. It’s something that I hope we achieve in our music and I think Enemy is a good example of that. It’s also the first time we’ve written a song with a big, anthemic ending. This wasn’t something that was consciously done, the song just happened to move in that direction naturally when we were writing, but it’s definitely the most ambitious we’ve been so far in working with dynamics and unconventional ‘pop’ song structures.
FTR: You only formed back in 2017, so it’s been a fairly rapid rise for the band, has the reaction to you music exceeded your expectations?
Matt: Looking back, we’ve arguably done a lot of things in parallel that other bands might (quite justifiably) do instead in sequence: we only had a couple of tunes up online when we did our first tour around the U.K.! More than anything, for me, we’ve been lucky to play with a load of great bands in the past year; some of whom we’ve been following for years beforehand. It’s kind of those bands to share their audience with us, which I think has really helped put us in front of people.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Matt: I think we each have creative passions that we pursue as well as music: acting, writing, art, music production… I think we benefit from each of those elements feeding back into the band in some way, as there’s so much that goes into creating an identity as a group.
FTR: Who are your musical influences? What were you listening to when you recorded the EP?
Olly: Quite a mix, really! Probably some heavier stuff than I usually listen to, but also artists like Aldous Harding, The Fall, Ezra Furman, as well as BRJ, Cocteau Twins, Teenage Fanclub, like Matt says. There’s also Chemtrails, who we had the pleasure of supporting for their record launch in January. I really love their sound and their lyrics – especially in the tracks that are more narrative focused – it’s like apocalyptic doo-wop punk. There’s a track on our EP, Busan, that I think captures a bit of that spirit!
Matt: Personally, was listening to a lot of Bill Ryder-Jones, Cocteau Twins, and Teenage Fanclub.
FTR: What are your aspirations for your music? Do you see music as a viable career?
Matt: I certainly wouldn’t say that it’s ever been easy to make a living from your music, but I would also have to say it’s probably never been harder. There are a million reasons for that, of course, but I remain hopeful that the music we make can communicate with people in the way we want it to. That’s my aspiration for the music we make, anyway.
Olly: Yeah, I agree with Matt. I’d like our music to connect with as many people as possible. Also just to continue to have the freedom to make music that we enjoy, keep making records and continue to play shows and reach new audiences. You can only really focus on what’s in your control and, for us, that’s the music that we make.
FTR: What can people expect from the Foundlings live show? Do you prefer playing live or working in the studio?
Matt: We’re 20+ gigs into it now, and I still feel like we’re learning a lot with each show. It’s funny, because I feel the same about the studio in some sense: with each hour that passes in the studio, we learn new things about the songs too. It’s not uncommon that we think we’re putting a finished song down, but for that to have only really been its foundation. I absolutely love that transfer of energy you get between band and audience in a good gig, though – when everything lines up, it’s just outrageously fun (as it should be!)
Foundlings is out March 1st via Last Night From Glasgow. Click HERE for more information on Foundlings.